COVID-19 has had a massive effect on the way we all go about our work. Still months after the initial wave, the pandemic continues to play a substantial role in our lives. In the services industry, where our people are our product, we’ve seen that staying connected has become more important than ever. Staying connected includes enabling team members to communicate as easily as they did before; but more importantly it means aligning team members around a common purpose – enabling them to feel like a cohesive team, despite distance and social isolation.
To that end, it’s just as essential as before to maintain and advance corporate culture even as employees are working remotely. The more closely aligned a staff is, the happier they will be and the better support experiences they’ll be able to provide.
Below are some ways a support organization can keep company culture at the forefront:
Overcommunicate on Purpose
The quickest way to feel disconnected is to have minimal visibility into team initiatives, achievements, and updates. Team members working from home no longer have the advantage of spontaneous breakroom chats or a brief office pop-in. To combat this, overcommunicate on purpose with staff about culture and human resources initiatives, so they are aware of everything and take ownership of it as they’re able. And while this cultural communication should be championed by the leadership team, some of the simplest and most impactful communications can incorporate any team member. For example,
- Have new team members come onboard? Implement a team mentor program where new employees are partnered with an individual outside of their immediate team. In your next all-hands meeting, ask the mentor introduce your new team member to the group and share fun and interesting facts they’ve learned about their new teammate.
- Raise visibility of peer-to-peer recognition. A genuine kudo from a teammate can mean much more than a pat on the back from a supervisor. Find an award that is unique to your company culture and grant the team authority to nominate winners from any part of the organization.
Empower Employees to Nurture the Team Culture
Encourage staff to assume some responsibility and ownership of the parts of the business that relate to their job. With everyone dedicated to quality, customer satisfaction and shared success, they’re bound to work harder to take care of your customers and each other.
Hand-in-hand with job function responsibility, we can empower employees to nurture the team culture, stay connected, have fun, and maintain traditions. Seek volunteers who are willing to lead initiatives relating to diversity and inclusion, professional development, employee recognition, and corporate value reinforcement. Thanks to the creativity and unique solutions of a group of Source employees, we were able to adapt our annual Family Day and Low Country Shrimp Boil (a particular team favorite) traditions so that we could continue them in 2020 in a safe, socially distanced way.
Please continue to share with us your stories and feedback about culture. Culture means everything to us at Source and we love an open dialogue on this topic because it helps us build a deeper relationship with you and continue to serve you better.