Company culture shouldn’t be abandoned during the current pandemic. Placing more weight on your culture could keep your business and your employees healthy during this tough time. Has your company altered during the pandemic? Whether you’ve had to trim your workforce down, change ownership of tasks or shift to remote working, there's a high possibility that your workforce are feeling it.
A positive outlook is important now, more than ever. Having a good company culture is a morale booster and yours may have to evolve to keep up with the virtual times we’re in. Richard Branson’s philosophy is that employees come first, and given Virgin's success, his philosophy must doing something right! With team breakfasts, in person social events and activities off the cards, many of the freedoms that usually foster a good company culture aren’t currently possible. What are some of the other ways you can nurture your employees?
Here are our top tips for things you can do to keep your employee culture alive during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic:
A sense of community helps improve employee engagement and often employees feel more enthusiastic about their work. Working from home and being isolated from colleagues isn’t easy. Casual meetings at the water cooler or in the kitchen are no longer a thing, which has left communication being fairly structured and less spontaneous.
To help create a virtual office culture, encourage the team to share photos of their desk space, to let coworkers know what they are having for lunch or share some motivational content they have come across. Simple activities like this generate connection and make the physical distance less of a toll on employee wellbeing.
Frequent team and one on one calls help remote workers feel included and valued. Offering one on one calls to check-in gives employees the opportunity to address any personal concerns they may have. Let your team know that you are open to any feedback. Communication can fall to the wayside in a crisis and things can easily be misconstrued. Fostering good lines of communication is critical, especially from leaders. Communicative team leads are key to ensuring employees are kept up to date and remain happy.
If your budget allows, why not provide all team members with a voucher to use towards food delivery. Treating employees to lunch is not only a perk for them, but it also supports other local businesses. If your budget can’t stretch that far, organise a virtual team coffee instead. Doing this offers a good opportunity to connect and maintain relationships whilst implementing some normality. Want to max out on the team lunch and make it a virtual team building too, check out what this team did for their virtual social.
By now, most businesses will have ironed out any technical issues with remote working. If you are planning on keeping your employees at home for the foreseeable future, have you considered their comfort? Setting up a home office fund offering reimbursements of WiFi and phone costs, plus covering the cost of a desk or a chair ensures your employees are both comfortable and productive. Setting up a home office can be expensive and working from a bedroom or sofa can get uncomfortable quickly. Environment plays a major role in happiness and productivity, therefore supporting your employees in creating a good work environment at home is of benefit to the company as a whole.
Morale is important at any time, but it’s more important than ever before. Positivity is contagious, but in a good way, unlike negativity which drags everybody down. Encourage your employees to see problems as challenges to overcome and celebrate success however small it may be! Motivate your team to look after their own mental wellbeing, and physical health by eating well, taking short breaks and doing some exercise.
Many people have taken a financial hit during the pandemic, this has increased stress and anxiety and generated worry with regards to the future. Support the financial wellbeing of your employees by setting up an employee discount scheme which offers discounts on household goods and services. Employee discount schemes are proven ways to build company culture and increase staff engagement whilst stretching the household budget further and reducing some of that financial burden!