As our workplaces settle into the new remote normal with social injustice in the headlines every day, your employees’ needs and expectations are dramatically changing. It’s time to put your money where your mouth is — ping-pong tables and bean bag chairs aren’t going to cut it as a proxy for creating a company “culture” anymore, especially since no one can enjoy them these days anyhow.
Instead, you should be aligning your company culture with initiatives that actually drive results, like encouraging a healthy work-life balance or increasing corporate responsibility. While that may sound like a lot, you don’t need to rework Maslow’s Hierarchy — in fact, revamping your culture can be pretty simple.
At Bullhorn’s EngageX 2020 conference, members of the interviewstream team were able to attend sessions and roundtable discussions with hiring at the center of the conversation. Based on what we learned, here’s where your company culture should focus in 2020 and beyond:
It’s a weird time — there’s no right way to address all of the concerns that your employees have, but the worst thing you can do for your team is allow the elephant to stay “in the room” without addressing it directly. Be transparent at every step of this journey, however long it may be — and be honest about what you don’t know as well. A direct and upfront approach is critical to ensure psychological safety AKA the shared belief amongst team members that the team is a safe space for risk-taking. While the concept seems vague, colleagues that feel more “safe” with each other consistently perform at higher levels than their counterparts. Whether you choose to host an internal town hall via video chat or send out weekly newsletter emails, take time to highlight wins, share challenges, and ask questions as a company.
In a similar vein, it’s important to address the uncomfortable stuff that’s happening in the world head-on. Some important convos you should be starting are:
In order for these tough conversations to be effective, go above and beyond to create levity. Off the bat, that sounds difficult in itself – having fun in the office is one thing, but when we’re fully remote, it’s a completely different beast.
Zoom happy hours have earned themselves a cheesy rep because companies tend to go into them with the wrong approach, AKA no real approach at all. We’ve all been in a “fun” Zoom where 20+ people are chatting over each other on a slight delay, or worse, where no one talks at all and you’re left wondering when it’s socially acceptable to hop off.
Right now, most people don’t have many face-to-face interactions outside of the Zoom “bubble”, so instead of the generic happy hour, offer optional interactive sessions like these (BTW, you can always offer the option for your employees to come with a drink in hand):
At the end of the day, we all want to get through this and, if possible, become better versions of ourselves. It’s likely that your company is one of the few stable things in your employees’ lives right now – don’t lose sight of that simple and powerful fact. As our world evolves, ensure that your company culture continues to evolve with it. Not only will you grow as a team, your organization will reap the benefits of engaging your employees for years to come (and maybe you’ll even have a little fun along the way).
Kelly Kennedy is the Director of People at interviewstream. She's passionate about learning, culture, and engagement and spends her free time on any body of water within driving distance.