Developing a Resilient Organisational Culture During Lockdown

The recent dramatic shift in the office paradigm has had a major impact on organisations’ culture, impacting employee morale and engagement. Working together in office can provide a sense of community and a network of support. For some companies that relied on their offices, remote working has caused a disconnect between employees, and some aspects of their culture may have been lost in the process.

But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Companies can see these changes as an opportunity to develop and re-address their culture and build an even more resilient team. Below are just some of the ways companies can become stronger while most of their employees are working remotely.

1. Open Communication

A lack of communication can lead to employees feeling lost and with that, a loss of motivation. It’s important to build various communication channels and express how an open flow of communication is always available. In a recent survey, remote workers said that one of the most important actions from companies was regular communication with 55% rating it as ‘Very Important’. There should a centralised place for top-level communication that continues to provide transparency over strategic decisions and a separate instant messaging platform for quick questions that would normally be shouted across a desk. Managers still need to ensure they have dedicated meetings with their team to continue the flow of messaging from top to bottom. Video calls are becoming a popular platform to conduct regular team meetings to continue the coordination between team members on various tasks.

2. Adapt

It would be foolish to ignore all the changes to our society that have taken place recently. Companies can either choose to recreate their office culture in a remote environment or create an entirely new style of culture. These changes can be an opportunity to develop a more effective culture that promotes good morale and trust in employees. Over time, a company may have developed a complacent culture, where productivity may not have been at its highest and in the worst-case scenario misconduct and bad behaviour could have started to seep in. If this is the case, companies can now choose to adapt and improve their culture, using this as an opportunity to eliminate behaviours that don’t reflect their values.

3. Strong Leadership

One of the most important factors driving organisational culture is strong leadership. You need engaged managers who want to drive a positive culture and support their employees through internal comms and by leading by example. Managers should provide employees with clear information on business changes and how these impact the team. Remote working means managers cannot constantly oversee everyone’s work, so they need to trust people to work autonomously. ‘Demonstrating trust in employees’ was cited as being the most important action a company could take, according to a recent study, with 58% stating it as very important. Demonstrating trust can also build employees’ motivation, allowing them to be more productive in their work.

4. Productivity

In order to have a resilient culture, you need a productive workforce. Research shows remote working can boost productivity, in some cases leading to a 44% increase in client calls. However, some employees may be working longer than usual, with a study showing 35% are now working longer hours. Whilst this may mean increased output for a company in the short term, it cannot come at the cost of employee wellbeing in the long term. To continue this level of productivity over time, you need to be sure employees are still taking proper breaks and looking after themselves by promoting wellbeing as a core aspect of your culture. Many companies have taken the initiative to host fun group activities over video calls such as yoga, exercise classes, or quizzes to promote team building and maintain a sense of community and mutual support.

5. Transparency

Recent events have created a lot of uncertainty, whether in business outlooks or employment security which can be very daunting. The need for transparency is greater than ever. It is crucial to update employees regularly and reassure them where possible. With government policies changing daily, many companies have taken to creating a central platform to host all relevant changes, which is updated on a daily basis. Employees can access it at any time and get a full overview of recent policy changes and how it impacts them, helping to give them peace of mind.

Building a resilient and positive culture will not happen overnight. However, we can’t expect large-scale remote working to be leaving any time soon, so we should take the time to implement long-standing solutions. Building a more resilient culture will allow businesses to be flexible and adapt to the constantly changing environment, helping them withstand current economic pressures.

Next month, in association with Halston Marketing, IABC UK&I will be publishing our first Crisis Comms whitepaper, delving a little deeper into this subject with examples from communication leaders across some of the UK’s biggest companies. Keep your eyes peeled!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *