Unexpected Consequences of COVID-19: How to Create a Positive Business Culture During Trying Times

COVID-19 is keeping business owners on their toes. Managing the transition from a cohesive office environment to a remote structure has been a major challenge. Just as we found our groove and were ready for a safe return to the office, the pandemic took another turn and we had to take three steps back. Things are changing quickly but one thing is for sure, businesses need to keep their positive culture alive to retain employees and remain productive and profitable!

Here are a few things you can do to support a positive culture in your business:

  • Consider what balance of in-office and remote workers is best for your business and your employees. Be flexible. Not all positions need to be in the office all of the time.
  • Create a plan for your work model when it is safe to return to the office. Will you continue with a hybrid plan, remain remote, or return to a common workspace?
  • Be transparent about the next steps in your work model. Let your employees know what decisions you are making and why. Also, let them know that things may change as the pandemic changes. No one can predict the future except to accept that it’s unpredictable.
  • Create more opportunities for employees to share their ideas and opinions. Having an open dialogue is great to hear new perspectives and bring people together. Creating unity and continuing to build your culture as a company can be easy online when the right people get together. Consider creating opportunities for team members to connect in real ways without feeling pressure to overshare personal details such as social hours, team building activities, and educational programs, to name a few.
  • Discuss company values and how individual roles support them. Find a way to tie your mission statement and core values back to business decisions.
  • Share progress on company goals to keep employees on track and engaged. Ask employees to take on special projects, when appropriate. Getting employees involved can get them more engaged and activated. 
  • Keep tabs on what is and is not working. Flexibility is important to improving culture. If you try something and it seems to fall flat, don’t be afraid to make changes and try something new. That’s what leadership is all about.