Building Culture during these unprecedented times
Now more than ever, it is important to build a strong culture within your organization and it begins with being able to see things through the eyes of others. This empathy will help you to not only identify with the circumstances that your personnel is faced with, but to also develop strategies o support. A building with negative culture can deter the entire plans of the establishment without you even realizing it.
So what is culture in the workplace? It is providing an opportunity for others to be heard and feel involved in the integral work of the organization. It is an environment where people feel valued and appreciated for their contribution to the workplace. Positive culture helps people to show up everyday to work, even during the toughest times. Building culture takes time, understanding, strategy and yes, vulnerability are essential in this process. It is a consistent push to put your staff at the forefront while still working to accomplish your organizational goals. It is a fine balance between the two. Today's post will address culture from the perspective of where our nation is and how we can support staff.
So why culture now? It has always been a necessity to create an environment of trust, openness, fairness, respect and of course integrity. But during these times of a worldly pandemic and political upheaval in our nation where leaders are struggling to work together, we must create an environment of calm amidst the storm. We may not know all of the personal struggles of our staff during this time, but we certainly understand the devastating impact this pandemic has had on our very health strength and survival. The uncertainly of our safety while there is so much division in our county is unimaginable.
Below are a few things you should consider when addressing this aspect of culture
Implement an open door policy. Even during these times, leaders must be available as much as possible. You will find that your employees want to talk to YOU and feel annoyed when you continue to send them to speak with someone else.
Listen more than you speak. Sometimes there is not a problem to solve. Your staff may need to express a complaint, ask a question, or simply vent. Try not to take things personal during this time. We are all operating under a higher level of stress and uncertainly.
Establish an atmosphere of family and community. It is likely that your employees will need additional time off for health reasons. Seek to understand. Check in on each other. Facilitate an environment where your staff support one another in their most difficult times.
Social Emotional Support. Consider how you can support your staff with their emotions during these time. Integrate strategies into the workday . Share resources for counseling support and support groups.
Additional culture building tips:
Create opportunities for employees to share their experiences with you. If they don't talk to you, they will talk to someone, There is nothing that can tear down a culture more that people who talk about other people.
Learn to focus on the goal while still taking care of your people. Leaders will always stay focused on the goal. That is what we do and why we are here. But we cannot neglect the very people that are doing the work for and with us.
Seek to build a culture in which people trust you as a leader and accept you as a person who is compassionate and understands their experience.