COVID Culture Shift? 3 Ways Culture May Have Shifted & How to Get Things Back on Track!

Like many business owners you may have experienced a culture shift during COVID. With so many changes and unpredictability, chances are you had to make some tough calls. Whether that was letting go of team members, negotiating fewer hours or completely restructuring your organization, it’s been an unsettling time for leaders.

As I’ve worked with managers over the past few months, one thing is certain, culture has bubbled to the surface to either make their team stronger or it has brought to light some challenges.

3 ways culture may have shifted & how to get things back on track!

1. Outside influences

For the most part, when your team is on-site, you can contribute in a positive way and provide an atmosphere of optimism. The challenge that may have occurred as a result of COVID is exposure to negative family members. While team members were once engaged with other like-minded people, working from home and being exposed to family members who insist on watching the news or speak fear into your employees will definitely impact their work.

2. Collaboration

As a leader, you may have sensed that your culture of collaboration has been impacted by team members working remotely. This can influence engagement when we’re used to working together in the same room to “hash out” an issue and instead are forced to work in silos independently.

3. Uncertainty

While many leaders have been in constant communication with their team, many have not. They have buried their heads in the sand and this has left team members feeling unsettled and anxious. This nervousness absolutely transcends to their communication with clients so it’s imperative that, as leaders, we share the good, the bad and the ugly with our team. 

We recently did our “Post COVID Reintegration Workshop” and one of our team members shared that when we explained our 30/60/90 day plan based on worst case, status quo and best case scenarios that it provided a sense of certainty. I found it interesting that the worst case showed when layoffs would need to happen and that it may be on the horizon. They took comfort knowing the plan, where they fit in and what to expect. As leaders, we’re often tempted to hold back on sharing the bad news. Trust me, your team wants and needs to know.

Get things back on track

Some of the points above may resonate with where your organization is at. If you’re feeling a bit discombobulated, rest-assured that you can take small steps to regain your culture composure!

1. Post-COVID Workshop

We’ve taken the time to design a fabulous resource for you to get your team talking and re-aligned. Email nikki@sigmapromotions.com for the complete outline and workbook that you can distribute to your team. It’s so important that your team speaks openly about their concerns, reintegration fears, as well as reflect on the blessings that have come from the past few months. As a leader, you have the opportunity to set the tone, hear people out, make sure they feel seen and set the direction for the coming months.  

2. Culture & Core Values Review

Why not get your team working together virtually (or in the office if you’re reintegrated) and bring up culture and core values. Review what your values were going in to COVID. How have they shifted? Are people feeling that they’ve progressed in a positive way or have negative behaviours started to permeate through the organization? Transparency and openness are key. We’ll be launching a new course soon in which we’ll talk you through this exercise as well as create ways to make your core values actionable moving forward. Stay tuned for more information on “Engaged Teams for Accelerated Growth” coming soon! Email here if you would like to be on the invitation list: nikki@sigmapromotions.com

3. Reward Core Values in Action

Rewarding displays of behaviour that show core values and culture in action is key if you’ve had a recent shift. This can be done and encouraged at a peer to peer level as well as by the leadership team. This can be as simple as stopping a meeting to publicly acknowledge a behaviour, to including kudos in your weekly meeting or monthly leadership letter.  The key is to reinforce what you want to see moving forward rather than dwelling on the negative changes that COVID may have imposed.

You would never leave your hiring, financials and strategic plan to chance so don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity to reflect and refine who you want to be as a culture moving forward!

Authors of this post:
Nikki Pett
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