The amount of change experienced over the last year and a half has been insurmountable to put it lightly. The global pandemic has impacted families, businesses and society so greatly that it has forced individuals to adapt to a new way of life and work.
As we approach what was supposed to be considered a more regular level of normalcy with the ease of restrictions and the return to the office, the U.S. workforce and the rest of the world, is once again going through a transition period.
How can professionals return to the workplace after enduring such an abrupt period of change in a manner that is comfortable, appropriate and productive?
It begins with company culture.
While the transition back into the office space has been positioned as a positive change by most employers, organizational leaders are facing a new set of challenges—a struggling company culture amidst the ‘Great Resignation.’
Professionals are quitting at a record pace for new opportunities—majorly disrupting a labor market that has been volatile since the lockdown began. A significant reason for this influx of resignations is the general erosion and complete absence of organizational culture and social conventions due to the forced virtual world.
Can the essence of company culture be restored to what it once was, and businesses regain a handle of retention? It all starts with simply reverting back to the basics. See 3 Ways to Revive Company Culture throughout the U.S. Workforce Amidst the Great Resignation below.
- Celebrate mini-milestones and small successes.
It is vital to remember and recognize minor steps in a professional’s career to show appreciation in their abilities such as anniversaries, promotions, project completions or other revenue-generating tasks. Simply acknowledging these small wins—which can feel rare to employees after the nature of the pandemic—can go a really long way. In a virtual format, it is easy to forget to check in on employees and share interpersonal experiences with them. But these minor milestones are great opportunities to do just that, especially as we transition back into the office setting. Plan well in advance for the interactive activities and be timely with your recognition to ensure your employees do not think it is an after-thought.
- Reestablish your brand and purpose.
While many employees have been remote for nearly two years, and many continue to work remotely or in some form of hybrid, your brand identity may have somewhat faded from their eyes. They may not be used to seeing the organization’s logo and messaging that are synonymous with the brand and purpose. A great alternative is to provide functional gear, tools and swag that is company branded to your employees and even their families. By doing so, it can better connect your team members and their close networks with your business, allow them to recall organizational values and remind them they are part of a larger community.
- Keep it casual.
Seeking out informal conversations among team members and management around the office as well as hosting casual social events can help engage employees after a stressful 16 months. Bringing a casual aspect to the work environment, especially as we make our way into the office, can foster a positive social atmosphere and positive headspace for all. As more and more do come together in person, ditch the Zoom calls whenever possible so you can leverage peoples’ interactions. Then, chat over non-work topics first before diving into business-speak. Basic human interaction among colleagues after not seeing each other for some time can build back rapport, morale and company culture one day at a time.
It’s important to shift our perspective for the future and understand that we now have a unique opportunity to set a new model for our standards and traditions. Begin to craft these new processes now and you will continue to rebuild relationships and your business.
What are some other ways you can re-cultivate a great office culture? Let us know in the comments below.