Can we improve company culture in hard times?
While consumer behavior shifts during a recession we must take active measures to understand and address their needs. Just as critical, yet persistently overlooked, is the shift in culture and the needs of your people and their families. Put most simply, it’s about treating your employees like customers. It is imperative that leaders understand the effects this situation has on their employees beyond what it means to the balance sheet. How can an organization address and, possibly, improve its culture during an economic downturn?
The organizations that treat their employees, even the ones they had to cut, with respect and empathy will gain the long-term advantage..
A few elements critical points to remember when thinking about your company’s culture during these times:
- Disarm Uncertainty: Be proactive, transparent, and act with urgency providing information to employees on the status of the organization.
- Connectivity Roadmap: Establish a roadmap and nominate team leaders to establish frequent virtual in-persons to reestablish communication during remote work situations.
- Take A Pulse: Actively survey and monitor employee progress and moral.
- Collaborative Benchmarking: Structure performance metrics and incentive programs that reinforce a collaborative culture and mutual benefit of teams.
- Transitional Assistance: Find ways to assist the transition for those affected by cost-cutting through job placement and other assistance. These are the friends and colleagues
The most crippling part for cultures during economic downturns is the anxiety developed around uncertainty. We become myopic, putting our heads down to manage the crisis and make presumptions about the welfare of our people. With sober eyes, we can see that hard choices will be made. People will lose their jobs and businesses will stumble. We can also see that a recovery will happen and business will go back to usual. The organizations that treat their employees, even the ones they had to cut, with respect and empathy will gain the long-term advantage.