As the UK attempts to return to normality, the competition for new recruits has intensified, with the so called ‘Great Resignation’ still to come, and many industries are finding it hard to attract and retain skilled employees.
To confidently move forward in the post covid world, it will be essential for organisations to attract, develop and retain existing talent. This can be achieved through workplace culture. Workplace culture, employee collaboration and communication are critical when developing teams. It is also important for leaders to tailor their approach to the individual needs of their employees.
Cultivate a great workplace culture
To achieve high employee performance during the pandemic, many organisations were successfully able to draw on an already strong workplace culture in order to support and motivate their teams. This, in turn, helped to encourage employees to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Organisations that do not have strong workplace culture should dedicate significant time to building a positive culture, and supporting the well-being of their employees. This does not have to put a strain on the budget. If employers take the time to genuinely invest in the well-being of their workforce, a positive culture will inevitably develop from this. Particularly in the months since March 2020, organisations with a strong and supportive workplace culture have found them to be invaluable.
Workplace relationships are a vital element in workplace culture. When employees barely know their colleagues and rarely interact, it is not possible for a strong culture to develop. Thus, employers should encourage the nurturing of workplace relationships by providing opportunities for social interactions, like events, trips out of the office and team building activities.
Build a shared sense of purpose to foster collaboration
Businesses that share the same sense of purpose as their employees perform especially well in a time of crisis, as it allows for rapid adaptation. This is because there is a shared understanding of the business’ core values and mission.
To build a shared sense of purpose, organisations must encourage employee participation and welcome debate. Managers should also seek to understand employee career goals to ensure they develop with the changing needs of a business.
Goals should be kept current and frequently reviewed to ensure they continue to align with both business and employee goals and values. Certainly, businesses should consider whether their goals and values remain aligned with those of their employees as we return to the office. For example, post-Covid, there is a more significant focus on flexibility of working practices than ever before. This may mean the goals around remote working need to be updated.
Define your communication strategy
Communication is key and should not be underestimated.
Employers should define their communication strategy and make it visible. Providing employees with accurate, authoritative information, and most importantly, being transparent creates a culture of trust in the workplace.
Remote working as a result of the pandemic put an understandable strain on working relationships for the majority of businesses. Ensuring good lines of communication (and new methods of communication in many cases), were preserved, which in turn resulted in the preservation of these relationships.
It has also been shown that managers who invest time into delivering clear lines of communication build better trust with employees which helps to increase morale and productivity.
Tailor your approach
Prior to March 2020, talent management was all too often viewed as a standard checklist. The considerable and varied additional support employers have had to offer employees in order to sustain wellbeing, has highlighted the need to nurture talent on a case by case basis.
As we return to office life, organisations should continue to adapt their mindset, and realise blanket approaches to developing talent and workplace cultures have limited effectiveness. Businesses need to tailor make plans to suit each individual if they are to truly get the most out of their employees.
Lead by example
The way any leader acts during difficult times is crucial and can have a lasting effect on workplace culture and team morale.
During the pandemic, employees looked to leaders for assurance, to inspire confidence and to provide solutions. To sustain a high performing team, it is crucial for leaders to be proactive, show consistency in their messaging and continually adapt their response to the situation. In a period of uncertainty, the workforce relies on their leadership to provide both direction and drive. When building a high performing team, leaders must also look to the future. All crises eventually come to an end and are followed by recovery and reignition – and a good leader will ensure they have a plan for this.
The importance of workplace culture cannot be understated; it is the key to ensuring your team does not just survive crises but thrives.
advo have grown at a considerable rate since March 2020, managing not only to survive, but thrive, in very challenging circumstances. Talk to advo today about how to build or maintain your company culture, through supporting your employees.