The COVID-19 pandemic has facilitated change in the way we work, and many employees and employers are now working from home full-time or in a hybrid capacity. While remote work has its advantages, it can also lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection from company culture. As a leader, it’s important to find ways to make the new workplace conditions feel more normal and encourage employees to engage with company culture.
Here are some tips for creating a workplace in the new normal
Communication is key:
Maintaining clear and open communication with employees is essential for building trust and fostering a sense of community. Leaders should make an effort to connect with employees regularly through virtual meetings, video conferences, and other remote communication methods. This will help to keep everyone on the same page and maintain a sense of connection.
Celebrating successes, both big and small, can help employees feel valued and appreciated. Leaders can organize virtual celebrations, such as virtual happy hours or online games, to bring people together and foster a sense of camaraderie.
Promote work-life balance:
With many employees working from home, it can be difficult to separate work and personal life. Leaders can help by promoting a healthy work-life balance and encouraging employees to take breaks and unplug when needed. This will help to reduce burnout and maintain a positive work environment.
Foster a sense of community:
Remote work can feel isolating, so it’s important to find ways to foster a sense of community. Leaders can encourage employees to participate in virtual team-building activities, such as online games or trivia contests, to bring people together and build relationships.
Encourage engagement with company culture:
Leaders can encourage employees to engage with company culture by sharing company values, mission, and vision. This can help employees feel connected to the company and its goals, even when they’re working remotely.
Establish Remote-First Communication Policies, Standards, and Tools:
It is best practice to establish communication standards that are remote-first. This includes policies, standards, and tools that are designed for remote workers and convenient for onsite workers, not the other way around. But what does this mean?
What is the Difference Between Remote-Friendly and Remote-First
Embrace Teamwork as a Science Over Traditional Work Norms
The Harvard Business Review shares information that McKinsey has done extensive work with industry experts to understand best practices that are based on evidence and data. This allows a movement from culture fit to a model focused on inclusive meritocracy. McKinsey has even adopted a “grow skills or go” model of advancement that encourages, promotes, and expects that teammates pursue growth and excellence. Instead of the expectation of a clear “up” progression for a career within the company, adopting and adapting to new skills is encouraged, as this is better impacting teams from top to bottom. The bottom line? Let the data and science lead the conversation.
“The project found the most important attributes of successful teams to be psychological safety, dependability, structure and clarity, and meaning.”
What Is Inclusive Meritocracy?
Inclusive meritocracy is a concept that combines the principles of meritocracy and inclusivity. Meritocracy is a system where individuals are selected and promoted based on their abilities and talents, without regard to their social status, race, ethnicity, or other personal characteristics. Inclusive meritocracy, on the other hand, seeks to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and talents, regardless of their background or other personal circumstances.
Looking for More Resources To Build an Inclusive and Equitable Company Culture?
In an inclusive meritocracy, diverse backgrounds and experiences are valued and taken into consideration, as they can bring unique perspectives and ideas to the table. At the same time, decisions about who gets selected and promoted are still based primarily on merit, with a focus on finding and developing the most talented individuals.
The goal of inclusive meritocracy is to create a fair and equal system, where everyone has a chance to succeed based on their abilities and achievements, while also recognizing and valuing diversity. It seeks to balance the principles of meritocracy with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and aims to eliminate barriers that might prevent certain groups of people from participating fully and fairly in society.
Why Does This Matter?
In conclusion, the new workplace conditions brought on and accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic can be challenging, but with effective leadership, it’s possible to make the transition smoother and be very rewarding for everyone involved. By promoting open communication, celebrating successes, promoting work-life balance, fostering a sense of community, and encouraging engagement with company culture, leaders can help create a positive work environment and maintain employee morale, even during challenging times.
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