How to Maintain Company Culture During Coronavirus

No matter what level you’re at within a company, you might be wondering: “How can we improve company culture and encourage employees to work together in a more positive way?” Interestingly enough, promoting interpersonal interaction, physical exercise, distractions from work and training opportunities can all positively impact working relationships, help build trust, and ultimately produce a better end-product for both clients and customers. Let’s dig into each of these ideas and demonstrate how you can build a more positive and encouraging company culture. Especially in these days of coronavirus.

Create opportunities for employee interpersonal interaction.

When co-workers create connections on a personal level, it will increase respect, trust, and comradery, which will enable them to work better together. Let’s be honest: When you like who work with, it makes it easier to climb out of bed every morning, get in the car, and go to work each day, right? Activities open to employees like book clubs, Fitbit/step challenges, happy hours, community service or staff luncheons can really help spark relationships and make it easier to work together. You’d be surprised at how much you might have in common with the unlikeliest of people.

Move around and breathe some fresh air.

Again, let’s be honest: Sitting stagnant at a desk all day isn’t healthy for anyone, and employees won’t be happy in an environment where they feel chained to their desks, no matter how much work there is to do. When you get up and get your blood moving, it will spark new ideas (which is especially important in marketing), incite a fresh perspective, decrease stress, improve mood, and promote overall good health. Options such as yoga, having a lunchtime walking buddy, 20-minute meditation, or even a quick walk outside to get coffee can help to reset the mind and body to be productive – especially on demanding or stressful days.

Reward a job well done.

Everyone likes to be recognized, and seeing your co-workers being rewarded will motivate everyone to go above and beyond. With this in mind, consider creating a quarterly or annual employee award so there’s a goal to strive towards. There’s always room for some healthy competition.

Bring your dog to work.

A furry friend can put a smile on anyone’s face, even on the most challenging days. Dogs can help employees feel calm in the midst of stress and they also encourage exercise and movement. Pets remind employees of work-life balance; they trigger comradery and prompt interactions that might never have happened otherwise. Pets add comic relief and keep things in perspective. Temporary distractions are good for morale and workplace productivity. (Just make sure your dog doesn’t create too much distraction where it becomes annoying to co-workers or destructive to the work environment.)

Provide opportunities for training and advancement.

When employers invest in their employees at any level, it makes them feel valued. This will encourage them to stay and feel motivated to succeed. You never want employees to feel like the only way up is out. When there’s a clear path for advancement within the company – including steps to reach the next level – employees will be motivated to work harder to get there. So, training is not only a great way to retain current employees, but it’s also an excellent way to attract new ones. Millennials in particular value learning and growth opportunities on the job, so this is great point to include in job postings. Finally – training, knowledge exchange, and peer collaboration fosters team bonding and a sense of camaraderie, which improves retention, engagement, and company culture.

Invite ideas and feedback from all levels.

Allow employees to feel heard and be a part of the company’s future by welcoming feedback from all levels. This could be as simple as a suggestion box or an anonymous online survey where employees can submit questions or comments that get addressed during a quarterly staff meeting. It is important that if feedback is solicited, it is also acted on and changes are made as a result (as long as it not an unreasonable or unrealistic request). That’s the only way this exercise will prove valuable on both sides. Be sure that this exercise stays future-focused and positive. There’s no sense in dwelling in the past or getting weighed down by negativity.

Allow remote work.

Contrary to what you might think, because their work environment is less distracting/noisy, they take less breaks and sick time, and even log more hours. Working remotely is a great way to provide work-life balance to employees as well. And in the age of coronavirus, this practice has become increasingly necessary. Keep in mind though, some types of employees might excel in an office environment, while others do so at home; it largely depends on the person. Giving employees the freedom to choose if they want to work remotely or in the office will ultimately yield a happier workforce, lower turnover, better physical and mental health, and savings for the employer. What could be better than that?

In summary, these are just a few things that can improve workplace productivity in any industry. In addition, more natural light in the office, workflow organization, and automation tools (like Workfront), employee messaging software (like Slack), and strong leadership can also increase productivity. Good luck!