Organizational Culture is put to the test

As the global pandemic deepens and the human cost of Covid19 rises, the novel coronavirus is sending shocks through the world economy. Across industries, organizations are now taking action to protect their employees, customers and also minimize the economic damage. I wonder if that’s the case for all organizations.

The covid19 crisis has created a moment of truth for every company. Leaders are asking themselves the important questions.

Are the choices we have made reflecting our culture and values that define us?

Many organizations are having to rapidly adjust their way of working. It’s forcing a digitalization that many companies had spoken about but had not acted upon and now having to implement at breakneck speed.

What is the difference between being culturally and technically ready?

There’s a difference between technically ready and being culturally ready for this new world. During this time of change the workforce needs to shift how it works and company cultures will come under strain. You may have individuals and teams working from home for the very first time.

Travel restrictions have gutted the ability to accomplish certain tasks.

While company’s initial focus will be to maintain customer relationship and ensure business continuity in this ‘new world’, it also becomes critical to consider the impact of your employees and your organizational culture. Team collaboration, morale support and the ability of executive teams to pivot, and quickly have seemingly never been more paramount.

Can organizations be empathetic, compassionate, accommodating, flexible and provide a sound technological infrastructure for employees suddenly removed from their physical offices? Can managers adjust to their now distributed teams and accommodate employees dealing with extenuating issues like home schooling and potential city or province quarantines/ lockdowns?

How to implement these changes

This is the moment of truth where employees will get to experience their organizational culture at first hand. The onus is on leadership of each organization to take measures to support employees into working in a way many wouldn’t choose. Organizations will need to function in time of high anxiety and will needs to adjust promptly. It is now time to practice what most organisations have been preaching. Leadership will have to start to manage virtual teams.

Here are some tips for managing virtual teams

  1. Set ground rules for working from home

  2. Clearly communicate work expectations

  3. Use cloud storages to ensure access to information and documents

  4. Daily check ins on team members

  5. Weekly team meetings using video calling tools

  6. Hold team members accountable

Is your company culture ready for this crisis?

#COVID19 #OrganisationalDevelopment #Pandemic

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