6 Ways to Boost Company Culture in Uncertain Times
Economic turbulence has brought uncertainty to the workplace, forcing organizations to adapt to new ways of working and communicating. And just as we witnessed during the pandemic, the most successful companies are doubling down on strengthening connections and giving employees a voice.
Prioritizing a people-first workplace culture during uncertain times provides the foundation for stability and security. Employees feel connected when there is a shared sense of purpose and direction, which directly impacts employee engagement, employee retention, and employee well-being.
It is especially crucial for companies with dispersed or remote workforces. Companies need to be prepared to pivot quickly or adjust their strategies in response to changing circumstances.
Here are six best practices for maintaining culture during times of uncertainty.
1. Lean on company direction: A strong vision breaks down silos and clarifies decision making for what teams should prioritize and how they should achieve it. When employees support the company’s direction, they invest more in their work because it will make a difference. A solid commitment to company direction begins with communication to ensure everyone is pulling toward the same goals.
2. Reinforce company values: Company values are a powerful declaration of your intentions for your organization’s culture. And in an always-changing environment, they are the glue that holds a workplace together and keeps the organization moving forward.
3. Prioritize employee well-being: A recent Top Workplaces research study of more than 240,000 employees revealed that more than 1 in 3 employees feels overwhelmed at work. Now more than ever, it is essential to improve employee well-being to maintain company culture during times of uncertainty.
4. Recognize and appreciate employees: Employee recognition and appreciation consistently rank as one of the strongest drivers of engagement. It’s also one of the simplest and least expensive ways to impact morale. Showing appreciation, especially during tough times, boosts motivation and productivity.
5. Keep employees in the loop: When employees feel included in important decisions, they feel like true partners — and more connected as a result. During times of uncertainty, they’re more likely to align with your organization when change occurs, even if they disagree with the methods. Communicating about significant decisions throughout the organization lays the groundwork for effective communication and maintaining company culture when turbulence hits.
6. Give employees a voice … and listen: Top Workplaces research shows that leadership impacts organizational culture. Employees need to know that senior leaders understand what the day-to-day looks like, especially when uncertainty looms. Leaders can do a lot to maintain company culture by asking employees what matters most and then acting on what they hear.
Laura Brinton is content marking manager at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s survey partner for Top Workplaces.