Company Culture = Future Resilience
“Culture matters because it has a direct effect on people factors such as employee engagement and motivation; and productivity factors such as product and customer service quality. Basically, organizational culture has a direct impact on the long-term viability of the organization.” That’s according to Allan M. Stewart, President of Human Synergistics Canada.
But in the last five months, few small business owners have been focusing on business priorities outside of over-communicating with employees working remotely and ensuring they have the tools needed to get the job done. It seems the time to refocus and start building/rebuilding an inclusive, supportive company culture has arrived, and there is no time to waste.
“COVID-19 has created a clarifying moment for work and the workforce,” said Erica Volini, principal and global human capital leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP.
“While technology provides a tremendous platform for reinvention, organisations need to realise that reinventing work is about building a culture where humans can thrive by creating meaning in work, as well as developing a new level of resilience and adaptability to handle disruptive events.”
And adapt we must. Although we’d seen trends in flexible and co-working locations, many small businesses were still in the exploratory phase of evaluating the benefits of alternate work spaces when they were thrust into change in March. With the expected second-wave of this pandemic—and the anticipated increase in future pandemics in general—building a workforce that can sustain itself and thrive in changeable circumstances will be instrumental to business survival.
“This extraordinary time is when organisations should identify and invest in workers’ capabilities, develop new team structures, and evaluate how to best leverage the alternative workforce,” said Volini.
In thinking about how business has changed so rapidly, now may be an opportune time to invest in defining your company’s culture and harnessing these new behaviours, attitudes, values, and beliefs that have grown out of adversity before they become lost to the resumption of old habits.
The role of leaders
“Leaders need to realize the powerful impact they can and should have on culture. How they communicate, set goals and delegate authority will help shape the organization’s culture. Good leaders create a Constructive Culture by sharing information, collaboratively setting mutually acceptable, challenging goals and sharing influence and responsibility in a participative way,” said Stewart.
Whether you realize it or not, as the owner and leader of your business you have the capability to develop the workforce you need. As difficult as it’s been making decisions about whom to keep and whom you might have to let go during these trying times, you likely have the best of your best working with you now. How to retain, foster, and grow those employees is the next challenge.
Dinesh Acharya, Director of Workplace Strategy for JLL Australasia, said that to “achieve a compelling human experience, the imperative is to prioritise people first through engagement, empowerment and fulfilment at work.”
As much as we want to put our noses to the grindstone and believe that our employees are just as happy as we are to have an income, the future resiliency of the company appears to rest on more than just profits. If we want to ensure the long-term viability of our small businesses, our ability to evolve and enable our workforce is the first step.
Stewart believes that “if leaders motivate members to strive for excellence, encourage them to work together to solve problems, solicit their ideas to make improvements, and challenge them to take ownership and creatively solve problems; people will want to embrace change and willingly accept new challenges.”
It’s been a tough few months, and we want you to know that Bensol Consulting is here to help. Whether you are looking to start a benefits plan, scale your policy back up, or just want to discuss your options, give us a call. We have benefits solutions for your small business. Stay safe and well!