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Managing company culture in times of change

November 27, 2020

Articles

The COVID-19 pandemic has had incredible effects on workplace culture and for many, the face of their organization’s working environment has dramatically changed. People have discovered that they don’t have to be in an office, and that most things can be done remotely. Our commute has now changed from 40 minutes in traffic to a two-minute walk to the kitchen table or home office.

One thing that hasn’t changed though, is that resiliency and adaptability emerge when we find ourselves in unpredictable situations. During this uncertain time, many businesses have taken a step back to re-think how to maintain and even strengthen corporate culture while navigating these unchartered waters –  while at the same time,  prepping for a new normal that may look different than the one we knew before.

Waterstone Human Capital recently hosted this year’s virtual Corporate Culture Summit and the theme was about “Building and sustaining high performance cultures in times of change.” Rogers Chief Human Resources Officer, Jim Reid, was a panel participant and he shared his perspective on the importance of culture (and leadership), especially in the face of a challenge. During the conversation, Waterstone discussed how “organizations are undergoing a workplace culture transformation that has been accelerated by COVID-19.” Here is some of what it had to say:

  • Now more than ever, culture will be at the centre of organizational competitive advantage and will require committed, contemporary leadership to create high-performance organizations.
  • Coming out of COVID-19, we’re all going to change our way of thinking, working and interacting. We’re moving into a new era that will otherwise be known as “culturepreneurship”
  • Culturepreneurship is where leaders put culture at the centre of business strategy and use this to drive innovation, enhance employee experience and solve social issues. All of which is tailormade for the individual corporate culture.

Reid shared how here at Rogers, we’ve remained consistent with our two main priorities during COVID-19: 1) to keep our teams healthy and safe, and 2) keep our customers connected at a time where they needed it more than ever. But our biggest priority in addition to health and mental wellness, is how are to keep our culture strong with 90%+ of our team working remotely.

Beyond several  initiatives to support our teams, heightened communications and ongoing community support, one thing that was a consistent thread in the panel discussion was the importance of leading  effectively remotely. Ultimately, Reid’s experience in the military taught him that it was all about the mission, and the “mission got done the best by those who cared the most about their teams.”

“During a crisis, it starts with trust. Trust needs to be built among leaders before you need it and is essential to making the right decisions for our people, our customers and our shareholders”, said Reid.

Workplace culture has undeniably changed during COVID-19, and when it is thrust on you, it can feel sudden and very overwhelming. But when we all come together and rise to the occasion, the very best of an organization comes to light and paves the way for a safe, collaborative and high-performing culture.

To learn more about how to build a strong culture and winning employee experience, listen to For the Love of Work, a new podcast made possible by Rogers on Apple, Google, or Spotify Podcasts, or visit fortheloveofwork.ca.