It goes without saying that every organisation has faced challenges this year, pivoting how business is conducted, the services provided, establishing new ways of working to keep employees connected, energised, and productive to name but a few. In the best cases, business leaders have found ways to create new opportunities and triumphed over adversity. On the flip side, COVID restrictions have hit many businesses hard – financially, emotionally or both.

While the news of new vaccines is encouraging, things are not going to change overnight. Right now, England is in the midst of a second national lockdown, and new restrictions are being announced worldwide as the pandemic escalates.

My conversations with business leaders over the last few weeks revealed a common theme…

Whilst businesses were operationally more prepared for the current wave of lockdowns and restrictions, the “Dunkirk spirit” that was so prevalent amongst employees and leaders at the start of the pandemic is today feeling a little jaded.

Leaders are also concerned about the well-being of their employees. The resurgence of the pandemic is demoralising to many, especially as it threatens to impede the normally festive holiday season. Continued uncertainty leaves many worried for their futures, and home life continues to be complicated for many with spouses, partners, and/or children all working or studying out of the home.

These two forces – the loss of purposeful enthusiasm, and the demoralising effect of stress and worry – together pose new threats to company culture.

The looming threat to culture 

A company’s culture can be thought of as the “ties that bind” people within an organisation together. When those ties fray, the likelihood of staff turnover increases. Without a doubt, we are seeing clouds gather on the horizon – aggregate engagement data scores show recent declines from the record-high numbers recorded over the summer.

These across-the-board declines in the aggregate data suggest the beginning of a negative trend. The good news is it is entirely possible for a company head to make an end-run around these threats to company culture. Here’s how.

Actions you can take now to circumvent the culture crisis 

Whatever your current position – whether your business is temporarily closed, operating with employees on furlough, working from remote locations, or operating as ‘normal’, now is the time to act.

  • Making the right decisions is easy when you have the right data. It’s never been more important to truly understand how your employees feel – after all, knowledge is power. More importantly, knowledge is power when applied. In addition to our Benchmark Assessment, which will tell you at a glance how your team stands, we also have a suite of on-demand surveys you can use to assess how remote teams are faring, evaluate firm leadership effectiveness, and spark innovation, to name a few. All are designed to provide the insight you need to make smart, informed decisions that will keep your employees productive and energised.
  • Proven success strategies. Take just a few minutes to download our e-book ‘Keeping Remote Teams Engaged & Productive’. It’s packed with useful actions, framework, hints, and tips that you can implement today that work and is particularly powerful when used in conjunction with your survey feedback. Share it with your leadership team and during your next meeting, discuss the top 3 actions you can take in your business that will improve connection, productivity, and energy amongst your team.
  • Diamonds beneath your feet. For current clients, if your team is on furlough and you can’t launch a current survey, log into your Engagement Multiplier dashboard. Irrespective of when you completed your last survey, reviewing the feedback you received with a fresh pair of eyes and against the backdrop of your current business situation will provide you with new ideas and insight that will help you re-energise and refocus your team.

As the great Jim Rohn said: “Indecision is the thief of opportunity”.

It’s my hope that this message offers you some ideas and inspiration for helping your employees – and your business – thrive despite our current circumstances and avoid these threats to company culture. The Engagement Multiplier team is here to help – I encourage clients to contact their dedicated Engagement Managers for assistance in fielding their next survey or in answering any other questions. And if you do not yet use Engagement Multiplier, please accept my offer of a free Benchmark Assessment for your team – simply click the “free trial” button in the top right-hand corner of this page.