How COVID-19 Is Challenging Company Culture

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How COVID-19 Is Challenging Company Culture

It is undeniable that we are all feeling the effects of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic on both a personal level and business level, but how much the crisis has truly impacted our teams, and our company culture has been guesswork until now. 

However, a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management has uncovered the true challenges businesses are facing when it comes to their people. 

The survey by SHRM polled more than 2,200 human resource professionals to gain an understanding of the top challenges that are facing employers when it comes to people and their workplace culture during the coronavirus pandemic. 

We’ve highlighted the top challenges that the survey has found, and delved into how you can be adapting to these issues in your own company culture. 

71% of employers are struggling to adjust to remote work

While remote working is nothing new, many businesses were not set-up operationally or prepared to switch their company to remote work practice. 

Despite remote working being a norm for numerous global organisations, many businesses have not had the experience or the knowledge to make the change seamless. This has resulted in a dramatic drop in productivity and concerns surrounding employee wellbeing. 

At Liberty Mind, we conducted a free webinar in April to provide guidance on how businesses can support remote workers during a crisis. The webinar can be watched here.

65% of employers say maintaining employee morale has been a challenge

The sheer scale of the crisis itself has been enough to rock anyone’s mental strength. Add on top of that the massive changes we’ve had to face in our lifestyles and working lives, and it’s little surprise that a huge concern for employers is keeping team morale high. 

As workplace mental health is still a key issue for many employers, this has been heightened in the crisis, with people living on their own, facing the loss of loved ones, being displaced from family members, and the overwhelming stress of managing a work-load alongside childcare duties.

During a crisis, people worry; worry for their lives, their work, and their loved ones. With all this stress and anxiety prominent, it’s difficult to be productive when your energy is low, or you’re feeling anxious. 

Keeping people in a positive mindset is a challenge for employers when the situation is so unusual. As we discussed in a recent blog post, there are many ways you can help your people and culture during these times. 

More than 1/3 of employers are facing difficulties with company culture

The coronavirus pandemic is unlike any crisis we’ve experienced in our lifetime, which means there’s no rule book or guides on how to manage these huge challenges we are all facing. 

Company culture will struggle if you don’t already have a strong foundation in place. 

With your team working remotely, and not within the ‘hub’ of the company, it’s easy for people to begin to feel disengaged with the company, and lacking in motivation. 

However, it is in these situations that company culture can be the guiding force that keeps everyone together and driving towards the same goals. 

Without a doubt, this data found by SHRM reveals that businesses were just not prepared for the crisis, and were completely unaware of what they should have been putting in place to ensure the business was agile enough to adapt to a crisis. 

As lockdown has been extended in the UK, it will now be interesting to see how businesses continue to respond to the uncertainty. 

 

If you need helping or advice during this time to maintain your company culture, contact us about our 1:1 culture consultancy

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About The Author

Lizzie Benton is a people and culture specialist who supports organisations in developing a unique company culture and building engaged teams. Lizzie has been recognised as a millennial changing the world of work, and has been featured in the Metro, HuffingtonPost and has spoken across the UK on employee engagement. When not consulting or running a workshop, Lizzie can be found in rural Lincolnshire enjoying afternoon tea and fresh air.