Whether you have a small business or a Fortune 500 company, you need to be able to sustain your company culture during a pandemic. In this article, you’ll learn how to develop a culture that is adaptive in real time. You’ll also learn how to provide formal and informal opportunities for employees to collaborate. And, you’ll learn how to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment.
Creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment
Creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment during the pandemic is not something that can be accomplished overnight. It requires an intentional, disciplined process. It begins with a company’s leaders. These individuals must continuously revisit their organization’s state of diversity, evaluate the effectiveness of policies, and adjust policies accordingly. In addition, they must train employees to recognize and avoid discrimination.
Inclusion is a workplace practice that involves respecting the needs and values of every employee. It is also a practice that fosters innovation and job satisfaction. This is because the experience of working with a variety of perspectives encourages new ideas and connections that can help solve problems. In an inclusive workplace, everyone feels heard and has the opportunity to feel valued.
During the global financial crisis, companies that implemented diversity initiatives performed better financially. In fact, over the last decade, the stock of inclusive companies increased by 14%. However, while businesses are doing their part to create a fair workplace, they are still faced with significant racial disparities. The Black Lives Matter movement has put diversity on the agenda of CEOs. And in the summer of 2020, the world faced a pandemic that would bring devastating effects on diverse groups.
During the pandemic, women were forced to bear greater responsibilities at home. This includes caring for family members. The burden of caregiving has also contributed to a drop in women’s career growth. As a result, the impact of the pandemic on gender diversity at work has been especially pronounced.
Traditionally, people with disabilities have had lower rates of employment. In the wake of the pandemic, the incidence of infection and mortality has been elevated for people of color. As a result, organizations have been reshaping their priorities. During this time, some companies scaled back their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Other organizations were more diligent in implementing DEI programs.
Regardless of the reason for the decrease in DE&I investment, the business case for an equitable, inclusive, and diverse work environment remains. A growing body of research shows that companies with diverse workforces perform better. A well-designed DE&I initiative can increase employee satisfaction, enhance decision making, and attract top talent. It can also improve customer satisfaction.
The financial services industry is particularly lagging in the representation of people of color. During the global financial crisis, only 23 percent of C-Suite executives were women. Over the last two years, however, the number of female CEOs has risen by a quarter. This is a sign that more organizations are putting diversity on the agenda.
Although diversity was a key business priority before the pandemic, many companies have scaled back their efforts. The financial services industry has been one of the industries that have been least affected by the economic downturn. In fact, stocks of inclusive companies increased by 14% from 2007 to 2009.
Creating formal and informal opportunities for employees to collaborate
Creating formal and informal opportunities for employees to collaborate during the pandemic might sound like a no-brainer, but it has proven to be a difficult feat, albeit one that most organizations have struggled to accomplish. A recent survey from Salesforce revealed that 86% of employees blamed their lack of collaboration on ineffective communication. As a result, the need for innovation has become even more pressing.
It is not surprising that companies are looking for ways to streamline the information flow. Fortunately, there are numerous collaboration tools available to help improve innovation. However, the real challenge is finding the right combination of tools to create a seamless information flow. This is especially true of remote workers. Despite their ubiquity, many studies have failed to isolate the effects of remote work on worker performance.
The most efficient way to go about this task is to employ an organizational network analysis tool. These tools are designed to identify Influencers and their connections, or nodes, within the enterprise. This can be achieved by asking employees to fill out a survey which measures their level of awareness about the various tools they have access to. The resulting data will help you decide which are the most appropriate to use. Aside from identifying Influencers, you can also assess how well these nodes perform at coordinating the flow of information.
The most important metric to consider is how well these nodes perform at communicating with one another. Research indicates that, on average, remote workers spend less time in meetings and are more likely to communicate via email. These results suggest that firms may be better off fostering more direct, real-time communication between nodes in the network. This is a small step towards improving the quality of collaboration, while also reducing overall employee turnover.
In the age of remote working, the ability to make effective collaboration a top priority is imperative. The right combination of formal and informal networks can help your organization survive the coronavirus and thrive in the process. The key to implementing these collaboration initiatives is to make sure the technology is in the hands of the people who need it, and that they are equipped with the knowledge and tools to get the job done. The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted daily workflows in a negative way. However, the pandemic has also introduced the benefits of flexibility, such as the opportunity to work from home. Clearly, this has its pros and cons, but it is important to ensure that your workers are able to collaborate in an effective manner when the going gets tough.
Developing a culture that is adaptive in real time
Developing a culture that is adaptive in real time during the pandemic is a challenge many organizations face today. This is especially true for those working virtually. While virtual collaboration tools may enable real-time transparency and project-tracking capabilities, they do not substitute for human interaction. Therefore, developing a culture that is adaptive in real time requires leadership that is agile and nimble.
One of the most important steps in developing a culture that is adaptive in realtime during the pandemic is to understand its weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Fortunately, there are a few tools available to help identify the strengths and weaknesses of your current culture, which will ultimately help you build an agile, adaptable organization.
The first thing to do is recognize that a company’s culture is more than just a slogan. It is the fabric of your work life. This means that, while the formal side of your company’s culture may be what you want it to be, you need to make sure that the informal side is also just as robust. The most important aspect of a good culture is fostering collaboration and communication. If you are not actively engaged with your team, it is likely that your colleagues will not be.
Another important aspect of an adaptive culture is to anticipate potential problems and take action to solve them. This could include developing a digital training program for managers and employees. The goal of this kind of training is to teach the art of adaptability. The program involves a dozen 20-minute modules that are delivered over three months. During the first few weeks, managers are given weekly emails to reinforce key adaptability behaviors.
The other requisite for an adaptive culture is to put the right people in place. This may mean recruiting new talent, or reskilling existing ones. You may also need to do some internal assessments to determine which teams are most effective and which should be shifted to other locations. While this sounds like an inconvenience, it’s actually an investment in building a better workforce that will be able to handle the challenges of the future.
The best way to ensure that you have the appropriate people in place is to have them do the right things. These may include sharing stories about your successes and failures, and using a variety of methods to help your colleagues understand the value of your culture. A leader’s job is to be a constant motivator, and to ensure that everyone is aware of the importance of having an adaptive culture.
In order to be successful, your company must be able to adapt in real time. If you are able to do this, you will be able to withstand any pandemic that might come your way.