With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the workplace has tremendously changed with remote work, the remote employee, hybrid work, and the officeless organization, all of which have brought about an unprecedented increased adoption of digital technologies. These changes were not only in the physical and tangible aspects of work, but also in the unseen ones such as organizational culture, collaboration, teamwork, and socialization.
Organizational culture refers to an organization’s mission, objectives, expectations, and values that guide its employees. Organizational culture is a representation of a company’s reputation and public image. People will make assumptions about businesses based on their interactions within and outside of the company. On the other hand, businesses with a strong brand identity tend to attract more business and job candidates with similar values who support their mission.
With the Covid-19 vaccines being rolled out across the world and some semblance of normalcy on the horizon, some organizations are slowly going back to the office with others adopting hybrid work. How will the new workplace affect organizational culture? How can businesses reinvent their cultures for the post-pandemic workplace?
Speaking during this year’s Annual HR Summit, Dr. Vincent Ogutu, Vice-Chancellor Designate at Strathmore University referred to organizational culture as ‘the way we do things around here. “Culture is a spirit; it is intangible. Organizational culture is not something that can be enforced since it is not a compliance issue; it is more about conversion; converting your employees to your organizational beliefs,” he said.
Dr. Wale Akiyemi, the Chief Transformation at Power Talks Culture Experts, describes organizational culture as an organizational belief system, a mindset. “Translating organizational values from the wall to the heart of your employees is what makes the company culture work,” he said.
Here are several reasons why a strong organizational culture is important:
- Increased Employee Engagement and Productivity. A work environment with a strong organizational culture is driven by purpose and clear expectations. This motivates employees to be more engaged in their duties and interactions with others. When employees have the resources and tools they need to succeed, there is increased productivity and performance.
- Decreased Employee Turnover. When employees feel valued and respected at a company are less likely to leave it. Happy employees mean less turnover, which saves companies time and money in the hiring process.
- Effective Onboarding. Onboarding practices that include orientation, training, and performance management programs help new employees access the right resources and better transition into their roles. Onboarding is also a good way for companies to ensure new hires understand the core values of their business.
- Healthy Team Environment. Having a clear and strong culture that unifies employees and promotes organized work structures helps people work together with purpose.
The workplace is continuously evolving and thus the need for business leaders to keep reinventing the company culture. Going forward, creating a firm foundation by focusing on the organization’s values will be critical in maintaining company culture in the post-pandemic workplace. Moreover, many of the cultural initiatives that companies adopted before and during the pandemic may continue while others will evolve or even completely change.
Business leaders need to remember that organizational culture does not come down to physical proximity, it is more about developing an attitude of care and more so in today’s pandemic world. Business leaders need to constantly find new ways to support their employees even when they do not see each other physically daily.
Article by Juliet Hinga
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