As COVID-19 will continue to upend company culture, organisations should be prepared with a change in their strategy in order to improve their workplace culture. The challenge is more complex nowadays, given that the world of work is moving to become more virtual and less in person. The rise of self-service performance management, healthcare enrollment and payroll processing systems could also become a barrier for HR practitioners to engage with colleagues. In short, HR is at risk of becoming more of a secret society and faceless name behind the corporate curtain. Not to mention, HR has continuously been asked to do more work with less staff, effectively removing the social impact of the HR function.
Nonetheless, the HR department still holds the responsibility for creating a great company culture, connecting diverse remote employees with budget and ability to influence performance. Whilst it might seem a difficult task to create a work culture that is of every employee’s choice, there are ways to integrate with colleagues to improve HR’s reputation within the company.
Here are immediate and long-term ways to build an HR team to support a company’s culture going through these unprecedented times.
It is easy to lose track of one’s responsibility while embracing the comfort of working from home. It is important to enjoy the situation, but it is also essential to instil regular weekly or bi-weekly meetings. If your workforce doesn’t have this regular routine, now might be a great time to experiment with creating one. Agile practices dictate that we meet regularly, agree on what work is needed and then go on separate ways to execute the work. Albeit your team might know what they are supposed to be doing, the meeting could help keep up the pace and lead to collaborative effort in reaching the primary team goals.
Weekly Culture Pulse Surveys revealed that new ways of working have taken hold, where employer’s focus has shifted from profit-only to defining the desired culture or attentive listening and valuing employees’ experience. Embracing positive changes and letting go of old philosophies and processes are of today’s essential ingredients to succeed.
One trend in the new normal for HR is to hire a designated person responsible for employee experience and culture, as well as to create an inclusive workplace culture where colleagues have opportunities to strengthen relationships. The new hire is also responsible for sustaining the company’s productivity, such as developing and maintaining employee programs, lunch service, company events and other employee-led programs.