One of the most profound impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to me has been not going into the office every day.
I’ve always been energized by going to work at Plus HQ in Minneapolis. The collaboration between so many talented people is such a positive and motivating force in my life. Past trips to our London, Hong Kong and Shanghai locations only added to this energy.
That, of course, is not reality right now. Like so many of you, I’m currently working at home in an effort to practice good social distancing and slow the spread of this virus. It’s certainly been an adjustment, as in-person connections have been replaced by virtual meetings, emails and chats.
In this environment, it’s even more important than usual to promote, nurture and grow your company culture. A vibrant work culture is a big factor in employee satisfaction, but in this era of being apart, it’s easy for a culture to lose steam. So how do you keep it chugging along?
At Plus, we’ve been deliberate about maintaining our culture. Many of our teams have incorporated weekly virtual happy hours. I’ve been scheduling 15-minute chats with individual employees and weekly check-ins with the whole company. Our Career Wellbeing Committee has emphasized digital versions of Plus “value sightings.” On-site personal trainer sessions have been replaced by video meet-ups.
These are just a few examples of how we’ve tried to maintain our vibrant culture. It’s definitely challenging when we can’t be around each other, but the effort is worth it if it makes Plusites feel more connected and engaged.
What are you doing within your company to maintain your unique culture? Don’t just leave this to chance — consult with your HR team and other business leaders to make sure you have a plan in place. It’s also a good time to think about what your corporate culture will look like post-pandemic. Most likely, it will look different than it did before the rise of COVID-19. What can you do now to shape a strong culture in the future?
So in the coming months, whether we find ourselves back in the office or still reporting for duty in our yoga pants, I hope that employers take this as an opportunity to learn from the disruption and create an even better working environment for their employees rather than settle back into some of our old ways.