Perfect Time to Reshape Your Culture

Onur Ilkoz
December 8, 2023
5 min read
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Companies are focusing on new workplace strategy and declaring their hybrid work models these days. Most of them aligned their office procedures accordingly, which was the easy part.

However, they needed to adapt their culture as well and that should have been done yesterday. Let’s elaborate little further about what do we mean by culture? Why should we care about it? Why right now? And how can we adapt it?Briefly, culture is a set of behaviours plus underlying mindsets that shape how people work and interact In a daily life of a company. The data, generated by Great Place to Work Institute, about culture is quiet convincing: companies with strong cultures have three times greater return to shareholders plus fifty percent less employee turnover rate. In addition, according to the McKİnsey research, 70% of transformation projects fail due to people and culture related challenges.

How does a strong culture help companies adapt to change? Due to the pandemic, employees and companies faced new challenges and experienced new priorities like safety, mental health, income stability etc. There was not a rule book to help organizations reshape behaviors. Previously, a lot of culture were focusing on “getting things done”. Companies who have people centred cultures were ahead of the others. Because since the pandemic, companies realized the importance of workers first approach. The main reason behind, putting people first builds a high-trust environment. It increases engagement and performance of employees. Companies who make decisions by putting their people first can overcome challenges of crisis times comparatively easy. What can be done to adapt new realities?There has been too much change.

You cannot assume you will return to the same culture that existed pre-pandemic. Hybrid models, working from home, return to workplace are all unbelievable opportunities to reshape culture. These radical changes bring a clean sheet to leaders for reshaping how they run their organizations.

There are “2 key pillars” to adapt your culture to the post-pandemic era:

1. ListenCompanies need to listen experiences, needs, and concerns of their employees frequently & continuously. Prioritizing social connection, feedback, surveys, one-on-ones, team meetings is important. This will help understand what matters most for the employees. It will create opportunity for decision makers to figure out what can be done better to engage more and help them find more purpose at work. 

2. RespondCovid-19 created a bunch of new layers causing shift in employee expectations. Employees prioritize safety, economic stress, born-out, anxiety, and family responsibilities. Therefore, companies need an extra effort to shift culture when necessary and adapt to changing work life. The best way to act in-line with the need is to understand people by listening, collecting relevant data, and communicating frequently.

Considering pandemic as an opportunity to create a new culture is important. Using people data and putting culture first when making business decisions are 2 critical element that will help companies to cope negative effects in the short run. These will turn to a significant competitive advantage when things get back to normal.

Onur Ilkoz
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