Corporate culture has changed forever – but there is still hope

Things are irreversibly different today from what they were two years ago.

Agency owners and employers alike need to understand what they can learn from COVID and implement a corporate culture tailored to the needs of a post-pandemic workforce – there are many reasons for this. to be positive.

That’s according to Zeal founder Jane Slimming (pictured, left), who recently co-founded Culco, which provides business owners with the tools and advice to implement a successful corporate culture.

Corporate culture defines a business and the pandemic has had a profound effect on this, as well as the average workday.

We were no longer able to brainstorm creative ideas as a team, meet clients in person, or go out to lunch with colleagues on a Friday. What previously identified a business has been permanently changed and business owners have had to re-evaluate company and team values.

Personal experience and research have shown that a large number of agency owners have struggled to maintain company culture and team morale during the pandemic, with a lot of combating burnout, lack of concentration, lack of motivation and difficulty making decisions. These are of course all key elements in running a successful business, engaging a team, and attracting new customers.

Virtual work, a recruitment crisis in companies across the UK and the need to isolate and distance oneself socially have all had a significant impact on the culture of the agency. Not only have we seen staff less likely to engage with their extended team, but leaders are struggling to implement ongoing initiatives to support staff mentally, physically, and through career progression.

It looks like the outlook is bleak. But as we begin to emerge from the pandemic and slowly return to normal, there is plenty of reason to be sure the agency’s culture will rebound stronger than ever.

The cost of a bad culture

Bad culture is not a new problem with COVID. According to research from Oxford Economics and Unum, the average cost of turnover per employee earning £ 25,000 per year or more is £ 30,614.

At the same time, according to BreatheHR, a bad workplace culture costs the UK economy £ 23.6 billion a year. 34% of employees in SMEs are also likely to quit their jobs because of what they see as a bad culture.

Many business leaders, including agency owners, struggle to know where to start when it comes to investing in their culture. Yet those who reap the rewards.

A positive culture can lead to improved morale and relationships between colleagues and managers, employees going the extra mile, better customer service, improved individual performance and productivity, and reduced turnover.

It is clear that there are benefits to investing in corporate culture.

The impact of the pandemic

Sailing the past two years has been extremely difficult. I think we can all agree that the pandemic has had one of the most profound effects on corporate culture ever seen in the modern world.

Not only were we forced to part ways with our colleagues and clients for months on end, we also had to go through endless screen time and struggles to coordinate fun events to keep the culture going.

This has led to many people suffering from burnout, job insecurity, and even losing the love they had for their jobs.

People also found that they didn’t have to be in an office; they can do most things remotely and they don’t have to travel to work. This has had an impact on people’s priorities when it comes to what they are looking for in their jobs.

We are more uncertain of the future – our daily life has changed and the rest has become uncertain.

Anxiety, emotional stress, and lifestyle changes have led people to experience poor sleep, and with declining mental and physical health, many find it difficult to cope with tasks that would have been previously simple. .

Happiness is at its lowest. Conflicting information, polarized opinions, and no clear vision of right or wrong – combined with excitement and wasted good times – have left people with a lack of confidence and optimism. It not only affected daily life, but translated into the workplace.

Recruitment has become extremely difficult as we continue to navigate the current crisis in the UK. This has resulted in the costs of staff replacement skyrocketing, with large companies paying large salaries to talent and talented and motivated employees becoming harder and harder to find.

COVID has made it clear that culture is crucial, now more than ever before. Not only do we need to support the mental and physical health of individuals, but we also need to offer them flexibility and new ways to create a positive corporate culture, especially to attract and retain talent.

And after?

While we can, in theory, get back to the same business operations as before the pandemic, it is not that simple in practice. As individuals and as a society we have changed – from basic feelings to everyday attitudes and perceptions.

More than ever before, people are seeking a healthy work-life balance, excellent mental health support, and flexibility in how, where and when they work.

For example, the accelerated adoption of technology has made face-to-face appear less important, both for the work in hand and for the corporate culture. However, this can have serious consequences for corporate culture and employee happiness.

Without face-to-face communication, it’s more difficult to build relationships and trust – and a lack of daily rituals, such as commuting, can cause staff to work longer hours and feel less inclined to join cultural initiatives.

To survive and thrive in a post-Covid world, agencies must learn from the pandemic, reflect and change the way they deliver and engage in culture. Nightlife and “beer hours” are no longer enough to encourage staff members not only to stay, but also to actively engage with colleagues and the company.

The staff need something more meaningful and deeper. Remember that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for corporate culture.

A significant culture change can be extremely difficult to navigate, especially if it happens without warning. But with thinking and things like transparency, good communication, and flexibility, business leaders can learn a lot from the pandemic and implement corporate cultures that are hugely successful, attract talented individuals and meet the needs of a post-pandemic workforce.

Never before has culture been so important for businesses to take seriously and invest in.

Not only does it make business sense to keep staff happy and fulfilled, but it also supports the economy at large and can enable the UK to become a global leader in motivation, staff support and leadership. profitability.