As the economy recovers from COVID-19 it is important that companies have a strong foundation. The coronavirus has created a defining moment. An organization’s culture is important because it is a tool that contributes to the success of the company. Organizational culture often refers to the common values and beliefs shared by people in a business. What they say they do, is what they do.
A top business culture is one where governing has the capability to control and manage ethical issues, moral and legal issues that affect the internal and external working conditions. The best business culture has the ability and capability of training, hiring, and attracting the best talent. Research has shown strong cultures demonstrate the following values people, collaboration, agility, integrity, innovation, and accountability. Trust in leadership is a competency critical in this global economy and pandemic.
1. Contemplate and review your purpose and values.
Culture is your company’s morale and internal compass, informing actions to take in a time of crisis. Leaders are needing to ask themselves: Is our course of action in line with our culture, purpose, and values?
2. Address your purpose and values.
Your business continuity is a major issue, follow through with actions that are in line with your company’s values. The ways companies treat their workers in times of need is a real test of corporate purpose and values. How companies respond to office closures, school closures and quarantine will be seen by all employees. Today the right choices may come at a high price but will be measured later by the commitment of employees and customers.
3. Share your culture with customers, colleagues, and the wider community.
The actions taken to address customer’s pain, employee’s safety, and concerns will be long remembered. Companies that had a plan for their employees’ safety by following CDC guidelines by providing appropriate masks, temperature taking before entering manufacturing facility shows concern for those employee’s health and safety. Office workers working from home appreciated online tools for the education of their children and making sure their mental health was addressed by their company. Teams addressing concerns and having their company provide tools necessary to work from home. Follow up done by leaders to understand customer’s needs and working to meet their new needs. Also, companies that stepped up to produce products or services needed to combat COVID-19 will be remembered by the public. All of these examples show the customer, employee, and the general public your corporate values.
Business colleagues see the company culture addressed by meaningful results. Many companies have compensated their employees even when the company is not open. Some business owners have eliminated their own pay to make sure their people were at least getting some financial support. The communication from the top is critical to people understanding what is occurring within the company and the values being followed through on.
Staying true to your culture can also mean taking steps to support your community at large, as Walmart has done. Walmart associates received a bonus in their paychecks. Walmart gave associates $180 million in bonuses nationwide on May 1. Also, they hired an additional 200,000 associates nationwide in less than 6 weeks. To help meet the critical needs resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed $25 million to support organizations on the front lines responding to the outbreak. The commitment is intended to provide:
- $5 million to support global efforts to help countries prevent, detect and manage the coronavirus;
- $10 million to support food banks, school meal programs and organizations that provide access to food for underserved populations; and
- $10 million to support efforts in local communities in the United States and international markets.
All companies that reconnect with their purpose and values during the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to look back with pride and satisfaction on how your company acted. Culture matters and it matters even more now.
By Judy Foley
Read Judy’s Article:
Supply Chain Recovery Action Plan After COVID-19