Prep for the Future: Maintaining Your Employer Brand & Culture During A Global Pandemic
Many of us are going through COVID-19 with changes we never thought we would experience this year. At this point in time, everyone is likely still freaking out. Employers, especially, are concerned over the future of their business. Likewise, employees are putting in every effort just to make ends meet.
“How companies respond now is going to define their brand for decades.” – Mark Cuban
While the coronavirus may have left some businesses no choice but to lay off their staff, it is the approach that they used which will leave the biggest impression in the end. Facing your restless employees may feel demanding and difficult. But given all the uncertainty, people appreciate when leaders promote transparency and show empathy at work. As a company, what kind of reputation do you want to show your employees, future job candidates, and customers?
Take Care of Your Employees
No one can ever predict when a global crisis will happen. In the beginning of the pandemic when most of us thought things would soon get better, it only got worse – causing management to make hasty decisions that may significantly damage their employer brand. During this confusing period, what employees want to know most is whether the company they work for cares about them – and that could mean the following:
- Are they taking any measures for the safety and health of their employees?
- Are they offering remote work arrangements that will fit their needs for success?
- Are they communicating well enough with their teams on every matter that concerns them?
- Are they providing physical or mental support to their people during the crisis?
Doing everything you can to protect your employees is not only the right thing to do, but a wise business tactic. Future job seekers are going to use this as reference when they look for opportunities. When all eyes are on the leaders of the corporate world, it is crucial that brands address the situation with a sense of tact and mindfulness. Prioritizing your employees would be a great place to start.
A Virtual Culture
A fun work culture may remind you of a cool office space with ping pong tables and perhaps a keg fridge in the kitchen. But these physical attributes disappear as we move toward a remote work environment at home. Extending your culture to your distant workers is not impossible. For example, you may:
- Organize virtual team hangouts and happy hour via online video conferencing
- Host game nights with your colleagues after work
- Share memes and news through group Slack channels
- Gather everyone for an at-home workout session
Beyond these basic actions to help boost morale during the pandemic is authenticity. Though positivity at this time is much valued and appreciated, don’t be afraid to share your struggles and concerns with the team either. And encourage your employees to do the same. Showing the ‘human’ side of your business may just be the trick to achieve long-term success amid this situation.
In the words of Bob Chapman, “When your culture is that of a caring family, everyone pulls together in a crisis.”