Are the organization’s values sustainable?
Defining your company’s value is as intrinsic as defining your mission and vision when it comes to building the organizational foundation. If you are, one of the many leaders who, have either led, created, or worked in an organization that has invested years cultivating an effective organizational culture – a Culture that is both strategically relevant, because it prioritizes the behaviours essential to the success of your business is strong, as it helps cultivate employee trust, is real and is valued.
Such cultures help attract the right-minded candidates to the organization and help retain talent, which in turn contributes to an “above par” performance.
The question is –
Will the culture survive the unprecedented scenario that the Pandemic has thrown us into?
Will culture take a hit because people can’t meet in person, making it harder to solidify the shared beliefs?
Will employees still be able to use culture as a roadmap for making the right decisions in a tumultuous time?
How can you continue to build and leverage the culture while the organization is operating mostly remotely?
Like anything else that needs to survive change, one needs to adapt. For a culture to survive across years and situations, it needs to be adaptive in real-time. Organizations that can do that will see the Culture, not only survive but thrive in these trying times.
So, what is Cultural adaptability?
Culture adaptability mirrors your organization’s ability to innovate, experiment, and quickly take advantage of new opportunities — especially important today.
Leaders must continue to cultivate their company’s culture to help people stay focused on the most important initiatives even as they contend with the unprecedented challenges and continually changing conditions presented by the pandemic.
What practices can you apply to make your Culture adaptable?
Here are three ideas:
- Hire and promote people who are resilient, adaptable, and exhibit grace under fire.
These are resourceful people who get to the bottom of the problem, navigate the complex uncertainties presented by a situation to find the solution. They will question the traditional approaches, be curious, bring in a fresh perspective and openly embrace new ideas- people often labeled as rebels —they bring a positive change. If your culture currently is not adaptable, hire such candidates and tell them that you are looking to them to be the change agents.
- Curate and communicate examples of how the organization is adhering to its cultural values through new practices.
COVID World has brought in changes at a speed that none of us could have envisioned. Starting from the way we work and how we communicate both in terms of mode and content. This, in turn, has mandated organizations to actively seek out, curate, and highlight new examples of your desired culture. For instance, augmenting their core value of professionalism the leaders of a major auto manufacturing company in India realized that the lockdown and work from home are likely to impact the employee’s mental and physical wellbeing. They immediately initiated activities that could address this. Initiatives included interactive sessions with a nutritionist, introduction of an exercise regime, webinars on emotional hygiene, meditation, yoga. Similarly, TVS Motors keeping the employee wellbeing on the top of the list had initiated processes that monitored the health of the employees regularly. They also employed a battery of doctors for keeping a close eye on their well-being. The employees can even now order medicines at homes and access health experts to remain fit and healthy.
- Model transcendent values.
When the Pandemic started, leaders of Reliance industries took their value-making life better for everyone, to a different level by building a 100-bed hospital in just two weeks dedicated to supporting COVID-19 cases. Their initiative was so inspiring that several like-minded businesses joined hands to lend support. For instance, such as Anand Mahindra quickly adapted auto manufacturing facilities to manufacture the much-needed ventilators. Apollo Hospitals, furthering their mission to bring healthcare within reach of every individual, quickly adopted virtual consulting. This enabled continuity of care, especially, in cases of non-communicable diseases at times such as these when patients cannot visit their doctors for follow-ups. This has not only reiterated the value set with the employees but has added a sense of pride in their association with the organization.
Likely, your organization has already adopted more quickly and effectively during the Pandemic, than you ever thought possible. Build on that progress by communicating that accomplishment to your employees and instituting the practices we’ve described. Doing so will almost certainly strengthen your Culture — one that will help your organization better contend with whatever lies ahead.