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Cultivating a Successful Company Culture During a Pandemic

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Change doesn't begin to describe the effects COVID-19 has had on businesses. 

But even though your company can't meet in person, you can still create and maintain a culture that brings out the best in those within your company. In fact, successful company culture is one that can adapt to change—including a pandemic.

Since many of us are working from home, it's fitting that we liken a successful company culture to how we feel when we're home. Take a moment and reflect on how you feel when you're at home... Isn't it true that you feel comfortable and accepted and that you enjoy a sense of peace and belonging? These same qualities should be developed within a successful company culture. How? Keep reading to find out how you can create an environment where success can thrive.

Six Keys to building a successful company culture

1.Take active steps to make everyone feel welcome

Why it's important:

No matter what role your employees play in your company, employees are first and foremost people. Each one has unique strengths and weaknesses, as well as a unique story that has made them who they are.

But if we feel like we can't truly be ourselves, we naturally hold back out of insecurity from reaching our full potential. Employees who hold themselves back will hold a company back as well.

How to do it:

While you are connecting virtually, encourage people to be themselves instead of making them feel like they need to fit into a box. Is there a simple way for them to express their individuality, such as customising their Slack profile? A way to personalise their digital persona? If so, encourage them to do so instead of making them feel like a number. Make what's truly important the focus: people's positive qualities and achievements, not petty differences. So don't just "allow" people to be different; thank them for being who they are.

The benefits:

This feeling of belonging for your employees promotes the idea that they have a place in something bigger. This, in turn, strengthens unity and teamwork by building bridges between everyone in the organization.

2. Make time to party

Why it's important:

People have needs beyond food, shelter, and rest. Recreation is just that: re-creating one's inner-self. Regularly partying together—including doing so virtually—can do wonders for the spirit of a company and is one of the most underrated activities of a successful culture.

How to do it:

The next time you think you're too busy to have a virtual Christmas party or a Zoom happy hour, think again. Start budgeting time for parties just like you would anything else. But remember, do so together—everyone, not just the management team.

The benefits:

Your team will work more efficiently and cohesively, along with improving communication. This increase in morale will be noticeable and can also serve as protection since maintaining a positive atmosphere will help during these challenging days of feeling isolated.

3. Keep the lines of communication open

Why it's important:

The term "Communication" is so vague and relative, it can feel like a dead word. After all, even our tech-devices "communicate" with one another. So even though you can't speak in person, don't let it be just a cold, mechanical process. People need to know that they are still an important part of the company—even though they're working remotely. Being personally acknowledged and heard shows them that they are included and valued, regardless of their role.

How to do it:

Think back to the first point: your employees are first and foremost people. So have small Zoom meetings, where you can speak with them, not at them. In other words, set the example and be a listener first and a speaker second. Leadership like this is something your company will notice.

Don't allow business communications to be the only priority: the hiring and leaving of people, how the company is performing, sharing the vision of where the company is headed, etc.

Instead, put people first in your company by being open with everyone about what's going on. Share the good news and the bad—in fact, especially the bad as people find out faster about the bad news anyway. So get ahead of the information before the rumors control the narrative.

Furthermore, when it's time to get down to business, make your company's goals and objectives clear to everyone. Empower your company by providing clear statements of intent, enabling everyone to deliver as a team.

The benefits:

Being as open, accessible, and transparent as possible builds trust amongst your team members, allowing them to feel more included as part of the company. If they know the company trajectory and see the steps to achieve the desired results, they'll feel that they are a part of something bigger.

4. Cultivate "we", not "me"

Why it's important:

Everyone needs to feel like a key part of the company to be a success. While each employee has their own role to perform, that role does not make them any more or less of a person. This is vital for managers to keep in mind since being a manager often means working harder than anyone else to create an environment of equality.

It's essential to eliminate any idea of a hierarchy at a human level if everyone is to play their part in accomplishing the company's common goals.

How to do it:

Remember: respect is contagious, so if management is taking the lead in showing respect to everyone, the rest of the company will follow. So listen to everyone's comments in the Zoom meetings, not just those in management. Acknowledge everyone's contributions in email messages or on Slack, maybe even creating a channel that highlights people's individual contributions. Share information with everyone by being transparent and trusting your team with company knowledge, making people feel part of a community, and not just a lone cog in a machine.

The benefits:

When a good manager cultivates an environment where everyone takes their role to heart, the company can achieve their common goals as a team from each one pulling their own weight.

5. Include everyone

Why it's important:

Unity doesn't mean conformity. By balancing out an organization with men and women of different cultures, backgrounds, and ages, you allow harmony to flourish within your company. After all, a team with all men or all women will lack the perspective and insight of the other, thus less problem-solving and innovation.

How to do it:

When hiring an engineer, designer, developer, or any other role, bring in a mix of views from people from different countries and backgrounds. The variety of experiences and viewpoints can be a real strength in making whatever you do better. While this might be a challenge since older ones can find it harder to respect the younger and vice versa, give it a chance—take time to chat together online to develop a healthy balance in your company culture.

The benefits:

Having diversity creates a mix of knowledge, perspectives, and drive, encouraging innovation and inclusivity. By mixing experience with the can-do attitude of the younger generations, your company can broaden their vision of how to solve problems or create competitive advantages.

6. Keep out the troublemakers

Why it's important:

Managers need to take an active role in preventing negative influences from taking root. While communication styles have changed during the pandemic, office politics still exist, and their effects can destroy your company. The culture you've worked so hard to cultivate can quickly be ruined by people playing games to further themselves at the expense of everyone else.

How to do it:

As a manager, figure out who is doing real work and capable of doing more. These can be described as "how can we" types. Contrast these with those who are a drag on the company, which can be described as "why should I" types.

Discern these two different types while hiring: the "how can we" people are the doers and builders—people are always gravitating to them because of their dynamic, constructive nature. Nurture and promote these people within the business in order to continue to grow in the right direction.

How do you know who might be part of the "why should I" group? They often get their place in the business through seniority and contacts, skillfully socialising and working their way up the ladder; they're generally not fit to do their part in the company as hard work and achievement is not in their repertoire.

The benefits:

The fewer employees you have undermining teamwork, company goals, and draining morale, the healthier your company culture will be. As the saying goes, "Birds of a feather flock together." So by being selective in who you hire, who you promote, and by identifying and eliminating those with an established pattern of negative attitudes and behaviour, you're taking care of the most important part of your company: the people who make it a


Just as a successful company doesn't just happen on its own, healthy company culture doesn't just naturally develop either—it takes hard work, dedication, and even sacrifice to manifest these qualities in your company during the pandemic.

However, the rewards outweigh the cost. Here at Factris, we have adapted our company culture to new circumstances in order for everyone to thrive. By putting people first as we strive to be inclusive, diverse, open, and united, we continue to successfully supply low-cost working capital to SMEs across Europe. Learn more about us here and see how our amazing team continues to succeed in changing how you finance your business.

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