During the pandemic, many people have had time to stop and reflect on their work environment, what they like about their workplace and what their ideal workplace would be like. This shift in importance for corporate culture has accelerated the transformation of many organisations, as business leaders have changed their overall strategy and culture in times of crisis. Research has suggested that an increasing number of workers say a company's culture is just as important as anything during their job searching process and our conversations with candidates reflect this too. 

I read a very interesting article on Forbes written by company culture expert and author, Jason Richmond. Here are three of my biggest takeaways on how to strengthen corporate culture in these times of crisis: 

1. Understand Their Pain

Leaders should respond and act with empathy - they should convey a genuine understanding for how their employees are feeling and what they are going through. Show your team that you care on a personal level and not just professionally. Let them know you care about them and how they're feeling. It is important to promote an open door policy, where employees will feel confident to confide in you. Ask your team how they are doing and genuinely listen to what they say.

2. Consistent Communication

It's more important than ever to communicate regularly with your employees. Working from home can be quite lonely for some and with no regular social contact with team members, many will want as much communication as possible. Give frequent updates and take the time to catch up with your team both in a team and one-to-one environment. Leaders should strive to be positive and uplifting during these difficult times.

3. Don't Micromanage

Many workers have stated that one of the most important aspects of remote working is the freedom to control their day and have an increased range of flexibility. Therefore, it is important to not feel compelled to check in with employees on a frequent basis during the day. Allow them to have space and freedom. Don't worry about the hours they're working and focus on their productivity levels. Given more freedom, most workers will respond positively and studies have shown an increased rate of productivity and results. No one likes to feel like their supervisor is breathing down their neck, so take a step back and let people show you what they can do with results. 

Overall, there are many things that leaders can do to ensure their corporate culture is right and people feel happy to work in their environment. One of the biggest takeaways I have taken from this article is the importance of listening, being an empathetic leader and understanding each employee will have individual needs and concerns you must address.