How to Grow When It’s Slow is another Blog Series brought to you by the Acadia Parish Chamber.
“I just got off a coaching call with a client in Detroit,” recalls business expert Cameron Herold. “He’s got about a hundred employees in his manufacturing shop and I was talking to him about culture while they’re basically in shutdown. He’s fully paying all of his employees for three months-full salaries-and he’s completely blown their minds.”
In uncertain times when there is slow growth in different industries, the natural reaction for many people is fear. As a business leader, you should build a company culture that makes everyone want to be part of the company. Herold has some great advice for business owners in his interview. Below are some values, attitudes, and practices we think you can encourage to build a great company culture, inspired by Herold.
Pay your employees full salary
When employees work remotely, you will not be able to boost their morale with corporate culture wall graphics. As such, you will have to find innovative ways of building a company culture. Some companies are finding ways to pay their employees their full salaries-a bold statement when times are tough. By taking care of the financial aspect, you will help make their lives much better. You can also redo your office space to provide them with a great work environment once normalcy returns.
Show your staff that you care about them
You can find ways to encourage your employees to look out for each other. As a business leader, you should be the first person to embrace the company culture and set the pace in practicing the shared values. Simple acts of kindness, such as sending your staff meal plans, buying them cookbooks, cooking videos, and suggesting fun family activities, will go a long way in building strong relationships. Your staff will be pleasantly surprised and feel appreciated through such actions.
Connect with employees
When employees who were working remotely come back to work, you can organize new activities that will help strengthen your relationship with them. Activities that have never been done before will make for great fun while providing employees from different departments an opportunity to bond. For instance, staff from different departments can form teams and play against each other in a game. When you take part in the activities, you will not only connect with your employees but also show them that they matter.
Promote employee well-being
Even as the company goes through a rough patch, your employees will need to be reassured. You will have to create a secure environment where they can work by providing on-and off-site support. Considering the increasing fear and stress levels during such times, you can find ways to foster positive coping. Support employee physical and mental health through employee assistance programs, webinars on resilience, and tutorials on mindfulness. It would also be important to provide them with information on health risks and preventative measures.
Provide more flexibility
Depending on their living situations and responsibilities, working remotely can affect your employees in different ways. Workers with young children or elder-care responsibilities will have to balance work tasks and take care of their loved ones. Try to be flexible and relax your expectations during this time. One of the best ways to go about it would be to have an open discussion with employees regarding when and how tasks will be accomplished.
For information about how to become a better business owner or operator, check out the Second In Command Podcast at CameronHerold.com/podcast.
And stay tuned for the next article in the 6-part series How to Grow When It’s Slow on the topic of what your team needs from their leaders right now.