In the blink of an eye, HR leaders have scrambled to provide support, guidance, and structure to their workforce. For many organizations, business priorities shifted as the coronavirus spread to different countries they operated in.
Here at Phenom, we quickly developed a Response Team with HR leaders from our offices around the world. Over the last few weeks, we noticed a common theme developing in each location: stories of our employees who continue to uphold our company core values of curiosity, responsibility, intensity, self-confidence, and positive thinking.
It has been incredible to hear that even during uncertain times, Phenoms are shining and showcasing our core values in their virtual workspaces. It also highlights the importance of maintaining a strong company culture and reinforcing core values—even as everyone works from home.
But what are the best ways HR leaders can do to foster this sense of community and company culture? Here are a few tips to follow.
1. Ask employees for feedback.
Most companies have their own set of unique core values, which connect the purpose of the business to the employees who work there each day. These values are the foundation of most organizations—and although they may feel different when working remotely, they still exist. One way to enforce them among your remote teams is by activating employees and soliciting feedback. By hosting regular Q&As or town halls where people are given an open floor to ask questions and share feedback, you’re able to maintain a sense of community. Additionally, including employees will ultimately build stronger relationships in the long run and can be a win-win for all.
2. Lead by example.
During times of crisis, it may become easy for employees to stray and not follow the company’s core values. This is understandable, especially early on as everyone adjusts to the new normal. But leadership is crucial to upholding the values of the organization—and leading by example has never been more important. By living out your company values, it will serve as a guiding light for others to follow suit, stay on track, and remain focused.
3. Stay on track.
An organization's core values should be conveyed throughout the entire talent lifecycle: from the moment they apply to a job to their first day—all the way to when they are ready to move on to the next step in their journey (in some companies). Try not to lose sight of these important milestones within your organization and continue highlighting the core values every step of the way. Consider creating a virtual onboarding program, celebrating birthdays via video conferencing apps like Zoom or GoToMeeting, and more.
4. Reward and recognize values.
Reward employees who exemplify the core values defined by your company and make sure they are recognized. You can do this by sharing their story at a company-wide meeting or featuring them in your internal email newsletter. Consider asking employees to nominate their colleagues by sending in a video and explaining the core value they represent. The employee will feel great and others will be encouraged to follow suit.
A company’s culture and values should remain strong in times of crisis—and it is up to HR leaders to encourage teamwork, leadership, and empathy during a crisis. If there's a silver lining in this current pandemic, it is this: we are all coming together as leaders and working through the challenges of the workforce, and growing stronger because of it.