The workplace has changed drastically since March 2020. In fact, for some businesses, there is no longer a single place in which to perform work, establish connection, reinforce community, and affirm values. With this reality, organizations and today’s leaders may find it more difficult to maintain and reinforce culture within an organization.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) defines company culture as consisting of “…shared beliefs and values established by leaders and then communicated and reinforced through various methods, ultimately shaping employee perceptions, behaviors and understanding.”
Through this definition, we can see that culture isn’t limited to the space a team occupies, but the state of mind they collectively hold and the actions they follow. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to nurture that ethos and ensure it is rooted in positivity and productivity.
As a leader, you have the power to mold and build your team’s mindset, actions, and results through your feedback, coaching, reactions, and positive affirmations of the value drivers you want to instill. With this, it is important to remember that positive reinforcement, communication, and affirmation of value are much more effective than criticism.
The good news is that this can be done anywhere, anytime—and should be! (Look for more on that later in the month.)
When team members are affirmed, they feel valued, which is the gateway for amazing things.
For one, they’ll feel invigorated. As the pandemic slogs on, energy can be one of your organization’s most valuable resources. Knowing their work is not just important, but essential, valued, and appreciated can breathe new life into your team members. We all struggle with motivation from time to time. Your appreciation can be just the boost they need to persevere, perform, and thrive.
They’ll also spread the love! Attitudes and energy are contagious. When team members are energized and engaged, their best selves tend to rub off and spread to others—inspiring elevated efforts and performance from a broader group and leading to more positive moments for affirmation and praise. While most of the world is working in isolation to prevent the spread of germs and a virus, this is the type of good mojo we want passing from one team member to the next, in every meeting, encounter, joint project, or touchpoint. Positivity flowing into others is a recipe for success.
Most importantly, they’ll feel seen. Which is the first step toward establishing a pattern of repetition. When hard work, great decisions, and extraordinary efforts are left unnoticed, unaffirmed, and invalidated, it is human nature to ask, “Why would we apply those efforts again?”
So much of the employee experience and establishment of culture comes down to emotions. Emotions that stem from the actions, reactions, and affirmations, or lack thereof, from our leaders. The question we need to be asking ourselves right now is: Are our leaders equipped with the right tools, training, and instruction to carry our corporate culture forward in these times?
In our next post, we’ll show you how eCards can be that perfect tool to support your efforts.