3 Ways to Keep Your Family-Like Culture Thriving Through COVID

 3 Ways to Keep Your Family-Like Culture Thriving Through COVID

Employee Experience Maintaining Company Culture Remote & Hybrid Culture

Do you work in a culture…

  • … that feels like family?
  • … where people say it’s the people and the sense of community that they value the most?
  • … where people work hard and play hard together?

These are the elements our research demonstrates are at the core of the Best Workplaces.

Maybe you worry about how the special culture your organization has built and nurtured will be impacted as social distancing, remote working and face masks are our new reality.

If those concerns are never far from your mind, know that you’re not alone. It wasnt that long ago that I would travel into our corporate office and be greeted with hugs from co-workers I hadnt seen in a while. 

So much has changed in such a short period of time. I knew connection and human contact was an essential need we all have, but the impact of COVID-19 has helped me see just how much I took for granted and appreciate just how important connection is to our ability to thrive.

How do high-trust, high-touch cultures survive social distancing and remote work?

It’s no secret that companies with strong, high-trust cultures experience significantly greater revenues, better quality, service, agility and innovation:


So how do you maintain this during these times?

The companies we talk with are finding creative ways to keep their family-like culture alive.

Here are three themes we are seeing:

1. Demonstrate care

Understand and take steps to address and support the core physiological and safety needs of your employees.

Organizations like Workday are going above and beyond to ensure basic needs of their people are being met

In March, the company put two weeks of pay in every employees’ hands in the form of a bonus to offset unforeseen costs stemming from COVID-19

They also expanded childcare and sick leave policies 

When companies address these critical basic needs, it not only sends a strong message of care and commitment to employee well-being, it helps to reduce stress that can inhibit our ability to bring our best and fully contribute.

2. Creative connections

Like many companies, Credit Acceptance, who has been recognized for the last six years as one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®, transitioned nearly the entire company to remote working when COVID hit.

This change required creative solutions to address the gap in connection that was once was a daily part of life in their offices.

When I spoke with one of their leaders, she shared that her team implemented several practices to help maintain camaraderie:

  • Daily morning virtual huddles over video serve as a way to check-in and kick the day off together
  • Virtual scavenger hunts around the home and on supermarket runs
  • Rewards sent to employees' doors like restaurant delivery

Finding creative ways like these to bring people together goes far in nurturing the sense of community we are all needing.

3. Over-communicate

Communication is more important than ever during times like this. 

Horizon Therapeutics, a 2020 winner in the Fortune Best Workplaces in Healthcare & Biopharma™, has doubled down on its communication strategy to ensure employees have clarity and connection with the direction of the organization.

Horizon’s leadership recognizes that in order for communication to be effective, they have to leverage multiple methods and approaches. They have adopted robust strategies that include:

  • Weekly messages from CEO Tim Walbert on the state of the business followed with Q&A sessions
  • Town halls
  • Casual virtual coffee chats with employees
  • Weekly leadership webinars to support managers

To infuse a little fun into the mix, they also have company-wide challenges to boost morale, such as wearing Horizon swag during Zoom meetings and sharing ideas on how to stay active. Horizon also conducts regular pulse surveys to get fast feedback from employees and ensure the company is hitting the mark.

Taking small steps to address the gap in connection we are all experiencing goes far to ensuring your culture thrives in these COVID times.

Your employees are a great source for ideas on how to keep what makes your culture special alive.

Need help on your strategy for how to keep your culture thriving during COVID? 

Surveying your employees and understanding their unique needs is the first step. Reach out to us today about how our employee surveys and engagement platform can help your business (and your people). 

Laurie Minott