Leaders have to begin to find new ways to maintain company culture in this new work environment now that restrictions are being lifted.
Some companies will go “back” and only a subset of the employees will physically retake their places at the office. Employees who go “back,” will be spaced across floors, moved to offices, or report from new locations.
Leaders are all asking the same question:
How do we maintain the culture we had pre-COVID-19?
When we reminisce of the culture that we want to “maintain,” many of us think of the external environment; we think of the ping-pong tables, the lunches, and the all-hands meetings.
I think now, more than ever, leaders must get naked and take a deep dive into the fulcrum of culture; what is your passion?
How has your passion nourished you during the last few months, what about the current situation calls forth this passion, and how will you express your passion as people remain disbursed and socially distant?
Passion is the culture, and you must generate it now, more than ever.
We have focused on the externalities, the geography, the real estate; those were the old days.
To keep your company engaged demands the vulnerability and the authenticity and the transparency of why we do what we do. We need to re-focus our efforts on helping our team through re-connecting with our passion, with why we do what we do in the first place. Today, we’re going to cover five questions about passion every leader should answer to get their team in a better place and maintain company culture.
What is it that you want to change?
COVID-19 is a wake-up call for leaders to get clear on what it is that they really want to change in this world. It’s reminding us to go out there and to be loud about it. Culture is about you as a leader, living your passion. Culture will keep your employees engaged, and keep your company on the mark and keep your clients happy. This will happen as long as you have the courage to be clear and vocal about what it is that you want to change.
Angela Duckworth says passion is not about falling in love, passion is about staying in love. It’s staying consistent everyday, despite the setbacks and keeping focused on your passion. For many of my clients (HOST Healthcare included), this focus is to create a workplace where individuals can achieve their greatest potential. To maintain company culture, many leading companies around the globe focus on this passion of individual potential.
Why is it so important to double down on your passion?
Right now, people are scared for their safety, for their life, for their health, and for the future. Parents are worried about their children succeeding in school, and people are worried about their families who don’t live close. People want to do the right thing, but not many people are out there helping them. This is where the role of leaders fits in. As a leader, doubling down on what you’re here to do must be front and center.
For me, teaching leaders and teams to grow connections to themselves and to each other is the most important thing to focus on right now. Having the conversations of how everyone is feeling, how they can make it through this time, and how to deal with the isolation is providing some of my clients the most meaningful part of their week. It’s when they have the time to actually share where they’re scared of, what’s important to them, and work on their most important work that they truly appreciate the culture of their workplace. It’s having these authentic conversations that reconnects leaders with their passions that helps maintain company culture.
What would it look like to go deep on your passion?
We’re at a place right now, where we have to figure out how to:
- Build great companies, when our people might not physically be in the office every day.
- Bring our great ideas into the world.
- Keep our people engaged when they’re not here.
We have to find better ways to go deep with our team and tap into not only our passion, but the passion each individual has on the team. Going deep on your passion is important so that you keep waking your team members up to their greatness.
Going deep into your passion is going to engage the people on your team.
What would it look like?
- Creating heartfelt videos where you’re vulnerable with your people?
- Having small meetings where you share the things that you care about?
- Having large meetings where you share your philosophy, and deeper conversations with your team?
- Taking time to find innovative ways that you can serve your clients better?
As leaders and as coaches, we’re on the cusp of a place where we’ve never been before. The great part about being this place, is it is calling us to be more transparent, more authentic, and more vulnerable about why we personally and as a company serve the people that we do.
What scares you the most?
What scares you the most of digging down into your passion, being loud and vulnerable and shaking things up? For the last few years, many of us were extremely successful and we got lazy and moved away from what matters most to pursue the money. Now, we must pursue personal connection, to ourselves and to others. Connection is scary because it makes us feel vulnerable, but it’s the number one fear we must embrace right now.
Being vulnerable is scary for me too. I’m scared that my message will come on deaf ears or that some might not agree? It scares me that people might not listen to the message or might not do anything, or not even like the message. It scares me to be so frank and that I might piss people off by being straight about how important this time is and how we need to do something about it.
I am scared about starting something in a new environment where everything is new and even I do not know what I’m doing. If anyone says they know what they are doing in this post-COVID-19 environment, they are lying because not one person has ever been here before.
We must embrace the fear of sharing our passion, even if we worry that people will really care. They will care, the problem is most of us don’t put it out there. So embrace the fear and put it out there. Don’t let what scares you stop you from going deep on your passion and putting your message out there.
What are you going to do?
The positive note in this situation is that it is prompting us to get clear on why we’re here. Lately, we are facing the realization that our time on this planet might not be that long. It’s causing us to be more vulnerable, more transparent, more authentic than we’ve ever been before. We need to know what going deep on our passions really looks like, and dive in regardless of the fear that creeps up.
What will you do to double down on your passion?
How will you communicate your passion more, be more vulnerable, transparent and consistent?
All the things that scare you are the guideposts to tell us what we absolutely need to do. Fear is your greatest teacher. Putting your passion and message out there might piss people off or make people scared. But that’s the only way we’re gonna get through this. It’s the only way we’re going to connect and engage our employees. It’s the only way we’re going to maintain our culture over time. We have to get vocal, be scared, and say it anyways.
We have to create this way forward as leaders. The way I see it, we need to dig down every single day and understand what it is that drives us and what we want to do to change the world. We need to embrace embarrassment, vulnerability, transparency and share with our people exactly where and who we are.
THAT will connect them.
What your people need from you now is YOU sharing your passion. That’s the culture of your company. Passion will maintain company culture.
Don’t hold it back, put it out there. That’s the culture of your company.
We’re not going back, we’re going better. COVID-19 is going to demand more from us, but if we’re up for the challenge, that’s how we’re truly going to change the state of our world right now.
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