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Editor’s Note: A Culture of Connection

There are many elements to a strong company culture, but now HR has some new
considerations to address: remote workers, mental health, employee well-being, and
work-life balance, among others. In a recent HRO Today Educational Podcast, I
spoke with Chris French, executive vice president of customer strategy at Workhuman,
about what he calls building a culture of connection in a dynamic workforce of in
office, remote, and gig employees. French says that having a dispersed workforce
means HR must take steps to foster connection between employees. This can be
achieved through a regular cadence of discussions and celebrations: sharing the good
news and good work that once was done in a conference room and is now done over
video conferencing. Organizations will need to provide an employee experience that
is shaped around today’s expectations.

“Perhaps today more than ever, performance is culture,” he said. “You have to
be able to create the right environment for people to want to be in and succeed,
otherwise they are going to leave.”

A new report from The Conference Board also provides considerations to take into
account when redesigning company culture for today’s world of work.

• Flexibility is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. What’s the single biggest change to culture since the beginning of COVID-19? According to the report, an increased focus on flexibility, with 80% of survey respondents in agreement. Organizations need to show they trust their employees by offering them flexibility.

• Communication is a main building block of dispersed workforces. To build connection among workers, frequent and transparent communication is necessary. In fact, 68% of companies are working to create robust, consistent, and aligned communication strategies, and 56% report that leaders and managers are engaged in regular two-way dialogue with employees.

• Investing in employee well-being is critical. Due to the nature of COVID-19, 82%
of respondents increased well-being initiatives and 81% implemented new safety
guidelines in the workplace. Showing care toward employees through these types of
initiatives as well as manager check-ins will help create a connected culture.

• A commitment to inclusion remains a priority. An inclusive culture encourages
employees to bring their whole selves to work. The report finds that 59 % of surveyed
organizations are increasing their focus on providing stronger support, guidance, and
coaching for leaders and managers to do so.

Taking these best practices into account, HR can take the necessary steps to ensure
their culture remains connected.

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