The COVID-19 pandemic presents a huge challenge for the management team of an organization. As digital workplaces become the new normal and employees grapple to adapt to their new work routines, managing employee morale becomes more imperative than ever. It is in crises like these when the organizational culture is put to test.
Culture is what holds an organization together and creates a sense of belonging among employees. The more thoughtful and empathetic organizations are about supporting their employees the better chance they have of riding out this storm together. The right culture not only helps an organization survive in difficult times but also innovate, leverage opportunities, and thrive.
The strongest pillar of an organization’s culture is good governance. The ethical values and conduct of a business build deep-rooted resilience and determination that help the company deal with crises more effectively. Vistara has inherited these values from its legendary parents – Tata group and Singapore Airlines.
Openness forms a key dimension of a strong culture. Timely, transparent, and engaging communications can go a long way in building a sense of community and trust. At Vistara, engagement initiatives, employee stories, and messages from the leadership are helping employees feel connected and uplifted in their remote working environments. At a micro level, 1-1 check-ins and regular virtual team meetings help managers detect and address employee concerns and foster team collaboration. These are extraordinary times for all of us. One should be cognizant of the fact that employees are not merely working from home, but they have been compelled to work from home in a crisis. And hence they require more compassion and support.
Innovation and agility are key to adapt to new challenges and ensure business continuity. The pandemic has suddenly put the spotlight on digital transformation with organizations having to transition to a ‘work from home’ model overnight. Enabling remote access infrastructures for your entire workforce is not easy, thus putting those organizations with a strong technology core at an advantage over others.
One can never undermine the importance of performance-orientation while cultivating a robust organizational culture. A performance-oriented approach empowers your employees to continuously learn and excel. For instance, at Vistara, our digital learning modules are helping employees stay productive and updated with both business and domain knowledge during the lockdown.
Customer-centricity is equally important in shaping the right culture. This will help employees place the customer at the heart of everything that they do irrespective of the scenario. Vistara has always been known for its intuitively thoughtful service and we will continue to keep customer safety and well-being our foremost priority when operations resume. This approach should not be limited to your external customers alone but to all stakeholders, including local communities. Lending a helping hand to communities, especially during testing times like these speaks volumes about the organization.
These are challenging and uncertain times for everyone. And a strong and resilient organizational culture can help one navigate through this crisis. There is no pandemic-proof model. But this is an opportunity for leadership to introspect and take steps that can hold them in good stead for the future.