I recently received an email from a new vendor telling me they were going to miss an appointment. I couldn’t have been happier.
Not the usual response, is it? The vendor was making a schedule change for all clients due to weather conditions. They informed me of the action they were going to take so we could be on the same page for a common goal.
I terminated their predecessor because they didn’t communicate, weren’t proactive, and didn’t do a good job. As I onboarded the new vendor, we discussed my expectations and asked how they provide their services. We had a mutual understanding from the beginning.
This got me thinking of company culture. There are many articles and blogs currently about culture in light of work from home (WFH). People worry that culture won’t be maintained.
I disagree with that view. Vision and values are the first components of culture. Those should be firmly entrenched in the minds of the team and the company DNA.
Just as important are the expectations of how you work together, desired results, and processes. These should be known throughout the organization too.
The real change with WFH then is how you communicate and interact using technology rather than in person. You can’t just drop in at a co-worker’s office or go to lunch together. Maybe new expectations need to be set and identified or done differently. (Virtual lunch on Zoom or Teams?) Managers and teams can work on this together as new behaviors are learned and tested.
I challenge leaders to make sure their vision, values, and expectations are clearly known. Ensure your strategy is still relevant. Make adjustments so your tools and processes maximize your efficiency and output. These steps will go a long way toward maintaining your culture in the midst of change.