In This Issue
The next you
The balancing act
Groundbreaking Study Identifies “Culture Champions”
They are the champions
The massive changes sparked by the coronavirus pandemic might be a culture shock for employees not used to working from home, but they don’t have to shake your corporate culture. After all, corporate culture has more to do with a firm’s values than its physical office space. It may require more creativity and effort, but it’s possible to not only maintain, but strengthen, corporate culture with a virtual workforce.
Greatest common factors
What do companies topping the rankings have in common? In addition to superior financial performance—average share prices of publicly traded Culture Champions increased at twice the rate of the Nasdaq and nearly four times that of the S&P 500 over a five-year period—Culture Champions are more than twice as likely to have female leadership than the typical Fortune 500 company. While 24% of Culture Champions have either a female CEO or chairwoman, only 7% of Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs and only 5% of Fortune 500 board chairs are women.
Permission to speak freely
Researchers report that the biggest differentiator that sets apart companies with the strongest cultures is that they foster “psychologically safe environments” by “cultivating cultures where employees are free to speak candidly and raise their ideas and concerns without fear of reprisal.” Employees in Culture Champions favorably mention their companies’ facilitation of honest discussions 1.7 standard deviations more than the overall sample.
Earning high marks
MIT researchers also found that employees in the analyzed companies are giving their employers high marks for not only maintaining, but enhancing, corporate culture during the coronavirus pandemic. During the pandemic’s first five months, employers posted the highest average culture and values ratings of the preceding five years. In particular, employees give companies higher marks for honest communication and transparency—with employees nearly twice as likely to speak positively about how well firm leaders have communicated during the first six months of the pandemic compared with the year prior.
the next you
Mentoring in a Virtual Workplace
In addition to grooming future firm leaders, robust mentorship programs can lower turnover by building loyalty among workers who see their employers investing in their career development. Under the best of circumstances, many firms struggle with mentoring, but the challenge has only grown with the coronavirus pandemic forcing a shift to a remote workforce. With mentors unable to have lunch with their mentees or drop by their desks for quick check-ins, mentorship must be done virtually.
Run the reverse
The pandemic could actually be an ideal time to start a reverse mentorship program, if one doesn’t exist in your firm. Not only might veteran employees also feel unmoored and in need of support in a remote environment, but younger employees could also help them become more comfortable with the new technology being used to connect remote workforces.
A guide to help you better understand how AE firms are valued and – perhaps more importantly – what you can do to build value now.Read Newsletter