All areas of life have been affected by the ongoing global health crisis – including how we work and interact in the workplace.
As we adjust to our new context, aware of all the things changing, how do we make sense of it all? Specifically, in the workplace, how do we adjust to the new way of work that ensures teams and businesses thrive now and in the future?
We had an engaging conversation with HR and culture experts, Ann Kabinga – Founder of Connect X, and Alana Rush – COO of Shortlist, on how to build and strengthen culture during a crisis. It was a great discussion on the ins and outs of culture, leadership, and how to position your team and business for success amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below are our top 4 insights from the important conversation on team culture:
1. Culture is not a one size fits all affair
Culture stems from an organization’s intrinsic beliefs and values. Culture specialist & Ikigai member, Ann Kabinga mentions that culture develops as a response to the context and lived experiences within an organization. As such, replicating workplace culture in another organization is difficult.
Instead, Ann & Alana recommend organically developing a culture that fits your business strategy & goals, and more importantly, nurtures the right environment for your team to thrive.
2. Positive company culture positions businesses for success
Culture reflects the internal happenings of an organization. COO of Shortlist Alana Rush, highlights that at the core, culture is about creating environments for people to be and give their best. Ann mentioned organizations that invest in nurturing such environments experience a 3.7% increase in their annual business performance.
Simply put, investing in your employees will result in them investing in the organization’s vision and growth. It is about aligning your organization to thrive.
3. Culture is the management of people, but so much more
While team management may be one aspect of culture, multiple factors contribute to building and strengthening culture. Culture encompasses an organization’s internal strategy, leadership style, employee experience, and the people to name a few. Culture manifests as a reflection of all these factors in synergy, resulting in the unique work environments that make or break teams.
4. COVID-19 has caused a culture shift
Culture is dynamic, and it evolves to match the mannerisms manifesting in the specific contexts. In our current situation, there has been a drastic shift in personal and organizational values which has changed how we perceive and communicate culture. During this period, there is an emphasis on competency and performance. Specifically, how employees and organizations can leverage different skill sets to survive and thrive during this period. Ann and her team at Connect X recently completed a comprehensive study on the impact this has on company culture across the continent.
Our Parting Shot: At the centre of each business, is its people. Creating the right environment for them to succeed or fail is why culture is important.
We are grateful to Alana Rush, Ana Kabinga & Doris Muigei for an enlightening and engaging conversation on culture. To read Connect X’s study on the workplace culture during the pandemic, please visit their website, you can also replay the conversation on our YouTube channel.
Ikigai is a collective of beautifully designed workspaces across Nairobi in Westlands, Lavington, and Lower Kabete. We provide private office space with maximum flexibility, shared workspace, conferencing facilities as well as event spaces for corporates, SME’s, and entrepreneurs. Visit any of our locations today to find the perfect office space for you.