5 Tips to Build a Supportive Workplace Culture in the Pandemic

Kailynn Bowling, ChicExecs Marketing Agency’s Co-Founder/Co-President, shares her tips on creating a supportive workplace environment during the current pandemic with Inc.

She outlines five key tips for steering your ship in the right direction for a positive, employee-centered culture.

1. Treat your people right.

First things first, treat your people right. That means:

• Giving everyone a clear job description and KPIs.

• Offering a competitive pay.

• Continuing benefits like medical and PTO during the pandemic.

2. Communicate.

Your team likely isn’t working in person right now, so nearly all communication happens digitally. That means you have to learn how to communicate effectively through technology, which isn’t easy.

As a leader, you need to over-communicate with your employees. Use Zoom calls for team meetings or one-on-ones, Slack or chat for quick questions and email for important announcements.

3. Be transparent.

Now isn’t the time to sequester yourself in closed-door meetings (even if they’re virtual). Your employees are not only worried about their health and families right now, but they’re also concerned about their jobs.

4. Have fun.

Budget in some fun to build a positive, employee-centered culture, including:

• Hiring a comedian or an interesting speaker for your next online meeting.

• Ordering DoorDash for everyone and hosting a virtual team lunch.

• Delivering margaritas (or non-alcoholic smoothies) for a Friday happy hour.

5. Encourage debate, but not negativity.

If your employees never, ever disagree or dissent in meetings, you might think you have a positive culture. But, in reality, you have groupthink, and it’s toxic.

Supportive cultures allow respectful dissent because that’s what makes business better over time. As a leader, you want to model collaborative decision-making that invites debate.

But remember, dissent is different than negativity. Immediately address any behavior that doesn’t mesh with your culture.


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