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Company culture - does it shine through when times get tough?

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Company culture - does it shine through when times get tough?

Karen Lloyd marketing team, HR, Marketing...

When I’m working with a business looking to recruit, nine times out of ten the hiring manager is proud of the culture of the company they are working for.  For candidates, company culture is a key consideration when considering prospective employers. 

I believe you need to fit into the culture of your company.  The idea that its values should ideally reflect yours is more prevalent these days as marketing professionals look beyond their pay check for job satisfaction.

In good times, it is easy for businesses to prioritise the core values they have embraced.  Important concepts such as empowering your people, sustainability, trust, safety (!), respect for example, are lauded as the tools a company needs to provide the direction and focus to achieve their overall vision. 

But when the chips are down and times are bad – just how easy it is it to keep these values at the core of operations?

From what I’ve been hearing, the experiences of staff over the last few weeks would suggest that many are failing to do so.  

Now I’m not suggesting that any businesses should do anything other than prioritise their survival now and in the tough times that are undoubtedly ahead of us.  But, you can do so whilst maintaining your commitment to those values you willingly embrace in the good times, and it all comes down to the way you engage with and ultimately treat your staff.  Yet, so many are not.

Businesses losing site of their company values

Those businesses for whom safety is their number one priority – you expect them to be respectful of the risks that COVID-19 presents to their employees working “on the ground”.  Yet, we hear of management tucked safely away remote working in their homes, whilst still expecting others to work in close contact without the necessary PPE.  Is this really prioritising safety?

For another who claims trust is at the core of their values “requests” their staff to take a pay cut and sign a new contract to help the business through, yet then immediately furloughs them on 80% of this lower pay.

One other Marketing Manager whose business valued respect described how their entire team was made redundant on a Zoom call – all at once.  No individual chats, no respect of how this might impact the individuals, just a single call.  Done.

Hearing things like this from people I know is difficult to hear, and disappointing in the extreme.  Things are tough, for everyone.  We need to stay true to our values in times like these; it is tough for everyone and in the end, our people deserve it.

Check out my next blog about the questions you should be asking your employees in this time to help continue putting your core company values at the forefront of your employee engagement.