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The Looming Culture Crisis


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The Looming Culture Crisis

  3. 3. Agenda • Thelooming culture crisis • Its four elements • An elegant solution
  4. 4. A newcrisis is looming, and many leaders are overlooking it… Forces threatening company culture have been set in motion by the Covid-19 pandemic, creating unique threats that imperil the ability of businesses to successfully rebound in 2021.
  5. 5. The looming culture crisis • Retaining clients • Preserving cash • Securing loans and financing • Shifting teams to workingat home • Adapting on-premisesworkersto Covid protocols • Etc. Leadershavebeen puttingtheirtime andenergy intonavigating theCovid crisis fromabusiness perspective: Mosthaven’tbeenthinkingaboutitfromanemployeeperspective!
  6. 6. Meanwhile, employees are fragile and company culture is stressed…
  7. 7. The Covid Trap is in full effect. • The‘commonenemy’that united teams in2020has lost its power as the pandemic wears on. • Covid gave people a purpose to unite,creating record levels of employeeengagement • ANDa false sense of securityfor leaders!
  8. 8. Now we’rein Lockdown2.0 (or is it 3.0?) • 2020was hardand the next few months aren’tgoing to beanybetter • Workingfrom homeis even worse in thewinter! • Loneliness and isolation are setting in • They’restuck inside • Mental health is a rising issue “Thehomestretchwillbelongandperhapstakea greatertollonourprofessionalandpersonallivesthan weexpectitto.” “HowtoLeadWhen YourTeamisExhausted - andYou Are,Too” HarvardBusiness Review,2020
  9. 9. Don’t have a Dick Francis moment!
  10. 10. Falling at the final hurdle is avoidable • Cultureis eroding at companies worldwide rightnow. • Employeeengagement and performanceare diminishing -just as we’re approaching the brinkof recovery Businesses, havingexpended so muchtimeandeffort are jeopardising alltheir workoverthelast nine months But if they don’t act to bolster employeeengagement, they risk wasting that work, and falling at the final hurdle -derailing their plans. For some businesses, this will be their last mistake. Don’thaveaDickFrancismoment!
  12. 12. The four forces eroding culture today • FATIGUE: Rising burnoutand exhaustion, leading to employee fragility, • MISALIGNMENT: Rapidly growing misalignment between employersand employees, • RESISTANCE:Disconnect aroundreturningto the workplace, • MISUNDERSTANDING:Employee expectations have dramatically changed. COMPANY CULTURE
  13. 13. Fatigue & burnoutare on the rise The hallmarks of burnout: • Feelings of energydepletion orexhaustion; • Increasedmentaldistance from one’sjob, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and • Reduced professional efficacy. Whentime offdoesn’trefreshemployees, theymaybeburnedout,andthatis more serious. It’snotaboutthepeople. It’sabouttheworkplace. “Burnout signs have risen 33% in 2020.” -LinkedIn’sGlint
  14. 14. Employee/employer expectations are misaligned Initially supportive, employees now see things differently: • Theyhavebeen workinghard, and at greater personal riskin some cases, throughoutthe pandemic • For manybusinesses, results of those efforts havepaid off interms of revenueand business results Manycompaniesadoptednecessaryausteritymeasuresatthe beginning ofthepandemic,curbingpayraisesandhaltingbonuses andotherperks. Butthereisadisconnectandwithoutalignment,yourbest employees willleave.
  15. 15. Growing resistance to returning to the workplace • Some have developed strong preferences for remote work, • Others likethe idea of a hybridschedule, combiningdays inthe office with WFH, • Andsome may need to continueremote work out of necessity. Employeespreferencesvarywidely concerningreturning totheworkplacefull-time. Ifyoucan’tfindawaytomakethenewnormalworkforyouremployees,theywill findawaytomake itworkelsewhere.
  16. 16. Misunderstanding changing employeeexpectations • Employers CANmake big changes, and quickly,shifting to WFH and flexible work models. • Leaders can prioritise employees’ health and wellbeing, makinghugechangesto workplaces, service models, etc. • Organisations can focus on employee engagement, with leaders makingextra efforts to communicateand connectwith their teams. Thepandemichasproven:
  17. 17. Misunderstanding changing employee expectations • Employees will expect thesechanges to be permanent, • Understandingand keeping stride with evolving expectations will makeor break companies’ ability to retain and attract top talent, • Employeeengagement drivers are evolving rapidly. Top of mind for 2021: • “A sense of belonging” • Diversity and inclusion in the workplace • Support for employeemental health. The ongoing challenges forleaders:
  18. 18. The remedy… to prevent a culture crisis now, and inoculate against one in future
  19. 19. You can choose to take control back from the pandemic • Acceptance. Thereneeds to be acceptance first from yourleaders that these issues arereal and could exist inthe firm. • Understanding the truth. • Communicating what matters. • Action whereit will makea real difference. CHOOSE to take controlback! To avoid a Dick Francis moment, and havea business that can thrive moving forward youneed to go throughtheprocess of:
  20. 20. Our culture crisis vaccination • Accept: Thiswebinar, and our newwhite paper (coming on5 February) • Understand: FreeBenchmarkAssessment Survey+ Covid CultureCheckmodule • Communicate: Secure, confidential, anonymous,two-way communication provided by our platform • Act: With our guidance and expertise, leaders can take targeted action.
  21. 21. We’ve already had a year ofnasty, unexpected surprises. Do youreallywant more?
  22. 22. What to do next: • Current clients: Tellyour EngagementManager if youwould liketo use the Covid CultureChecksurvey. • Youcan field it to employees as a stand-alone surveyoradd it to your next Benchmark. (Available week of 8 Feb) • Non-clients: Claim yourfreeBenchmarkAssessment + Covid CultureCheck module via the link we are sharing right now. • Wewill also send youthe linkvia email

Notas del editor

  • Set the stage for the new opportunity - why you’re here today
  • Simply put, we’ve never experienced anything like the challenges we’re facing today. The uniqueness of this moment requires business leaders to assess their team with fresh eyes, against the concerns of the day, as opposed to those expressed at a different time. 
    Understanding the unique forces the pandemic has created - along with the rapid changes in employee expectations - is crucial for leaders seeking to reinforce their company cultures as they guide their businesses through the pandemic, and hopefully, toward recovery. 
  • Ensuring leaders are aware of how employees are thinking at this moment, what they are prioritizing in terms of their personal experiences, and how the company’s plans and policies stack up will help the company quickly assess and adjust strategies and messaging to increase employee confidence in the firm and its leaders.
  • Some of you might recognize this picture - it is a famous one. 

    This picture was taken in the 1956 Grand National, just 25 yards from the finish line.  Dick Francis, a champion jockey who also became an international best-selling author after his riding career -  was riding the Queen Mother’s horse, Devon Loch.  
    Until this moment, they were drawing off to a thrilling victory.  Even today, as you watch the grainy videos on Youtube, you can hear the roar of the crowd swell, cheering the Royal horse. 
    Then - suddenly and inexplicably - Devon Loch did this belly flop. 
    Horse and rider rose, unhurt, as the field passed them by, but the damage was done. Out of the blue and at the penultimate moment, they had lost the biggest race.
  • For very little additional effort, leaders can actually get ahead of this final hurdle and and come out of this strong and actually
    reap the rewards for all of the good stuff they did over the last nine months …
  • The four horsemen were pestilence, war, famine, death

    If you don’t address these it could absolutely lead to famine and death from a business perspective.
  • The forces afoot in businesses today are the direct result of the pandemic, and they are unique.  When combined with the aforementioned timing that could cause a company’s best laid plans to fail at the 11 hour, the consequences of failing to act will be grave. 

  • Some organizations are actually exacerbating fatigue because of the way they are micromanaging their employees.  They are measuring inputs not outcomes - and are compounding the problems for themselves. 
    When the problem is more than exhaustion time away from the problem isn’t the solution. 
    Leaders need to take stock of the impact the changes 2020 required have had on employees.
    Your employees are fragile. They are exhausted, burnt out and at their breaking point. If you do not get ahead of this fragility, more employees will go over the edge 
    Use of alcohol, drugs and antidepressants are all on an alarming rise - and you are kidding yourself if you believe your employees are exempt.
  • In normal times, most companies have a clearly-defined compensation scheme. The pandemic has caused companies to abandon their usual approach.

    From the leader’s perspective, these are reasonable actions.  Much uncertainty continues to cloud the future. Business continuity is still top of mind, requiring conservation of resources. 

    But employees have a different point of view.

    For employers, the risk is clear:

    Lack of alignment on compensation means employees increasingly feel they’re being treated unfairly
    The perception of unfair treatment is a significant driver of disengagement and dissatisfaction 
    As the end of the pandemic nears and economies start to rebound, dissatisfied employees will leave - just when all hands are needed on deck! 
    Even worse, these feelings are likely to be prevalent amongst high-performers who have carried even more weight during the pandemic.

  • Employers may alienate employees if they don’t handle the return-to-workplace question with dexterity. Complexity and risk is everywhere - as more companies adopt remote and hybrid work models, people will be able to more easily find roles that suit them, making attrition a real possibility for those employers not able or willing to accommodate them. If you can’t find a way to make the new normal work for your employees, they will find a way to make it work elsewhere.
  • The pandemic forced orgaisations to make huge changes – many they never before contemplated – quickly, thereby proving to employees that some of the changes they had long desired – whether the ability to WFH, improved leadership communications, or simply a demonstration of concern for their wellbeing – were in fact possible.
  • Employer value propositions will need to be adjusted to align with and meet the changing expectations of employees. 
    Organizations that don’t make clear their value proposition to employees - and that are missing these essential elements - will cease to be employers of choice.
  • If as a business leader, you accept that these issues are real issues that most businesses face, the reality is you are potentially headed toward a Dick Francis moment.
    The issues we have highlighted today are prevalent in the majority of orgs. 
    Here’s how How can you help your company get ahead of these issues, avoid a DF moment, so you have a business that can thrive moving forward
    1 Acceptance. Progress starts with the truth. Your have to be willing to understand to what extent these issues are prevalent within the organisation.  
    2 Progress starts with the truth.  There’s not a one size fits all. 
    3 Find out the truth.  The best way is an anonymous, non-threatening approach that assures employees of their confidentiality. 
    4 Develop an effective, ongoing communication loop. Get a structure and framework in place to understand where things are now, what drivers will help resolve issues, identify new ones on the horizon and unite your team around getting through this and emerging stronger. 
    5 Take action. And celebrate the fact that everyone is taking control back from a time when control was taken from us.  Here’s an opportunity to CHOOSE to take control back! 
    For clients already using EM, the opportunity now is to run a benchmark and our new Culture Check On Demand  and understanding to what extent these issues exist within your business.  If you’re not an EM client, you can take advantage of our free benchmark assessment to see what the barriers and obstacles are and avoid a DF moment and ensure your business thrives.

  • If you’re hesitating, the message is…do you really want more?

    And with this vaccination being completely free, why would you not?

  • Pushing registration link to client webinar while on this slide …