Speaking on a panel at the 2020 CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition, Metcalf said that COVID-19 had quickly revealed the companies that already had good company cultures in place and those that did not.
She also told her fellow panel members that, “some leaders are not doing their jobs properly” during the pandemic.
For Deborah Lee, group engagement director at Compass Group, another member of the panel, the biggest challenge to company culture through the pandemic has been keeping “clarity, comfort and community.”
Lee said business leaders need to remember that keeping a sense of community between their team is important.
“Because we’re so separate, working in our houses, stepping forward to build support networks in new and different ways to try and connect people through technology is vital when leading,” she said.
Picking up on the challenges in creating a culture in virtual teams that haven’t yet met each other in person, Elouise Leonard-Cross, occupational psychologist and head of people strategy and experience at Northumbrian Water, said that the best culture starts when employees’ basic needs and wants are looked after.
The basis of creating a good company culture is to have employees who are “fully charged and have got fuel in their tanks,” she added.
“Start by taking care of people because we know that for employees to operate at their best potential, to want to collaborate with others and to be curious and interested, they have to be in a good frame of mind.”