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Corporate Culture in the Time of COVID

Categories: Blog

Your business has a specific culture whether you are aware of it or not. All corporate cultures have been affected over the past year during the pandemic. The changes may be good or bad, depending on your view, but anticipate that your company’s culture will be evolving and different than what it was in early 2020. The question is what do you want your corporate culture to be?

This question has many answers and new procedures or rules that you implement for your business will drive where your culture goes. Some threshold issues are whether your business will be virtual in whole or part, with employees working from home or around the country, or will you require your employees to be vaccinated. One overriding issue will be whether you treat all employees the same or not, and the related fallout.

By this I mean do some employees have the ability to choose to work remotely some or all of the time, while others are required to come into your place of business? If some employees are remote full time, some are coming in 2 days a week and others 4, each group may think the other is receiving preferential treatment and that they aren’t being treated “fairly.” I put the word fairly in quotes because how you define the word depends on you: what is fair to me may not seem fair to you. The risk in all situations is the potential for issues such as resentment in the workplace.

I think issues such as resentment can work themselves out. Employees either will adjust to how they and other employees are working or opt out. This means there will be conversations to be had to know where employees stand, but some may opt out by leaving your company. This may be difficult in the short term, but in the long run your company will be better off with employees comfortable with what your company is post-pandemic and the manner in which your employees are working. They will be comfortable with your evolving culture.

There are no easy answers. There will be bumps in the road. Your company likely will lose people you currently view as important to the success of your business. But this also will provide opportunity in the form of new employees who fit in your new corporate culture.

Embracing change always has been important. Now it’s as important as ever because businesses are reinventing their identities in part or whole. If you don’t consciously work on the reinvention of your company and its culture, it will happen anyway. Don’t you want to have a say in what your corporate culture becomes?

As always, this post and others can be found on my blog, Business Law Guy.


About the Author: Neal Bookspan is a partner at the Phoenix, Arizona law firm of Jaburg Wilk. He assists clients with business issues, commercial litigation, workouts, and bankruptcy litigation. Neal can be reached at 602.248.1000.