With the COVID-19 epidemic in full swing, employers around the world are re-evaluating how work is performed to avoid major disruptions to their businesses. At Crowe Soberman, we started those preparations early on, so when Ontario declared a State of Emergency on March 17, most of our firm was already working remotely. In these uncertain times, staying connected and maintaining a strong workplace culture has never been more important.
Human capital remains at the forefront of Crowe Soberman’s business. We understand the importance and are proud of the culture we have worked hard to create. This is evidenced by our frequent social gatherings, lunches together in the breakroom (The Crowe’s Nest), intramural sports leagues, and our community involvement - just to name a few. Company culture is usually established from the top down, so buy-in from your business leaders and management is key. Statistics show a direct correlation from a strong corporate culture to increased engagement, productivity, and profits. Happy employees perform better, work longer, and come up with innovative solutions faster than their less engaged peers.
Innovative technology allows us to connect anywhere there is an internet connection. Office communication systems (like Skype for Business, Slack, Workplace from Facebook, etc.) help us maintain a seamless, open line of communication both inside and outside of the firm. Keeping communication open during this time of social distancing, when you would otherwise see a decline in human interaction, helps keep your team together - so get creative!
- Missing your group lunches at the office? No problem; start a video conference chat to catch up. (Kudos to Adam Scherer, partner in our Tax Group for coming up with that idea.)
- Create safe spaces for staff to communicate openly and support one another in group chats. Susan Hodkinson, our Chief Operating Officer and Human Resources Consulting Group partner, has been sharing everything from daily health and wellness tips, to technology updates, to funny things going on in her day. Make it personal and keep it fun.
- Pick up the phone! Before hitting send on that email, consider the personal touch of chatting over the phone. During these days of social distancing, brainstorming and collaborating with colleagues over a call can make a world of difference.
A remote team does not have to be a disconnected team. Take the time to make those connections and build those relationships. Celebrate employee achievements, share personal success stories and brainstorm your best practices for working remotely with your team.
We are all in this together.