According to Investopedia, Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Pre-pandemic, employees had certain requirements and expectations placed on them with the idea of keeping work and home life separate from each other.

It’s no surprise that 2020 has been a year full of surprises, one of them being the fact that companies all over the world needed to swiftly pivot from working inside an office to working from home indefinitely. Now, an approximate seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we look back at how things have changed and the factors that led to it:

    • The Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement
      • The situation of George Floyd was the proverbial last straw for the United States. Through a series of protests, support, riots, and more, protests of unjust treatment towards minorities were heard all over the world and echoed through protests in various countries from all over the world.
      • Employees and consumers alike are looking to company leaders to raise empathy towards the cause and to look further into the issue of bias in the workplace; Staying silent is no longer an option as is lack of action.
      • Cancel culture is more predominant as each day passes where businesses and leaders alike choose not to show concern and empathy towards civil grievances; even more so, when no accountability is taken.
        • Because of this, many businesses have lost clientele and have been forced to shut down.
        • Consumers and employees are demanding change in behavior, not just words of apology or sentiment.
  • COVID-19
    • With the increase in cases all over the world, businesses were forced to switch their operations from working at an office to working from home.
    • Business leaders are now compelled to consider and be empathic towards their employees’ WFH situation with topics such as household responsibilities, child-care needs, health-care matters needing to be juggled.
      • Despite this, research shows that remote work has not only increased employee happiness and productivity but also saved leaders’ business operation costs over $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year, according to Global Workplace Analytics.
      • Working from home has also been shown to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and road wear and tear with either a reduced or eliminated commute into an office.

Now that remote work and civil rights are more common than ever, employees are looking to hold themselves and their leaders accountable in the workplace. Leaders especially are being looked upon to reinvent what Corporate Culture as we know it used to be and adapt it to that of a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive culture for their workforce.

How do we create a more D&I-based culture that will benefit employers and employees alike? Like any good and solid business, everything starts with the foundation. Here are three actionable steps you can take to get started:

  • Assess
    • Identify the current bias in the workplace and the cause of them. It’s important to recognize the unconscious bias that may be perpetrated by management and employees alike in order to fully understand the problem and begin building towards a solution.
  • Training
    • Strategic training at both an executive and ground level will need to go in effect. For management, it’s important to assess and determine if all factors starting with the recruitment process have been equitable and with the purpose of serving your desired demographic.
    • Offering concurrent training and support towards all levels in the workforce will help in allowing everyone to have a voice and feel like they’re a part of the company rather than just another number. Once people have that sense of belonging at work, they’re more content, productive, and more likely to continue within a company.
  • Measure & Accountability
    • D&I goals need to be created and met accordingly. It’s the leaders’ responsibility to ensure that these goals are met and do not fall through the cracks.

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