Keeping Culture Strong During Covid
Enriching and developing company culture have never been so important. As businesses across the globe are reassessing their work dynamic and adjusting to remote work, maintaining a business’ culture, or “shared values and attitudes,” has become a challenge.
Thankfully at Enovation Controls, conquering complex issues is nothing new and has been a foundational element in how we operate.
We interviewed our Director of Operations in the UK Natalie Davies, Director of Sales Engineering Chris Silverman and SMT Supervisor Stephen Ciganek to discover the many ways organizations can conquer complexity and revitalize their company culture in tough times.
With all the changes that came with this year, Natalie Davies was confident that Enovation Controls would continue the spirit of innovation when working through the challenges of the pandemic.
“Enovation Control’s UK team very quickly adapted to the Covid-19 working situation,” said Davies. “They embraced changes in situations that we suddenly found ourselves in without any preparation whilst maintaining positive attitudes throughout. They respected and appreciated every health and safety decision the organization made and embraced those changes and continue to do so. When we struggled to adapt to the changing environment, team members spoke up and challenged our thinking, helping the leadership team think outside the box. The leadership team always kept a transparent line of communication with all team members which enabled the organization to function effectively and efficiently.”
“Enovation Controls has remained relentless and resilient by taking care of our team members, ensuring that their health and safety was paramount to everything we did and by providing a safe environment to operate in. By listening to our customers’ needs and managing their expectations, when their needs changed, we adapted quickly and effectively wherever possible.”
During a time when some employees are now working remotely, businesses are being tested with a new challenge of keeping co-workers connected. Chris Silverman worked with his team to modify the way they engage with each other and made an effort to bring his team together virtually.
“Out of all the challenges that we’ve overcome this year, keeping our culture alive hasn’t been the most challenging one for us,” said Silverman. “I believe this is due to that fact that our culture and core values are defined by who we are and not just who we strive to be. Early stages of the pandemic were scary with little information available, yet faced with adversity, we didn’t buckle under the stress and fear. In fact, we were flexible and resilient and approached the situation with a humbled and dedicated focus on each other and our customers. We did have to get creative with our internal and external engagements and adapt to a new normal where many of us have been physically separated from one another. However, with new and more efficient ways to communicate, we had no trouble keeping our connected culture alive. To help keep the teams engaged on a personal level and to help advocate for fun, we adopted a mini ‘Enriching Lives’ committee within our group. We’ve been blessed to have ‘Ambassadors of Fun’ who have volunteered to schedule virtual engagements and plan creative group activities to help as well.”
In addition to adjustments in employee interaction, sales professionals are met with travel restrictions and limited face-to-face communication with their customers. Flexibility and ingenuity have played key roles in maintaining business relationships at this time of social distance.
“Maintaining customer relationships is often more important than we may all recognize,” said Silverman. “In these challenging times, our customers were also worried about the health of their families and their business’. Our Business Development and Sales Teams have continued to prioritize our customers with a personalized approach and committed focus. We ensured communication lines remained open and provided uninterrupted engineering support even while our customers’ business and operations slowed. We maintained weekly, and in some cases daily, customer touchpoints to help maintain high-level communication. The teams also scheduled after hours events through Skype and Teams calls to help stay engaged and offer fun ways for customer relationship building.”
As it is important to keep communication lines open between customers and their sales support, it is equally important that our teams in manufacturing stay in continuous communication and work together to navigate any changes during this time. Stephen Ciganek has learned the importance of communication and being surrounded by the right people in difficult times.
“Our culture is strong because of the people. Having the right people on the bus keeps the bus moving on the strong culture highway,” said Ciganek. “I have found it easy to come to work and easy to be around my fellow coworkers during the pandemic. I also appreciate the efforts of all those that worked from or continue to work from home. I can understand how that is challenging. We have had bumps along the way and still do, but it has largely been business as usual.”
“We use way more sanitizer and fight with foggy glasses. We’ve tried many types of masks and shields to make the new norm as comfortable as possible. Having plenty of work, I think, is the best motivator for getting each of us through these challenging times. The 40-hours-a-week doing the job (and more in September) might be the only normalcy in some of our lives. I find it extremely positive the effort everyone is making to keep that normalcy. It is awesome to see the effort each team member makes to keep each other happy, healthy and safe.”
Now is the time when business professionals need to get a little creative and think of new ways to connect and maintain strong relationships. Whether you are working from home, doing your work in-person with limited interaction or a combination of both, the past seven months have proven to be a strange time for everyone. It’s important that we work together to stay connected through social media, be flexible when we can, maintain positive attitudes and surround ourselves with the right people to keep company culture strong.