The COVID-19 pandemic reinforced the critical importance of company culture. Physically separated companies had to create virtual cultures to help bring people together and bolster the connections and networks that define great organizations. Employees were no longer running into each other in the lunchroom or grabbing drinks after work. All those physical interactions that build camaraderie went away. As a result, companies had to, in some sense, reinvent their culture via Zoom and the other technologies that we were all suddenly very dependent upon. It was a painful transition, but it was also a learning experience for a lot of companies that had been all in-person until that time. And even though many if not most of those companies are now back to an in-person workflow, many of the virtual culture components they created during the pandemic remain in place today.
Additionally, companies today are still grappling with the new reality of hybrid work and trying to figure out how to maintain the tightness amongst their employees and the loyalty to the organization now that most people are no longer required to report to an office every day. The challenge is building and sustaining a healthy culture when the entire team isn’t together in a single place at any one time. I believe that this challenge is contributing to the “Great Resignation” and the propensity of some people to change jobs more often than before; to jump from one company to another without a second thought. That tendency is reflected in many of the resumes that we see where a candidate has held two or three different positions in two or three different companies in recent years. It makes it difficult for recruiters to determine how much the candidate contributed to their company in such a brief period.
Many companies are still struggling a bit to navigate this new terrain. They are learning and innovating, as they try to figure out what their new approaches will be because almost everyone seems to agree that many aspects of the old ways of working are probably not coming back, and certainly not anytime soon. The companies that pivot the quickest while keeping true to their core values are those that will succeed.