Given the uncertainty businesses face in 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, company leaders are looking at every phase of their operation to determine ways they can improve. Company culture is one area commanding attention. As the virus caused business limitations and forced many companies to go fully remote in 2020, workplace culture was challenged in new ways. This was a reminder to company leaders to make this a priority, forcing them to find ways to strengthen it in the new year, says Mark McClain, CEO and co-founder of SailPoint and the ForbesBooks author of Joy and Success at Work: Building Organizations that Don’t Suck (the Life Out of People).
“More and more, companies are starting to understand that they need to show employees that they value them as whole people,” McClain says.
“If you respect them, value them and treat them as professionals, they will go through walls for you. If you don’t, if you create an environment where the very thought of coming to work creates anxiety, then they are going to look for employment elsewhere.”
Issues within the workplace culture can fester and eventually lead to toxic relationships, lower productivity, and higher turnover. McClain says that as companies try to balance remote working with a return to the office, it’s critical that culture problems be diagnosed and dealt with.
“But too often,” he says, “leaders don’t have the time to dig into the root problems or don’t know how to really reach their people and devise solutions.”
McClain offers these tips for management to build a better workplace culture in 2021: