Culture eats COVID-19 for breakfast

Here are some groundbreaking tips to help your company culture survive the impact of Covid-19. Want to know more?

Llama eating a plant for breakfast. Llama represents culture, the plant represents Covid-19

Photo by Ka Long Li on Unsplash – Llama eating grasses in nature

 

What makes a company great is its culture! that its leaders and the employees create. I have experienced the culture at different companies ranging from Banks, Insurance, Entertainment, Public Sector, Utility Services, and Management Consulting. Only a few of these companies left a huge impact on my heart and the soul. One company that stands out for me is my current company, Think Agile. I want to share my experience of how Think Agile brought a huge impact on my life during COVID-19 lockdown.

Care

Our company started working from home 2 weeks before the official lockdown started. The message to everyone was simple and clear – our safety was the most important thing than anything else. Our company also identified the risk status of each individual to make sure that the people that are at high risk (as a family) work from home for an extended period.

Transparency

Like most other businesses around the globe, our company was also hit financially because of COVID-19. Think Agile was transparent from the beginning and we were all kept up to date of the incoming and outgoing money. It gave us the motivation to work even harder and defeat the situation as a team. It also motivated us to celebrate every situation as a team when things were going well and collaborate more when we need to try new things

Collaboration

We have never felt closer as a team since we started working remotely. We made an effort to speak multiple times a day, whereas before lockdown we would only catchup as a team once a week. One project we collaborated on in the early days of lockdown was ICAgile accreditation. We didn’t just finish the course material in a few short months but also got accredited, which was a crucial milestone for us.

Alignment

It’s the 7th month since we started working remotely. We had worked with remote teams, but our team had never worked together remotely before.  But we adapted to new ways of working within a few days. We started off with two alignment sessions per day and reduced them to one over time. We also hold a strategy discussion session every 3-6 months and use our daily sessions to align accordingly.

Personal Wellbeing

Working online can become tiring, so each team member was given a mental health day to take some rest. Think Agile also volunteered to pay for therapy or coaching sessions, if we needed. And guess what? People who felt they didn’t need the days off, didn’t take them as respect to the care that was shown by the company

Empathy

My wife and I are expecting a baby soon, and I will be taking paternity leaves in a few months. After the leadership came to know about our news, they got to work. According to the South African Labour law, an employee is entitled to 10 days of paternity leave without pay. To my surprise, our leadership team agreed to 10 days of paid leave! When I got this update, I had a few teardrops in my eyes, as I felt truly valued as a family person.

Up-skilling

In our organisation, a learning budget is allocated to each person to be spent on training, international or local conferences, and other up-skilling options. Because of COVID-19, we put a hold on our learning budget. Recently, in our strategy session, we decided to remove the hold as in order to help the company grow, we need to help each other grow.

Our focus on personal development doesn’t stop with the company. We care for our community, and we cared even more during the pandemic. In the Think Agile Relief program,  we provided free training to people who lost their jobs and wanted to up-skill.

Based on my experience with Think Agile, I would like to convey one message. Like how “Culture eats strategy for breakfast (by Peter Drucker)”, “Culture eats Covid-19 for breakfast” as well.

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