How To Maintain a Pre-COVID Culture: Tips From Conscious Leaders

By Terkel

Businesswoman smiling while looking at laptop

What is one tip for maintaining your company culture that existed pre-COVID?

To help conscious leaders maintain their company culture, we asked CEOs and business professionals this question for their best insights. From rallying your employees to finding ways to connect, there are several ways to maintain your pre-COVID company culture.

Here are eight tips to maintaining the culture that existed before the pandemic:

1. Integrate New Programs

To create and keep the company culture that existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, reinforce your team's resiliency, and don't be afraid to integrate new programs to support this. While you want to keep the company culture from before, recognizing that some changes have been made and that people have adapted can help reinforce those traits in your employees. This can help create a company culture that's not afraid of change and adapting as they relate back to the mission and job. Praising your team's abilities can help boost morale and keep that company culture positive.

— Jon Schneider, Recruiterie

2. Rally Your Employees Around Your Mission and Values

Your company culture should be grounded in part to your company's missions and values. While we love nothing more than getting people equipped to rent or buy RVs for their trips to the great outdoors, making sure we're taking care of our staff and representatives is also important. One thing to help create and keep the same company culture that existed prior to the pandemic is to check in on what your employees need and rally them around the mission and values of the company again. It's been a hard and uncertain time for a lot of folks. Be honest that you want to make sure that you're best meeting their needs while also supporting the needs and job at hand.

— Randall Smalley II, Cruise America

3. Set Your Community as Your Focal Point

For us, getting children back into the classroom to engage in social skills and relationships once again is super important. To keep the company culture and morale high in our teachers and staff, we reinvigorate ourselves by recommitting to our community and setting that as our focal point. In the times of the pandemic, we've seen what communities can do when brought together and how we can all get through difficult times by taking active roles in helping each other. For our school, from students to staff, we band together through our faith and our bonds as a community and place that into the core of what we do.

— Erick Streelman, King’s School

4. Find Ways to Connect in Remote Settings

Strong company culture will withstand ever-changing business landscapes, including that of COVID-19. If a company focuses intrinsically on how it wants the team to feel and support the mission, then doing so from behind a screen remotely will be easier to maintain than if the culture was about extrinsic measures, like ping pong tables and free lunch. If the culture is based on “connectedness”, then finding ways to connect to each other will be key — such as team virtual lunches and games scheduled throughout the week. If the culture is based on accountability, then having strong communication and transparency will be key. The tactics might look different from pre-COVID, but the culture should feel consistent.

— Jenn Christie, Markitors

5. Focus on the Message You’re Sending

In general, I think this pandemic has really forced us to rethink what exactly culture is. At the end of the day, it is about the message that is sent. For some, this may be having time together with the rest of their teammates getting to know each other. For others, it may be perks like the company gym or snacks. While for others, it may be the level of trust that is communicated by the ability to be remote. All of these are different ways of communicating the same thing — that you are valued!

— Steven Brown, DP Electric Inc

6. Be Realistic on How the Pandemic Changed Your Company

The pandemic has changed us all. It has changed our companies. It has changed the way that our employees feel about work. Companies that focus on maintaining the company culture that existed pre-COVID may have a hard time retaining talent in the long run. Employees are looking for leaders who recognize and are realistic about the way that the pandemic has changed the way that we all look at the world and the way that we look at our jobs. Surely, there are pieces of the pre-COVID company culture that are worth persevering, like teamwork, integrity and fun, but how we build those values into our culture has likely changed forever. Take time to be realistic about how your values are reflected in your company culture. Reconnect with your employees to learn what is important to them and go from there.

— Niki Ramirez,

7. Focus on Employee Well-Being

The foundation of a strong company culture rests on how well an organization values its employees. Be it amidst the pandemic or after, team leaders should make it their utmost priority to check in with their members and keep track of their physical and mental well-being.

An important part of this is understanding that each team member has their own unique needs. What works for one employee may not necessarily work for another. By digging deeper, leaders and managers can carefully dissect what motivates certain members so that they can uplift employee morale, regardless of the situation.

— Riley Beam, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.

8. Create Shared Experiences

Right now, it can be harder to get people together physically, but that doesn't mean there aren't ways to get your team together. A big component of culture comes from living through the same experiences, so try to plan engaging group activities. From setting up a fantasy sports league to a trivia night to a fitness challenge, creating a shared experience might only require a little pre-planning and a brag-worthy prize. Employees will have a chance to interact with each other as people, and they'll start to develop the camaraderie your business needs to move forward.

— Elliott Brown, OnPay Software

Grand Canyon University knows a welcoming and conscious culture is important. If you would like to join an energetic and warm community, consider GCU’s campus or online degree programs. If you would like to broaden your skill set and learn more about leadership, explore our Master of Science in Leadership degree. For more information click on the Request Info button at the top of your screen.

Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.