It’s been an interesting paradox that, for an event that (superficially at least) kept us all separated, the global pandemic has seen a huge emphasis on the power of relationships and connection. For so long, we couldn’t get together in meeting rooms or cafes: all the more essential, then, were those other, often relatively new ways of staying connected to each other, of sharing news and providing mutual support.
We also know (only too well) how all this enforced isolation obliged companies to change their working practices – pretty much overnight. It suddenly became essential to quickly and nimbly marry your company’s overall needs and objectives, with your staff’s often very particular working requirements.
Remote working, hybrid working: change has been fast and disruptive, and has required some fresh thinking. However, some of its lessons and new behaviours may stand us all in good stead for many years to come.
In particular, it’s this sense of listening to the needs of others, and adapting your long-term game plan accordingly, that I think will prove to be a crucial skill in the marketplace going forward.
Culture is everything
Have you given much thought to your workforce culture? Many CEOs, HR teams and others may pass over this apparently nebulous concept without a second thought, but I believe defining and being inspired by your workplace culture is key to a productive, successful workforce.
A key part of this is to think about the partners you collaborate with. Do their values, culture and goals broadly align with your own? As we emerge from the pandemic, with its changes to working methods now firmly embedded into many workplaces, we all need to be ready for change.
And now, a key adaptation to make as businesses seek to consolidate after the changes and disruptions of 2020-21, is to tap into the synergy between individual vendors and partners, creating strong relationships that can benefit everyone. We’re now in an age, after all, where customer experience is everything – where customers can both share their experiences quickly and easily within large online communities, and also easily disengage from, say, a technology service that isn’t working for them. These two factors combine to make it more essential than ever to deliver a great customer experience – and to do that, you need some great creative synergies between you and your partners.
Seeking partner: shared interests… essential?
All of this begs the question: who are your ideal partners? With whom could you be collaborating most fruitfully? Should you limit yourself to working with people and organisations who broadly share your own values and culture, or can you – should you – also seek to connect with others who view things and do things differently?
It’s a really interesting question, and my take is: cast your net wide. Diversity of thinking, new business approaches, new ways of doing things – these can be really energising for businesses. It’s all within reason, of course: you’ll know how much shared culture you need, as a kind of baseline, when seeking out new partners. There needs to be some initial common ground, after all, in which the fruits of partnership can take root.
The pandemic – that apparently isolationist time – in fact reminded us all to take care over our relationships. And I believe we must continue to keep this hugely valuable lesson in mind, in our businesses just as in our personal lives.
Spend time getting a strong handle on what defines your own workplace culture, then look for partners that will complement that culture, even helping it to grow in potentially fruitful new directions. Lastly, tend and maintain these partnerships, just as you tended to your personal relationships during the pandemic. If you can achieve all this, I believe you’ll emerge from this challenging time with new strengths and synergies that will serve you in good stead – whatever the future holds.
The partnerships you choose have the power to invigorate your company and working practices. They will also necessitate change.
At Jefferson Talent Group, we can help you manage that change. Our change management services are just one of the strands of expertise we can bring to your company.
Contact us today and let us help you to prosper in tomorrow’s business climate.