Catalyzing events are those that forever change people and society. 

The COVID Pandemic makes one thing clear for sure:  

Work will be forever changed.


Our Expectations, Beliefs, “Rules” …. 


About what’s OK and not OK (vaccine proof or honor system?)


The role of management v employee needs… 


Even the “location” of company culture. 


Based on Gallup research with CHRO’s — most companies favor a hybrid model – not to be confused with easy. 


Read on the challenges and remedies for a smoother transition… regardless of what happens, when and where. 

From Morning Brew’s “The new office politics? An existential crisis for some” (August 9, 2021):  

According to some of the biggest tech companies on the planet, the hybrid environment is a bigger challenge than either extreme… The commitment to supporting corporate culture across physical rooms and virtual channels alike creates new hurdles for the intangible elements between tasks…

If you’re at the distraction-filled office, how do you keep up with breakneck digital activity? 

If you’re in isolation at home, how do you avoid missing out on critical corridor conversations?
How can you encourage colleagues, impress a boss, or ease interdepartmental tensions when half the team’s attention is on a different plane of corporate existence? 


Challenges and proposed remedies: 

  1. Redefine “What is Culture” – PEOPLE working toward a common mission, will interact in ways that create social bonds, creativity, and “sticky culture.”  Learn before you conclude: Use focus groups and listening sessions to discover what people are feeling, thinking, needing. 
  2. Reimagine Culture Rules. Use the team or department culture to guide decisions about who, when and how. Vaccine proof or honor system? Creating a “new” employer brand, or risk losing great talent?
  3. REALLY Empower Teams and their managers to create a model that fits the TEAM needs, accomplishes its mission – within a common framework.
  4. Remember!!! Fairness should be a core value to ensure the overall culture doesn’t devolve into “haves” and “have nots.” Ensure front-line management has the proper coaching and support to uplift the team and represent your culture, regardless of physical location. 


One of the most challenging issues for many CHRO’s, is the legal issue of “where you work.”  Different states have different rules governing work related policies. Some CHRO’s are still figuring out where people are living now, what is OK v. not OK.  (requiring people to be within driving distance of their work hub, for example.) 

The key is defining the culture of the team and its needs – NOT a one-size-fits-all policy.  This is a perfect opportunity to practice “empowerment” – not just talk about it. 

Ask your people for their input before you convene the executive team to “cast the rules from on-high.”  You’ll end up with a solution that exceeds what you could have imagined!


Source:  Gallup Workplace: Top CHROs Believe ‘Flexibility Within a Framework’ Is the Future of Work

#futureofwork #culturalagility #hybridwork

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