Remote work is perhaps the most significant change in the world of work brought about by the pandemic. Yet too few companies have adapted — or even considered — their culture accordingly, says Alyssa Gruber of Hudson Gate Partners in a new report.
March 25, 2022 – Company culture is not easily encapsulated or often prioritized, even when staff are working in the office, interfacing in real time with company philosophy. Working from home has revealed not only how few organizations have sufficiently honed their company culture, but also how few have yet to even consider company culture, according to Alyssa Gruber, head of administration and management research at Hudson Gate Partners. “What’s salient now is the focus on building and reinforcing the existing culture, as well as effectively communicating the company’s ethics to employees, who are working both remotely and in the office,” she said. culture is long gone. There is an immediate need for well-articulated values, tenants and policies that employees not only hear about, but experience. »
For example, data trends show that employees seek to feel that their employer’s policies align with their company’s purported philosophy. “If a company talks about championing work-life balance but doesn’t allow flexibility if an employee has to work from home one day, then employees start to distrust what they hear,” Ms Gruber said. “Culture is an active, ever-changing word, not just sporadically offered policies and slogans to appease employees and attorneys.”
A transparent exchange between employees and key human capital decision makers is essential to achieving a strong and sustainable corporate culture, according to Ms. Gruber. “Employees want to feel that their voice has an impact on the company they work for. Human capital leaders need to create not just an open door policy, but an environment that supports that policy. If staff do not feel heard, safe, or encouraged to participate and provide feedback, no cultural policy will ultimately affect positive change.
Alyssa Gruber joined Hudson Gate Partners in 2021 as head of the firm’s administrative services practice. She has over a decade of recruitment experience in the alternative asset management silo, focusing on administrative, human resources, marketing and investor relations roles. Throughout her career, Ms. Gruber has built and managed administrative staffing divisions from the ground up, at start-up and established staffing firms in New York City. Its main clients are mainly hedge funds, private equity firms, family offices and investment banks. Ms. Gruber also has extensive experience working with technology start-ups, media conglomerates and global pharmaceutical companies.
Ms. Gruber noted that companies at the “bleeding edge of a radically employee-centric culture” tend to offer the following:
- Flexible working hours and conditions.
- Recognition and reward for the extraordinary contribution of employees.
- Solid benefit packages.
- Performance metrics and bonuses for non-revenue generating roles.
- Ability to contribute to 401k.
- Employee assistance programs to provide staff with mental health resources.
- Social options such as monthly gatherings, outings or internal themed summits.
- Growth resources such as internal trainings, education reimbursement and succession plans.
- Training in diversity and cultural sensitivity.
- Ability to build equity.
- Shared desktop options.
- Health and wellness offers.
- Periodic meetings of the public assembly type where employees can give their opinion.
- Clearly articulated ethos.
- Access to childcare solutions.
“Staff who work remotely need to know that they are valued and recognized,” Ms. Gruber said. “Registration is the responsibility of managers; they need to regularly talk to their staff about their pain points and assess capacity levels. Businesses need to ensure that remote staff have the necessary resources and access to help if something goes wrong. And there needs to be an attitude of caring throughout the organization that offers compassion in these unprecedented times. Happy employees are loyal and productive employees. The culture needs to be so clear that it’s felt, especially by remote workers,” she said.
Work more hours
People often say that when you work from home, you end up working more hours. However, Ms Gruber says the issue is not having more hours per se, but how the hours are stretched. “One concept I talk to my clients about is how to have clear boundaries between work and home that are reasonable and adaptable,” she said. “What often happens is that there are more daily non-work-related interruptions at home, so the working day can get longer. This can cause people to have sporadic work hours and make it difficult for many to stop working in the evenings. What is critical is that managers communicate clearly to their staff that they do not expect work to be done 24 hours a day. Employees need work-life balance to be championed and molded by their leaders. »
Related: New Workforce Models Bring New Challenges in the Next Normal
During the pandemic, recruitment agencies have reduced their travels. It seems to be more permanent, with companies realizing the money saved and the efficiency of technologies like Zoom. For searches that require relocation of executives, travel will always be necessary to some degree, certainly for the candidate receiving the offer, according to Gruber. “However, the days of flying multiple people for rounds of in-person interviews are largely over,” she said. “The technology we have now is just too good and efficient not to continue to exploit it heavily.”
Work with customers
Meanwhile, Hudson Gate itself has adapted to the way it works with customers. “We are aware of the ever-increasing needs of our clients, who must overcome a myriad of new obstacles to employment,” said Ms. Gruber. “Remote workers, COVID testing, employee policy changes, and market demands all demand adaptability and a solution-focused mindset. We are constantly engaged in dialogue with our clients on how to create efficient processes and ensure successful hires,” she said. “We also pay close attention to the nuances of quality of cultural fit and have built this into our assessment matrices.”
“We are providing our clients with increased resources regarding succession planning, compensation and terms of employment,” said Ms. Gruber. “Most importantly, we emphasize our true thoughtful partnerships with our clients: we leverage our expertise to become an unparalleled resource.”
Hudson Gate Partners provides executive search services in finance, communications, marketing services, technology and healthcare. The research firm is headquartered in Water Mill, NY and has additional offices in Connecticut and Florida.
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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor; Dale M. Zupsansky, editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media