The pandemic has put companies, and their employees, in situations never previously imagined. From managing virtual teams and conducting business through new, creative methods, to maintaining an office culture from a distance, there are many lessons for businesses to learn.
For GBC, this pandemic has underscored the principles the company was founded on and continues to strive toward. Of course, like every business, Gibraltar has not been immune to the unprecedented nature of how to navigate these past two years. Below we share a few of our lessons learned to help all companies foster a strong company morale in a challenging environment.
Take an Employee-First Approach
Supporting employee engagement starts by making everyone feel their voice is heard. Instead of working from the top down, it’s important to foster a more holistic approach by building from the bottom-up in an inclusive environment.
“It is important to take an employee-first approach; we want to hear from everyone and keep an open mind along the way. This means ongoing listening and reflecting on what we hear from everyone – at all levels – on our team,” said Gibraltar CEO Scott Winicour.
Employees are also better supported in an environment where transparency is valued. For instance, by holding monthly state-of-the-company meetings, leadership can provide key updates that keep everyone on the team on the same page. This ensures they have full visibility into what’s really going on in the company and gives them a chance to weigh in on any questions or concerns. These meetings can also provide a chance for employees to recognize one another’s accomplishments and celebrate key wins.
Stay Committed to Company Values
Put your people first and stay true to your core values. For instance, GBC’s core values are defined as authentic, reliable and thoughtful. For any company looking to uphold a strong company culture that supports your employees and partners, prioritizing the well-being of your team must be at the forefront of your mission.
Staying committed to a defined set of company values helps employees feel they are invested in a greater good, which sets the tone for making them feel valued about where they work, who they work with and who they work for. We strongly believe this is pivotal for building long-lasting relationships with business partners, too.
“Gibraltar is the first place I’ve worked for that really lives its values. The culture is authentic, and the entire leadership team really makes everyone feel valued and appreciated. GBC stands behind what it claims, and this is evident in our client relationships,” said Jean Ellie Jr – SVP, Account Executive. “People are our business, and it’s continually emphasized across senior leadership that adhere to this philosophy. Relationships are the fabric of our organization.”
Support People’s Needs — In and Outside of Work
Amid the lingering effects of the pandemic, the “great resignation” trend that’s strained so many companies demonstrates why more than ever it’s important to ensure your employees feel capable, appreciated and empowered to make a difference. Beyond feeling valued, employees need to feel their well-being, particularly their mental health, is supported.
With a reported rise in anxiety and mental health struggles during the past two years, it’s important companies look beyond how employees are performing at their job. Having an open-door policy where team members feel empowered to share how they are doing — both in and outside of work — is critical. It’s also important that companies take an active role in investing in the well-being of their employees.
Taking an active role in helping team members prevent burnout, making deeper connections and embracing flexibility and how and when your employees work is at the heart of making this reality possible. Ensuring your employees feel balanced — particularly in a time when the emotional strain from pandemic-induced uncertainties continue to impact so many — is one way to support your team during this environment.
“The COVID-environment has really tested the workplace for many people. In Gibraltar’s case, it has proven to be true and authentic to its values. There’s such support and compassion for the situation, environment, the people — for physical, mental wellbeing, etc.,” said Robin Oertel, SVP and Business Development Officer at Gibraltar.