Key Values to Support Your Response to Covid-19

Cathal Divilly

We’ve pulled together some insights that we’ve gathered from how organisations across the Great Place to Work network are dealing with the current challenges. It is important to note that the work you have already been doing with your people and culture will stand to you during this difficult time.


 1. Trust as a Core Value

Workplaces that have focused on building their trust levels will find it that bit easier to navigate their way through these difficult times, as now is the time where you will have to dip into those trust levels. We’re into a period of significant uncertainty, and a solid foundation of trust will be essential for the changing of work patterns, new ideas, and adaptability to new ways of working from your employees. How you respond over the coming weeks and months is also a key opportunity to build robust, lasting trust with your teams.


2. Communication is the Core Foundation

Communication has always been a core foundation of the Great Place to Work methodology, and never has a good flow of authentic, honest communication been so critical. Rumours and misinformation spread quickly in uncertain times, so keep people informed on a regular basis with the facts from trusted sources - not Dr. Google. Ensure that key communications are cascaded throughout the workplace, and that the senior team and people managers are aligned with these messages.


3. Leverage Trust for New Ideas

There may be significant periods of downtime over the next few months. Utilise this period for innovation. The need for new ideas from all employees is vital and this opportunity should be leveraged. Where possible, leave space for employee groups to work on new business solutions and ideas to keep things going. Give people the opportunity to get involved in the development of new business solutions, celebrating and acknowledging successful ideas. Give employees opportunities to upskill using webinars and e-learning platforms.


4. Stay Connected

Working remotely without daily contact with our colleagues will be new to a lot of us, so it is vitally important to stay connected and embrace technology to stay in touch. Where feasible, leaders should schedule regular video calls with their teams to ask them how they are doing and if they need any support. Check in with employees both professionally and personally. Ask how they’re doing, and how their family is doing. The physical office provides a great opportunity for natural small talk: allow the virtual office to perform the same function.


5. Shared Wellbeing

Some of your team will be clear on how to cope with the current situation mentally and physically: others will need support. Embrace all tools at your disposal to empower employees to share best practice with each other as how they are personally looking after their wellbeing. Role modelling and peer support can be incredibly effective, so leaders should be prepared to share whatever coping mechanisms you’re personally putting in place to adjust to an uncertain world.


Don’t forget: we are here to help you. We aim to bring all members of the Great Place to Work network together to support each other through the coming months. We’re a community, and communities will be critical to making it through the challenges we face. Need help in anything? Drop us a line here.


Cathal and the Great Place to Work Ireland team