Building Culture and Community in a COVID-Era Workplace Virtual Working Group | September 25, 2020

Friday | September 25, 2020

Rebecca Kehoe Photo
Building Culture and Community in a COVID-Era Workplace
Virtual Working Group

September 25th - 11:30am-1:00pm EST

A note on virtual working groups:  Sessions will be 90 minutes in length and are limited to 15 participants per session, allowing only one company member per topic.  If we have two sessions on the same topic the same applies, allowing only one company member for both sessions.  The limitation is to ensure that all participants have adequate time to share thoughts and ask questions.  The smaller number will simulate an actual working group and make it more conducive for participants to see and interact with one another.  In most cases, we will also do a CAHRScast on the same topic so all partners can benefit from the learning.)  

Although reopening efforts are well underway in many organizations, the current workplace environment is anything but “business as usual.” While reopening has taken different forms, organizations have reported continued reliance on remote work, staggered employee returns, alternate work schedules, and self-contained teams as some measures to protect workers and support their unique situations amid the ongoing pandemic. Further, for employees who are present in the workplace, new safety protocols have entailed drastic changes to the physical work environment and social distancing requirements that are fundamentally at odds with the formal and informal communication that typically supports employees’ work. Moreover, all of these challenges are layered onto the stress, uncertainty, and anxiety facing many employees in this unprecedented time.

In this working group, Rebecca Kehoe, Associate Professor, Human Resource Studies will explore how CAHRS companies are addressing the interrelated challenges of managing communication, fostering a supportive physical and virtual work environment, and building and preserving company culture in this period.  Some of the questions that will guide our discussion will include:

•    What unique challenges have you encountered in developing a sense of work community with some or all of the organization’s employees working remotely?

•    What new routines or practices have you used to keep employees engaged and connected around shared goals?

•    What lessons have you learned about building and sustaining your organization’s culture in this time?

For security purposes, these Zoom working group sessions will be password protected and participation will be restricted to those participants who have been confirmed for a particular session.  Participation in these sessions is a great way to share and hear about key concerns, potential next steps and best practices, and to develop a network of HR leaders who are facing similar challenges for later one-on-one sharing and exchanges.