Fragmented Companies: how to unify

BrandTruth’s topical take on the world of marketing
August 2, 2021

The “hybrid” company culture—one that has not only taken root, but sprouted like Jack’s Beanstalk in the wake of the COVID pandemic—has created serious challenges for corporate success moving forward. How can companies move ahead with unified vision and purpose with employees scattered like the winds? How can brand essence be preserved? How can brand personalities remain singular?

Yet contrary to popular belief, this new corporate dynamic isn’t an aberration, a circumstance brought about by forces beyond our control—it was already a reality long before COVID hit. The virus has only pressed the accelerator, forcing the hybrid model to the fore.

According to The Washington Post, Fortune 500 moguls—not just the early adopting, techie giants—have embraced the new hybrid model as a cornerstone of the corporate structure from the inside out, literally. Citigroup is now allowing 30,000 employees to work from home and the office; Target, TIAA and Ford are also embracing the hybrid model for tens of thousands.

So, what to do?

Step back for a moment and look at the big picture. Every healthy relationship—whether personal or professional— is built on a foundation of communication. Consider a mother’s relationship with her newborn. Long before that little one speaks, mom is responding to the most subtle facial expressions with alacrity, ensuring the baby’s needs are met without delay. What’s baby’s response? Usually a toothless smile that stretching ear to ear. When mom rocks, is it any wonder that little one can fall asleep in a matter of seconds? That’s not just confidence in mom’s care; it’s trust in the highest degree.

Yes, there is an object lesson here that began in the womb. Close communication—or transparency—on every level, from the CEO down to the junior executive on day one—must be maintained, sustained and nurtured.

The good news is that with the ubiquity of remote videoconferencing technologies like Google-Meet, Zoom, Skype and more, employees can not only still communicate one on one, but get face time, even if they’re thousands of miles removed.

What’s more, Cloud-based servers—where companies can share files, applications, tasks, to-do lists and even collaborate without gathering around a conference table—they’re not only feasible now for the everyday, but functional and effective across the globe.

So what about the physical division between office workers and the remote workers? Won’t those at home feel left out? Won’t they fear favoritism will be given to those who actually have a bodily presence at the office with the powers that be?

Sure, those are challenges—but with the technology that’s in place today, there’s no reason companies can’t maintain, sustain and even nurture their common vision and purpose with strength and conviction. Brand essence can be preserved; brand personalities can maintain their solidarity.

As the mother-child relationship illustrates, it all comes down to the commitment to communicate effectively—and that has to come from the top. In this new hybrid working world, the technology has provided the means for corporate unity—yet the end will only be reached if the CEOs are willing to reach out.

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