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Davidson is a certified professional trainer, business coach and management consultant.

Driven by passion, he is an engaging and versatile presenter with over 20 years of experience in the training industry. Over the course of his career, he has trained over 1,000 companies comprising start-ups, SMEs, MNCs, government agencies and others all over Southeast Asia.

Below are Articles and posts I have written over the years and published on Various media.

Steps to Formulating an Organisational Culture to Develop High-Performing Employees and Teams post COVID-19

With half the world’s population experiencing some form of lockdown measures, some of us are lucky enough to be still employed and to work from home. The worst-case scenarios may include many businesses not being able to adapt to the current situation in transforming their businesses online.

With many businesses coming to a halt during this period, how do you as a business owner or a corporation ensure that your employees can and will play ‘catch up’ and make up for ‘lost time’ when they return to the office? For some of us, this lost time could be anywhere between one to possibly even six months.

You certainly want to be prepared when things return to ‘normality’ once the lockdown is lifted and your employees return to work as they used to. But the reality is that, this pandemic has not only had an impact economically, but psychologically as well. I have heard many people say they feel lost, unsure of what to do, a lot of self-reflection and deep thinking, and some possibly even going through depression.

It is important to understand your employees’ emotions as soon as they are back to work, and to re-align the organisation’s culture with that of your employees’, that can in turn achieve the company’s goals. One important element in re-aligning your organisational culture is to help create an ‘ideal working environment’ for your employees, which will enable them to be more productive, efficient, with better engagement and communication when they return to work. 

What is an ‘ideal working environment’?

We asked people across 57 countries what their definition of an ‘ideal working environment’ was. Surprisingly, their answers were nothing out of the ordinary in the workplace. This is what most of them defined it as:

Teamwork: People wanted teamwork. They wanted to be trusted to be innovative, and they wanted to be able to trust others to take accountability.

Clarity. People also want clarity to move towards a common organisational goal; clarity can come in the form of proper communication or re-defining the goals and vision of the company.

Supportive Environment: Many people wanted an environment that was supportive – that allowed them to get things done in the most effective manner.

While teamworkclarity and supportive environment are not some unusual keywords, they are some of the most essential attributes and qualities that would allow your employees to support your company’s vision and goals.

In my opinion, Google Inc. has done exceptionally well in creating the ideal workplace environment for its employees. Google’s infamous ‘20% time’ policy allowed their engineers to spend up to 20% of their workweek on projects that interest them. By doing this, Google was also able to, at the same time, tap into their employees’ ‘hidden talents’. The result is that these innovative ideas from their employees can permeate throughout the organisation.

Do you know how engaged your employees are (pre-COVID-19 lockdown)?

Gallup’s surveys with employees around the world found that:

  1. 15% of employees are currently engaged at work: these employees are your “paddlers” who are loyal and psychologically invested in their job and motivated to be highly productive. Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They also drive innovation and move the organization forward.
  2. 67% (two-thirds worldwide) are disengaged: these employees are your “passengers”. They sleepwalk through their workday, putting in their time but not necessarily their energy or passion. They are psychologically disconnected to the organisation.
  3. 18% are actively disengaged: — these employees are physically present, but psychologically absent. They are unhappy and insist on sharing this unhappiness with others by demoralising them. They are “sinking your boat”. 
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Based on data aggregated from 2014-2016 Gallup World Polls

Many leaders might say their organisation has all the attributes of an ideal working environment as mentioned above. While this may be true in some cases, have you given a thought to what your employees really think or feel? Do they think or feel the same thing? If they do, you are probably on the right path. But what if they do not? Or they have not been provided with a platform to voice their opinion?

What can you do to re-align your organisational culture with that of your employees’?

Many organizations are constantly trying to apply a quick fix to their organizational inefficiencies by training employees, rearranging teams, and various initiatives that often fall short of the desired outcome – which is a sustainable one. While all of these can indeed make a positive impact, they have one thing in common, they will only succeed if the Organizational Culture supports them… and this can be improved with the right organizational culture audit.

You cannot effectively re-align or improve something without a benchmark of where you are at. Hence, it is imperative for organisations to perform a culture audit as a first step, to determine where they currently stand, before launching any culture transformational or digital transformation initiatives. This is vital because a culture audit will show you exactly where you are (a starting point) before you start heading to your destination. A simple analogy would be akin to using Google maps for navigation. The app needs to know your point of origin before it can let you know the route to take to get to your destination. The Culture Audit will let you know which culture is currently manifested in your organisation before you can make any attempts fixing it.

How do you conduct a culture audit with the help from professionals with the right tools, without breaking your bank account?

According to another Gallup survey, 70% of organisational restructuring and cultural alignment exercises are doomed to fail. This was due to poorly defined ‘change’ objectives, milestones that seem impossible to achieve or there was not a clear benchmark against the current and future state. Perhaps it was the tools, or lack of, that prevented these transformation initiatives to be successful and sustainable.

While benchmarking is crucial in identifying your current organisational culture, we also know that these culture audits can be very costly, costing anywhere between USD20,000 to USD35,000. That is a huge investment to make, given the current pandemic situation, where many companies are thinking mainly of cost-cutting measures and sustainability, than investing.

But what if I told you that as part of our giving-back initiative, our team of consultants has decided to give you the culture audits for free with no strings attached? We would like to help companies by supporting their employees gain purpose and excitement through creating an Ideal Work Environment that they will engineer during this lockdown period, which will help them improve their productivity and engagement when they go back to work.

As part of our $1,000,000.00 (in value) culture consulting giveaway during this pandemic, we would like to help companies identify which culture they are in. They are five organisational cultures, they are:

1)     Blame Culture

2)     Multi-directional Culture

3)     Live and Let Live Culture

4)     Brand Congruent Culture

5)     Leadership enriched Culture

Grab this golden opportunity to get a complimentary Culture Audit for your organization. This includes a free report that will be sent to you after your employees have completed the online assessment.

We have also prepared a short video to explain why we are spending our time and resources, and why almost 50 of us, who are Certified Culture Consultants, have volunteered our time and expertise to give away this culture development service. We want to do our part to support the world during this pandemic.

Please see this initiative at www.COVID19CultureEvolution.com and fill out the form so we can set you up. You can also drop me a message here, email, or WhatsApp.

Wishing you all the success!

– Davidson

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