"Our office culture is ever-changing during this time, it is more crucial than ever for people to be advocating for themselves of what they need, where they need help, and what boundaries need to be set."

“The pandemic has revealed cracks that turned into gaping holes,”– Amy Woodall, Executive VP of Sandler Training Trustpointe said when asked about how companies are coping with the pandemic. 

It’s a conversation Amy Woodall and I were eager to dive into: How will we cure the culture crisis in a pandemic? 

Amy has been working with Business Furniture + Choreo for 3 years to deep dive into our sales process and strategies for retaining clients. She’s helped us create some intentional behaviors and improve our overall team culture. 

So I was excited to talk with her on our podcast, MORE THAN A CHAIR and hear her thoughts on how we can continue to get results, prevent people from burning out and collectively come together and continue to grow as a team. 

Her answers always inspire me as a leader to do my part and “Own Your 50″. 

“Whenever we are experiencing anything, we are automatically 50% of the problem or the solution, and we have to own 100% of our part,” Amy explained. 

Since I connected with Amy, I have found her “owning your 50” mantra to be transformative in my life, relationships, and leadership style. The foundation of “Owning your 50” is any experience you have, any individual automatically is 50% of the problem or 50% of the solution – however, we have to own 100% of the part we play. Instead of finger pointing, you ask,’ How can I advocate for myself? Where do I need help? Where do I need boundaries.’ 

Our office culture is ever-changing during this time, it is more crucial than ever for people to be advocating for themselves of what they need, where they need help, and what boundaries need to be set. 

I was curious to hear Amy’s thoughts on advice for leaders during these scary times where the bottom line is top of mind. 

“My fear is that some leaders and companies can go into scarcity mentality and say, ‘We can’t invest in our people, we can’t keep doing these meetings, we can’t do the fun things. They’re going to stop focusing on culture and shift purely to selling,” Woodall explained, “But we have to remember what worked when things were going well. Give love- get love, you give love to your people and bring empathy to the table, they will go work harder for you and will trust the mission.” 

Amy pushes for company leaders to stay curious,  “Keep the curiosity going because curiosity allows us to create a bond with someone else.’ Amy encourages leaders to check-in with their team members, be an aid for transition management, and allowing your employees to take breaks. 

It’s something we’ve found critical for our own culture at Business Furniture + Choreo. We’re hosting weekly all team meetings with small group breakout sessions to follow. We encourage managers to ask, ‘How are you? How are you handling all of the changes?’ and we’re seeing results. 

While so many are working from home, mental health and sanity should be at the forefront of our minds. It is vital to remember division comes when we don’t believe we are all in this together – so, let this be a time of learning, experimentation, and finding new best practices that work for you and your organization.

Focusing on culture is more important than ever.