How Companies Are Winning on Culture During COVID-19 | MIT Sloan Management Review

Leadership & Culture

Organizational culture is one of the most critical differentiators companies possess. And the pandemic has tested whether the cultural values that firms’ espouse have manifested themselves in terms of behaviors. In this ongoing analysis of 1.4 million employee-written reviews on Glassdoor, one theme that has emerged is that top firms’ employees were twice as likely to discuss the quality of communication (such as honesty and transparency) by leaders in favorable terms during the pandemic than they were a year earlier. The article notes that despite the importance of transparency, “the theme of transparent communication is relatively rare among official corporate values” as found in a study of more than 500 larger companies’ corporate value statements. Could this trend present an opportunity for organizations to more prominently reflect the attribute of transparency in their value statements? The article highlights other areas where top firms are winning on culture, including experimentation with new ways of working, flexibility of processes, and ability to execute strategy despite market changes.

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