Embrace and Enhance the Essential Culture of 2020

2020 has brought about many divided opinions on just about everything between everyone—however one thing I think we can all agree on is that whether we want it or not, we will endure change.

Change management has been a hot topic for years now, as multi-generational employees are diversifying the age and ideology of the workplace.

Now change management has grown in concept and prevalence exponentially due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

No one was prepared for this exact situation—including the management to which many employees are turning to for answers in times like these.

While questions may not have answers, morale and culture of the workplace can easily suffer.

How can we ease these growing pains? Here is a brief collection of ways to maintain and even perhaps embrace the change we are enduring.


Covid-19 has caused unsettled work status for many—amongst some of the hardest hit are the seasonal workers made up of college students who are often working in positions which have been drastically minimized due to the closures or limitations of the restaurant/bar/entertainment/lodging industry.

How can we turn this negative into a positive? Perhaps now is the time to grow the intern program.

This is a population who generally can work remotely with ease as they are very in tune with modern technology. With an increase in their unemployment, providing them an opportunity to grow in a field related to their future is beyond powerful for them and you. You may find your next leader!

They often pull their weight while being resource friendly to your organization. Reach out to your local schools or give your alma mater a call—after all, you already know the output quality of their programs!

Vendor Relationships

With stretched resources and prevalent exhaustion, now is the time to cash in on those offers from your vendors when they say, “let us know if there’s anything else we can do for you!” Bingo!

Present your current challenges to them and let them do the dirty work of coming up with a solution for you. Smarter, not harder.

If you are lucky, your current vendor may have been working on new products that just might meet your need—as a bonus, you already know the ethics and quality of their work. If not, telling them what you need may spark innovation you can benefit from.

Meeting Scape

Remember in elementary school when you took those mandated, standardized tests where you worked hard at your desk all day? That kind of resembles some of our day to day work lives.

In school, they gave us stretch breaks. How can we efficiently work that into an already over-accounted for work day? Perhaps you can take your meetings outside! Go for a walk!

Increase oxygen and blood flow to generate productive thoughts. If you are in the office, head outside and maintain your social distancing. If you are remote, praise be for modern technology which allows us to be mobile with our audio and even video capabilities.

Have everyone head for their local open walking area. Get that extra dose of vitamin D and oxygen—just remember if you aren’t talking, click the mute button to avoid an abundance of background noise.

This is a very cost-effective way to give your hard-working employees the brain boost they deserve. We can’t forget about our mental and physical health.

Embracement Through Communication

Humans were designed with the need for touch, affection and embrace. Today, that’s about as limited as it has ever been in the course of humanity.

This can have a huge toll on employees’ attitudes, which is directly upstream from behavior. One way we can mitigate this is by effective communications.

Managers and leadership are currently consumed with keeping up to date on the new challenges that this year seems to provide on a daily basis (perhaps this is a good time to revisit points #1 and #2).

However, your employees are an investment and you get what you put in. No one right now can afford (figuratively and quite literally) to have a decreased output in quantity or quality.

Hear employees’ thoughts and embrace them. Implement leadership rounding where different managers and leaders meet with and listen to other sectors of the company to increase awareness of company status, needs and concerns.

Embrace ideas by providing feedback after having processed their thoughts and come to understand them. If we can’t embrace each other physically, the next best way to embrace may be through communication or thoughts and feelings.

In doing this, the culture of your workplace will improve—employees’ trust in leadership will also increase through open communication in times of uncertainty and by feeling emotionally cared for by leadership embracing their thoughts.


Believe it or not, fun has not been outlawed. It may seem crazy in this day and age, but it just might be the component your employees are lacking.

Here are a few ideas to keep your culture upbeat in times of social distancing, remote work and doom & gloom headlines. These ideas keep employees safe while keeping cost and time devotion minimal.

Office Decor Challenge: The office scene has drastically changed in physical location and appearance. Embrace this as an opportunity for some fun! Do you have recurrent video meetings with staff? Spice things up by challenging employees with decoration competitions. Select a theme like Christmas in July, outer space or beach vacation and see the creative side of your employees shine through.

Office Playlists: Offer employees the opportunity to be the office DJ. Each week, share a different employee’s workday playlist. This is a simple, non-time-consuming activity that everyone can participate in, whether in-house or remote.

Recipe Swap and Review: The days of office potlucks may be over—instead, host a recipe swap. Set up a shared web page where staff can share their famous dishes. For extra flair, make each week or month themed. If your employees enjoy a friendly competition, implement a review and feedback section.

Just remember: Happy employees generate happy customers and consumers. We’ve all been in situations where the energy of the culture around you sets your mind on how your experience will be—whether it be at a hospital, clinic, bank, restaurant, hotel, school, post office, etc. In a troubling time, try to make the best out of the hand we’ve been dealt for everyone.

Rachel Harris, RHIA, CPAR

Rachel’s background is in Health Information Management—she has spent the past 10 years involved in everything from hands on patient care to software development. She has extensive work experience with the revenue cycle and HIM functions; including coding, claim scrubbing, denials, physician training, transcription and dictation, records creation and retention, credentialing processes, portal development, coordination of departments and mentoring interns.

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