Now that we are successfully flattening out COVID, as business leaders we are turning our energies towards business recovery, productivity and creating renewed philosophies & practices.

How does re-imagining & stabilizing your workplace culture fit in with your priorities?

Our team at 1-DEGREE/Shift believes that NOW is a great time to reflect on, and engage your team on how your culture needs to shift. Our core personal and organizational values can and should be a stabilizing force in times of uncertainty.

I know for me, tapping into my “big 3” personal values of Compassion, Clarity and Creativity have kept me calmer in the last few months.

One of our strategic partners, Barrett’s, in May 2020 completed COVID culture assessment. There are some great insights and themes from this assessment we wanted to share.

The purpose of this post is to outline some of these themes to hopefully act as a catalyst for quality conversations about your current workplace cultures and how to create more meaningful, healthy and productive cultures post-COVID.

The Barrett’s COVID assessment – Overview

2,500 people globally participated in this assessment. Before diving into the assessment, let’s take a step back – why does culture and a values-driven approach matter?

  • We value what we need – values are an expression of what is important to us and our organizations
  • When life conditions change, the priority of our values and purpose also change – values & purpose are dynamic vs fixed
  • Culture can be life/energy enhancing or life depleting – curating culture is a way to manage energy in the system
  • Societal and environmental sustainability require organizational sustainability
The Barrett’s COVID assessment asked 4 questions:


  • What are values/behaviours that most reflect who you are, not who you desire to become.?


  • What are values/behaviours that from your own experience, best describe how your organization operated before the impact of COVID-19?


  • What are values/behaviours that from your own experience, best describe how your organisation is operating now, in the current COVID-19 climate?


  • What are values/behaviours that you believe are essential for your organization to recover and thrive after COVID-19?

These four questions provided the frame for the assessment.

Barrett’s COVID assessment – Insights

What are some key insights from the assessment? Here are some of our key “takeways”:

  1. From PRE-COVID to during COVID – there is an interesting shift from high performance cultures (focus on values such as results and achievement) to responding to changing needs (focus on values such as Adaptability, Digital connectivity)
  2. There has been a significant shift to more of a People focus (values such as caring, well-being) – this is great news!
  3. There has been a shift from more restrictive practices (ie. control, bureaucracy) TO more working together (ie. focus on values such as collaboration & information sharing) – more good news!
  4. Agility & innovation are highly desired by the C-Suite/executives, much less desired by front-line team members
  5. Direction & Communication are by far the most highly desired type of values by front-line team members, yet with C-Suite members, this is not as highly desired

So, there are some VERY interesting (and positive) shifts when we look at this global assessment and the PRE-COVID, DURING COVID and after COVID contexts.

Even though COVID has been extremely difficult on many fronts, there is some positive news and momentum to leverage from this macro culture data. Now what?

As the old adage goes, “never let a crisis pass you by….”

How are you leveraging the moment to assess/engage your workplace culture and possibly re-calibrate, re-imagine your workplace to better support your business?

A Barrett’s assessment is a great place to start to measure your culture and to stimulate robust dialogue around your current/desired culture. At a minimum, engage key team members in the five take-aways above – which of these resonates the most & why? And reflect on how/if your culture code and values need to evolve.

Afterall, values are dynamic vs static, and COVID has stirred our collective pots on what is most important. The time is now to tap into the collective wisdom to potentially re-shape and re-imagine your workplace culture.

For more on Barrett’s Global COVID assessment, go to:

For a complimentary 30-45 minute Workplace Culture Discovery call, please email Tim Magwood –