16 August 2019

Technology & Culture - Relationship status: “It’s complicated”

Creating a great organisational culture is a little like trying to find your dream partner, it’s exceedingly unlikely that you’ll wake up one day, decide you’re ready to find the one and voila! Fate hits you as you order your iced latte. (For anyone that’s spent any time swiping left or right this decade, or has been in any kind of conversation about organisational culture in the digital world, I’m sure you can relate!)

Within business, you can’t simply transform your company culture overnight because you’ve suddenly realised it will help to attract and retain top talent or increase productivity and performance. A great culture is built over time. It’s the collective output of understanding one-another’s values, beliefs and behaviours and working in partnership daily to achieve your needs, no matter what the world is throwing at you along the way!

According to estimates from the World Economic Forum,  it’s predicted that AI and automation will create 58 million new jobs by 2022, whilst a recent report produced by breatheHR called ‘The Culture Economy’ found that a third (34%) of British employees quit due to bad workplace culture.

So, in a world of ever-evolving tech where the next generation firmly holds the baton, we are positively forced to look at our current world through a human lens and listen to those that are actually in the driver’s seat of our culture’s future.

So how do we keep up?

  1. Have Empathy (Care) – With customer centric focus at an all-time high, it’s important to realise that you can’t even begin to care about your customers if you’re not caring about your employees. Listen to your employees, put yourself entirely in their shoes to truly understand what it’s like to do their job in today’s world, at your company.
  2. Collect Data (Listen) – You cannot assume or guess the needs or desires of others. To understand your employees fully and allow them to be open and honest, you must implement a variety of outlets for people to speak and in turn to be heard. Use platforms well to gain data, pulse surveys, anonymous feedback loops, physical honesty boxes in the office, etc and above all empower your line managers to listen and assist you in spotting trends.
  3. Change (Act) – Obvious right? Seriously though, do it and do it quickly. You can’t ask someone where they’d like to go for dinner and expect them to wait a year to go! Use data points and patterns to inform your next steps and priorities. Build actionable tasks to both address areas creating a bad experience for your employees and equally use the feedback to maintain and celebrate the good!

It’s not always smooth sailing. Technology will continue to change, the world will change and YOU will change, but if we take the time to listen then our actions will count towards an incredible culture, inspired with purpose and partnered with adopting and creating new technologies that will shape the future of our business. It could well be, the perfect match.