When we think of digital transformation, we typically discuss technologies and strategies, exploring how key tech implementations will deliver the most significant impacts. Today we’re taking a different angle. We’re going to look at an often overlooked—though no less important—aspect of technology and transformation: company culture.
What is Company Culture?
Culture is more than just the sum of company perks and benefits. It’s the embodiment of your company values and the collective spirit of employees. Your culture reveals how you invest in your people. Are they proud of their work? Do they feel valued? Empowered? In thriving company cultures, these traits will be evident in many ways. In companies struggling with culture, these qualities are often noticeably absent.
So, what does culture have to do with technology and vice versa? Let’s take a look.
Risk is Everyone’s Responsibility with Digital Transformation
When it comes to technology investments, your company values should not just be preached but reflected throughout the work. When culture isn’t correctly aligned with technology initiatives (more on that next), it creates gaps in knowledge and presents risks to the organization. Conversely, tech-savvy, compliance-focused employees ensure technology is used correctly and responsibly, and that those tech investments deliver the desired business outcomes.
Intentionality and Alignment
When companies fail to align technology goals with company and employee values, the consequences can range from slow adoption to failed initiatives. That’s because when technology doesn’t serve the needs of the people using it, it becomes an obligation instead of a tool. This can create resistance to change, loss of productivity, a general drop in morale, and even talent retention and recruiting challenges.
To avoid this, be deliberate about your implementation from the outset. From executive leadership to top management to support staff and entry-level employees, build messaging well in advance of your implementation that can help you champion your technology across the enterprise. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Carey Oven of Deloitte says this kind of alignment is key to avoiding cultural challenges and reducing bottlenecks and roadblocks. “Part of any successful transformation is having the appropriate tone at the top to champion it. It also requires support and buy-in by those in other levels of the organization,” Oven says. “Leaders would be wise to gauge the so-called ‘mood in the middle’ and ‘buzz at the bottom’ to help close the gap between the desired and actual state of organizational culture and behavior.”
Gauge Sentiment As You Go
In addition to getting buy-in across the organization ahead of technology implementation, it is important to understand how your technology impacts your company culture once it is implemented. This may be a simple periodic emailed survey for small companies, asking key questions about how technology is intersecting with work across departments. For larger companies, a formal strategy may be required. Other opportunities to test sentiment and effectiveness might include hosting scheduled townhalls or opening a forum or platform specifically for Q&A. Again, the idea is to keep everyone engaged and working toward the same unified goals.
Communication is at the heart of your technology and digital transformation initiatives. Outline how this technology will help, why it’s being rolled out, and how it will ultimately empower teams to do better work.
Need help getting started? The EPSoft team is here to help you not only plan your technology strategy but also help you with post-implementation guidance.