Fostering Company Culture in the Age of Technology
Where do business technology and company culture intersect? Although often discussed in completely isolated spheres, both business tools and work environments seek to create better connections with people to facilitate a more productive workforce.
Successful organizations realize that these aspects of a business are intertwined; one influences the other, and visa versa. Because technology evolves and changes so quickly, companies with the most dynamic and fluid company culture are typically the ones who will most successfully adapt and respond to these changes, allowing for greater efficiency in satisfying their customers.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways that widespread access to technology has shaped company culture and how businesses can harness their work environments to more quickly respond to technological changes.
Healthier circulation of feedback
Despite its massive impact on company culture, giving and receiving feedback is typically overlooked and undervalued in workplaces. Contrary to popular opinion, many employees would like more critical feedback than they currently receive, with 60% of respondents in a recent survey saying they would benefit from feedback on a daily or weekly basis. However, it’s equally important to reciprocate the same levels of feedback when evaluating your management and leadership teams.
Technology makes it easier than ever for businesses to collect and organize their employees’ thoughts at all structural levels. Performance review software helps create a company culture where feedback circulates all organizational levels instead of merely trickling down from the top. By providing anonymous questionnaires or surveys, employers can ensure that they are receiving the most candid responses from those that work for them. Many of these applications also include metrics and tracking systems, which allow you to observe in real-time the progress each individual makes in your organization.
Actively recording feedback, and making changes accordingly, is essential to keeping your company culture aligned with current initiatives. When using technology, the feedback acquisition process is streamlined, which helps you rapidly analyze and make informed decisions based on each individual input.
Communication across workspaces
One of the primary benefits of sharing a physical location is that your teams have the opportunity to tackle projects and problems through in-person conversations and meetings. In most current industries, companies large and small no longer have the benefit of face-to-face communication with all of their team members. Freelancers, external vendors, flex workers and those traveling for business all potentially play key roles in your overall success, which begs the question: how can you ensure that off-site personnel are equally enriched by your internal culture and conversations?
Today, communication applications seek to bridge the gap that you might experience when in-person dialogue isn’t an option. Connecting your on- and off-site employees through a unified communications provider is just one way to ensure that all of your communication methods (voice, written messages, etc.) operate on a digital level. This technology rounds up your video calls, phone lines, text messaging and more through a single suite, which helps you create a centralized hub for faster sharing and deployment of ideas.
Dynamic communication is at the core of all great company cultures and is essential to the collaborative, innovative work environments where people thrive. When it comes to office culture, however, good communication is more than just a means to an end.
A recent study through Queens University found that 39% of employees think that their organization does not collaborate enough, and that 40% of younger employees would pay out-of-pocket for better communication tools in the workplace. These numbers indicate a major frustration among the current body of workers—by implementing new technology, you can help ensure that these younger employees are engaged, productive and dedicated to your company for the long-haul.
Engagement and teamwork
What is the real cost of a disengaged team member? On top of higher churn rates and a lack of employee advocacy, businesses eat upwards of $3,400 for every $10,000 in yearly salary for each person not working at their most productive. While it is true that you will always have employees at each point on the productivity bell curve, widespread disengagement could be symptomatic of more extenuating issues with your company culture.
But consider the connection between contribution, engagement, and teamwork. When an employee contributes in a meaningful way – it creates engagement on an individual level. And when more employees get engaged ¬– each contributing their unique gifts – teamwork is taken to a new level.
The CultureTalk for Individuals personality assessment is designed to uncover motivations, strengths, and shadows through a story-based framework that can be applied to engagement and teamwork:
- Employees who take the survey gain insights about how they can make their biggest contributions to a team.
- When an entire team participates, they begin to see how their strengths fit together – who should be doing what in support of the goals.
- The assessment can also reveal when an employee is in a position that doesn’t play to their strengths.
- Teams working through interpersonal disagreements can better understand the best approach for mediating these conflicts.
When implemented at a company-wide level, reports on the personalities that make up your company will help you find and hire the right fit, promote a company culture that celebrates all personality types and learn to play off of the strengths that your teams bring to the table. Leaders can also use an organizational culture survey to monitor change initiatives, centralize the company’s vision and find employees that best align with your work environment.