Digitisation is an unstoppable force which has only been accelerated by COVID-19. Increasingly, tasks and processes are being made digital – it is imperative to include your company culture in this transformation.
The foundation of every place of work is its culture. Culture is what determines productivity levels, employee satisfaction, and how a company is perceived externally.
Let us begin by looking at what defines a company culture, and then at how digitizing the culture can effect the workplace from the inside, out.
What is workplace culture?
The culture in a workplace is essential in determining both practical, day-to-day processes, the communicative tone between co-workers, and the general perception that customers and employees have of the company.
This all sounds a little abstract – and so is culture. It is a fundamental building block, hard to put your finger on but omnipresent. A good company culture supports the company’s values, goals and operations. A poor company culture can directly hinder these.
In other words, your culture influences when and how you ask for help from your co-workers, whether or not you talk about your job outside of the office, and how you interact with customers. For instance: if your company has an informal tone of voice and you’re the underdog in your field, perhaps this rebellious approach will rub off on the culture. Similarly, a company with sustainability as their focus likely wish to practice what they preach; ensuring that their employees think green, recycle, are ready to raise the banner in a public debate, and let’s not forget metal straws in the cafeteria.
Your workplace culture also determines whether you have an environment in which an employee feels safe enough to report sexual harassment, whether new recruits are onboarded successfully, and whether your monthly profits are spent on luxurious office parties.
Who influences the workplace culture?
All employees can influence the culture to a larger or lesser extent. However, it is primarily the role of upper management and daily managers to determine how every-day tasks are performed and how employees interact.
It is vital that management sets a precedent and leads by example, showing the rest of the company how to behave both inwardly and outwardly. We can name a long list of contributing factors when it comes to creating a healthy workplace culture. Here are a few of the major ones:
- Circular information flow
- Recognition and expertise
- Training and onboarding
- A strong profile
Creating transparency means making information readily available for all employees, rather than compartmentalising through hierarchies. Trust your employees – they want to be in the loop, in good times and bad. Open and honest internal communication is the best way to create loyal employees.
Circular information flows
Often times, internal communication is top-down; from CEO to management, from middle-management to salesperson. By ensuring your information flows up as well as trickling down, you promote happy employees. Employees, who feel appreciated. Having employees feel like an integral part of a whole is key to ensuring a great workplace culture.
A strong workplace culture must originate from the top.
Recognition and expertise
A pat on the back, shout-outs during meetings, naming names and awarding badges (on Academy, at least). It is important to recognise your employees’ skills, dedication and expertise. Listen to them, make sure they are challenged, and give them the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally within the company.
Training and onboarding
This is something our hearts burn especially hot for. If employees are to take part in creating and promoting the company culture, they have to be given all the right tools from Day 1. Make sure your training and onboarding is prioritised for all employees, regardless of seniority or employment type. Only informed and empowered employees can act as brand ambassadors and helping hands for the assimilation of new recruits.
A strong profile
You could call it the company brand, mission or raison d’etre. What are the company goals? Who is your audience? What do you want? As leader, it is your job to convey these things to your employees. An unfocused company with no goal other than to make a dime is a sure way to damage your company culture.
We could have listed all of the above with the headline “How to have happy employees” or “How to boost your sales” – because of course a strong company culture is tied intrinsically with both happiness and wealth.
A strong company culture boosts sales
See, we’re not completely devoid of humor. A strong workplace culture is instrumental in your company’s success. And a company cannot survive without those aforementioned nickels and dimes – although profit should never be your only goal.
The company culture plays a major role in the story you tell. It is very easy to spot when employees have a completely different vibe than the values and brand identity a company is trying to display.
You’ll sell more if you have a healthy culture in your workplace. A resilient culture that can withstand crisis and provide you with happy, loyal and self-assured employees.
Your brand and storytelling are also essential in attracting employees and customers who can ensure your financial wellbeing. And your company culture plays a major role in the story you tell. It is very easy to spot when employees have a completely different vibe than the values and brand identity a company is trying to display. It isn’t received well.
You won’t be able to please everyone, but you will make it a lot easier for those who want to support you, to identify with your values and your brand.
Digitisation is the way forward
All of the above is easier said than done, particularly if your business is spread across multiple locations or if your employees don’t work in close proximity. This is where digitisation comes into play.
By digitising, you ensure that all employees are 100% empowered to not only understand your brand but live it.
By digitising your internal communications, training, onboarding, employee recognition and storytelling, everyone can stand stronger. You can communicate to the entire company at once, get feedback from your staff, tailor and monitor training and ensure that all employees are 100 % empowered to not only understand your brand but live it.
The current pandemic has forced many to scale up their digital efforts quickly, but the advantages of a digitised workplace culture are not simply short-term. If your company is to be in an advantageous spot in 3 months, 6 months or in the coming years, it is essential that you digitise your internal communication and prioritise building a strong culture.
A strong workplace culture reaches into the home office, the warehouse and the cafeteria.
It is a solid foundation that ensures longevity and attracts the right audience – an consumer base which can secure your company financially and boost your reach.
We can see it works
How does MASH Steakhouse guarantee that guests will be given the same great service in Aarhus and Hamburg? By having digitised their company culture, of course.
And yes, you guessed it – they use Academy to create uniformity, brand awareness, training and a sense of solidarity across all restaurants. Regardless of what’s going on, all MASH employees have a deep knowledge of MASHs brand, values and products. With a strong presence from HR on the digital platform, open lines of communication and employee recognition is front and center.
At Gasoline Grill they serve world-famous burgers. Their brand is built around a great origin story as well as high-quality organic produce. How do you communicate this to customers? By ensuring that every employee understands your brand through training. Using Academy, Gasoline communicates their unique blend of humor and company goals.
In this way, every employee becomes an advertisement and ambassador for the company brand.
The benefits of a digital company culture are not just short-term. It is fundamental that you digitise internal communication and prioritise a strong company culture.
Do you dream of digitisation?
If you are interested in the opportunities afforded by digitising and strengthening your company culture, get in touch for a non-committal meeting. We are happy to chat and share our expertise, even if you don’t end up on our list of satisfied customers.