Three Digital Tactics to Improve your Team Culture

4 minute read •

July 26, 2019

Culture

Our work environments are changing rapidly. With the fast-paced implementation of technology and evolving work expectations, understanding the needs of your employees has never been more important. Over the past five years, searches for workplace wellbeing have doubled globally with the growing need to create workspaces driven by purpose. 

Deloitte’s Future of Work study places improving culture and employee experience in the top five transformational tactics for workplaces, alongside building connected teams, personal development and design-thinking.

So what actually is culture in today’s changing environment, and how is it measured? Frei and Morriss give a great example of what culture is in a practical sense: “Employees make hundreds of decisions on their own every day, and culture is our guide. Culture tells us what to do when the CEO isn’t in the room, which is of course most of the time.’ It goes back to purpose and finding a greater understanding of the why of every day work. 

In a team environment everyday culture is often shaped the ways in which we communicate to and with each other. For growing businesses digital tools, when used effectively, can provide a great way to promote company culture by creating informal places online that promote collaboration, communication and transparency. 

 

Create shared workspaces 

Employee perception: My company champions remote working, understanding sometimes we need flexibility. 

We’ve all heard of flexible and remote working as an option for our workforce but what does this look like practically. PwC says by 2030 the majority of the world’s workforce will expert to find flexibility, autonomy and fulfilment in their job. Business leaders can make this a reality by creating spaces online where employees have full access to the resources and channels of communication they’d otherwise have the office environment. This goes beyond emails and should be tailored to both the job role and industry. For example, if you work in a design firm you need access to a suite of tools, templates and lots of files from anywhere. Set-up time is essential, often these resources need to cloud-based to allow instant access via a simple security log-in. If your team’s job involves sensitive data or very large files that are not easy to store in the cloud, consider bulking specific non-technical tasks and offering time outside of the office to complete these for example employee reviews, training or reporting.

 

 

Offer anonymous feedback 

Employee perception: Our organisation is always looking for ways to improve and views critical feedback as a positive exercise for everyone.

If you are trying to create a culture of honesty and trust where teams are eager to give each other feedback you may want to consider actively encouraging company-wide feedback. Doing this online is an effective method for streamlines the process and offering a safe space for honesty. By incorporating a feedback form into a familiar setting such as an intranet, collaboration tool or email system you are able to informalize the process. Let your employees know the door is always open and the business is looking to constantly improve.

As an alternative to an anonymous form, you can ask participants for their details to follow-up and ask questions, but remaining anonymous can make feedback easier for people and when the feedback loop is hosted digitally you remove all barriers to honesty.  

 

Implement democratic decision-making 

Employee perception : Everyone’s skills and opinions are valued and we are all building the company’s vision.

Historically decisions are made from the top down often with very little input from team members themselves. Online polling tools can change the conversation and offer a channel for ongoing staff engagement. The key here is to ask questions you want answers to. If you poll your team and don’t release the outcome, it can have quite the opposite effect creating a hostile, untrustworthy environment. Questions don’t need to be in order to make critical strategic decisions, instead pick topics that will put a smile on your team’s face for example asking for opinions on new office spaces, or themes for next month’s team workshop. Incorporate the polling process on an on-going basis will improve your team’s connection to the outcomes themselves hence creating happier, more engaged workforce. 

 

The offline commitment. 

Don’t plan your digital strategy online. Instead take it offline, challenging leadership to decide how you want your employees to perceive the company as. A great way to ensure these conversations are based on reality is to invite a diverse range of team members to the table. Once you have these goals finalised you can start researching tactics like these to create that environment.

Cloud-based team tools often get criticised for reducing face-to-face collaboration. These three tactics highlight a different perspective where digital is used to promote collaboration, engagement and transparency, ultimately improving employee happiness. When used effectively, digital tools can create unique moments online that directly engage each employee with the company’s wider vision.  

Author

Lauren Crystal

Scottish digital entrepreneur in Melbourne. Proud MD of Your Creative Agency, co-founder of Hassl. Contributor to The Startup.

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