TECHNOLOGY & REMOTE WORKING
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Powering Up Your Digital Culture. Now. And Fast
On Friday 20 March, we ran our “Powering Up Your Digital Culture” webinar. It focused on how we can all get our teams to work and collaborate efficiently in a digital environment, with no compromise to their wellbeing and engagement.
Right now, during “the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment”, everything we discussed has never rung truer, and you can watch the webinar here.
But in the meantime, we’ve summarised the key themes below, covering:
1) What is Digital Culture?,
2) Why is it so important right now?,
3) How do I build a Digital Culture now and fast?
What is Digital Culture?
We talk a lot about workplace culture. It’s your business’s personality. Its energy. And the unwritten guidelines that shape how your people make decisions, work and interact with each other.
But now, technology has reinvented those ways of working. It’s reinvented our behaviours. And Digital Culture is about taking what’s unique to you and your business internally and making sure it works in a digital-first world.
Sure, tools and tech are the foundation. But it’s how you use them to rally together, engage five generations in the workplace, continually experiment and learn, wow your clients and build resilience and a sense of community.
And that all comes down to your people. And their mindset.
Why is it so important right now?
More people are working remotely than ever before. And we need to use tech to not only enable and engage them. But to realise going forward just how productive, positive and flexible ‘work’ can be.
As humans, we need flexibility in our lives. We want to feel connected with others. We want to feel like we’re a part of something bigger than the pursuit of profit.
A Digital Culture is a community that offers all that. It trusts people to produce results wherever and however suits them. It frees your team and your clients from the commutes and physical confines of face-to-face meetings. And because you know which roles can be performed virtually, your talent pool grows from a 30-mile radius of your office, to the very best, most diverse people in the world. And they’re the key to giving your clients the very best experience.
How do I build a Digital Culture now and fast?
That was one of the questions asked in our webinar, and today’s environment has certainly put the emphasis on “fast”.
Check yourself now
How are you responding, communicating and evolving in this situation? Are your managers just looking at productivity, cash flow forecasting and scenario planning? Or is there a push for connectedness, a sense of purpose and an ‘in it together’ attitude, with regular check-ins and constant communication?
Open your digital toolbox
Have your people got the tools they need to connect and collaborate remotely? If not, decide how you want to work and choose your platform accordingly. Zoom, Slack and Microsoft Teams are some of the major players right now. We’re going to talk about Teams because quite simply, that’s what we use, and we know all about its benefits.
The high-quality video and audio calls in Microsoft Teams have eliminated our need for face-to-face meetings – internally and externally. We’ve replaced all-user emails (yuck) with interactive news feeds and two-way communications that our people can ‘like’ and comment on, with GIFs very much encouraged. Our people can simultaneously work on the latest version of a document together, in real time. And we’ve used the Teams live streaming feature to convert a lot of our physical events into webinars. Just like this one.
Plan and launch communications around your new ways of working. When CEOs lead a digital transformation, adoption hits 80%. When they don’t, adoption flops at a measly 10%.
Have change champions in every team. Ours are called the ‘Digital Disruptors’. And they meet to test and discuss our tech, sharing their learnings with their team and answering any questions they may have going forwards.
Crank up the feedback
Reviewing your adoption is important, but you need more than percentages and numbers on a screen. Keep checking in with your people and get a feeling for how things are going as often as possible. Feedback is your most valuable asset, steering the way in times of change. And right now, showing people support and leadership has never been more important.
Make digital more human
A lot of the time when we think about tech we jump straight to the functionality. Digital Culture is about the experience. And for usage and morale to stay high, you need to make your digital world more human.
So, how can you replicate the face-to-face interaction your people and clients love in the virtual world? Video calls are the basics. But get creative. Here’s a flavour of the engagement methods we discussed on the webinar:
Virtual lunches / beers
Walking meetings outside
Virtual yoga / exercise classes
Taskmaster-style, fun daily challenges
Online gaming competitions
Live streaming events, seminars and workshops
Virtual pub quizzes.
All of which are made possible, easy and super-slick by Microsoft Teams.
What about onboarding remote workers?
The key here lies in shipping tech out to them early. Once they’re connected, treat them exactly as you would in the physical world. Introduce them to the team during a virtual lunch. Take the traditional shadowing period online with video calls and screen sharing. And include and engage them by showing your digital platforms aren’t all work, work, work using some of the ideas above.
Your peoples’ wellbeing doesn’t have to come second when you’re not interacting with them face-to-face. In fact, we have more and more opportunities to engage with remote workers in novel, exciting ways. All it takes is some creativity, experimentation, and above all: an eagerness to listen and learn. Because it’s your peoples’ needs and feedback that will shape your Digital Culture, and make it flourish.