Employers need a digital culture, not just digital tools, to compete
- Microsoft says business leaders must empower employees and drive growth through digitalization — but that having digital tools isn't enough for companies to be competitive. They must also undergo a digital transformation of their culture.
- Microsoft conducted a global survey of 20,000 people in midsize to large companies in Europe to help businesses understand how to empower employees. Survey results show that merely introducing a new technology doesn't guarantee higher productivity and that businesses with both a digital and positive culture gain the most technologically. The survey also found that when employers give workers innovative tools and nurture a digital culture, employee engagement and productivity go up.
- Microsoft recommends that employers "future-proof" their organization by tapping into employees' personal strengths and experimenting and discussing ideas; cultivating talent by enabling employees to do their best work and make a difference; and starting change in their organizations from the top, where cultural transformation that promotes a healthy workplace and the effective use of technology begins.
The Microsoft survey emphasizes the importance of culture in a highly productive, innovative and engaged work environment. Without a cultural or mindset shift towards technology, promoting the value and use of new digital tools to employees will likely create conflict rather than innovation.
Also, not all employees will get up to speed on new technologies at the same time, since some workers will be more tech-savvy than others. Employers will need to communicate the advantages and use of digital tools to make sure everyone is comfortable using them, especially in a five-generation workforce. Trust is a huge part of building a strong digital culture — trust in leadership and in the mission of the company overall.
Employment experts predict a digital disruption for the future workplace as automation claims jobs. But technology is always evolving and will introduce new jobs so long as employers remain committed to developing the skills of their employees and adapting to the coming changes.
Culture, or brand, can be an effective tool for attracting and retaining talent. And when technology and innovation are central to an employer's culture, this can be an even greater selling point for job seekers and applicants.