The biggest misconception about modern workplaces is that success depends on finding the right tools. Indeed the tools are vital but there is a very important word to consider before that and if you don’t, you are almost guaranteed to fail. What word is that? Culture.
Creating a culture
According to Nathan Belling, General Manager of Insync Technology and one of the five alliance members of MWA, creating a modern workplace culture takes time. He advises:
“The first thing you need to do is clearly define your core business values. These values will be at the heart of everything you do. They need to be reflective of the business you want to be, the people you want to employ and the customers you want to work with.”
Core business or corporate values may sound like marketing jargon but in reality they are the cultural values that will shape your organisation. Once defined these values should be evident in all facets of your business, including:
- New business pitches: Be upfront with your values to potential clients. Even if this seems at odds with their values. Ask yourself, if their business doesn’t align with your values, is it really business you want?
- Recruitment: are your values clearly presented to prospective employees? Any applicants should be assessed on their cultural fit as well as, if not more than, the specialised skills they possess. Do they share your values or are they at odds with them? Hire the people that best fit with your values. Question them on core values as well as subject matter knowledge.
- Induction and onboarding: Whether for new staff or new clients, ensure that your values are communicated as part of your induction. Remind stakeholders what is important to you and how you work. Setting a precedent as part of an induction or onboarding process will allow staff and clients to understand your business and values from the start.
Creating a culture, or transforming a culture, is not a quick process. In fact, it is a process that has a start but then never really ends. It grows, evolves and adapts. In fact this growth, evolution and adaptation is the sign of a successful modern workplace culture.
But to succeed in changing your workplace culture, you need leaders and staff with open minds.
Overcoming the obstacles, it’s all in your mind
The single biggest obstacle to creating modern workplace culture is a fixed mindset. Despite many a historic case study proving we must evolve, when it comes to the workplace there is still a huge resistance to change.
Refusing to embrace innovation and having a closed mindset is totally at odds with the theory and purpose of a modern workplace. This is particularly difficult for businesses with a traditional, fixed hierarchy.
Successful modern workplaces who have moved to, and use, collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams, tend to have a flattened hierarchy – where tasks are executed based on skill and capacity. Additionally, the entire staff, business leaders included, have adopted the technology and the new processes. Nathan says:
“Business leaders with a fixed mindset that refuse to embrace new technology simply cannot expect their staff to do so. They must practice what they preach and avoid an ‘us and them’ situation.”
An open mind at the top will filter through the organisation and improve the adoption rates of all staff.
Why a modern workplace culture is important
A modern workplace culture should be a goal for every business. It’s a sign of a forward thinking, open minded organisation that has engaged employees. This engagement filters through – and has a positive knock-on effect – with customers. Happy staff deliver better results to customers. Like Nathan states:
“You cannot have happy customers if you have grumpy, disgruntled staff, its like oil and water, the two don’t mix.”
You’ve got the culture, what about the tools?
Rolling out new systems, including Microsoft Teams, will be a much easier task if you have a modern workplace culture in place first. If you are ready to take the next step in becoming an effective modern workplace, it is time to decide which tools will best enable your staff to work effectively and collaboratively.
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