03 Mar How improving organisational culture can improve bottom line
Culture & Technology, are very closely intertwined.
In my experience you can treat technology or IT in one of two ways. It can be thought of as a cost centre, draining your profits and it can be used as a band aid for symptoms of bad business culture. Or you can get ahead of the bad culture curve with a few simple tech tools and be on the path to better business.
People are at their best when they are engaged, happy, feel trusted, are heard and appreciated and all of those things can be improved with technology. Computers are the platform on which most businesses operate during any given day. Everyone has a different role and focus within a business and as a result technology or IT can be a very powerful medium for improving office culture. It can also be a much maligned ‘water cooler topic’ if things aren’t up to speed. If you are running outdated versions of software or slow equipment that is causing your team to be less efficient than they would like, for the love of business, stop getting in their way of being happy and productive staff and get your equipment up to scratch. But this isn’t just about spending more money on bits of equipment.
There are heaps of cost effective ways tech tools out there can have a positive influence on your office culture.
- Music Streaming Services – Sign up to a streaming service like Spotify and play music in your office. It reflects your team’s personality and improves productivity.
- Social Media. Let them have access to all platforms, no blocking.
- Acknowledging the wins – Using a tool like Trello is great for team collaboration.
- Instant Messaging- Using a tool like Slack will open up communication channels between team members will always improve outcomes.
Take my advice and make sure your team are engaged, trusted, appreciated and happy. If that means occasionally letting them choose the days office playlist, it’s a small investment in huge returns for your business.
How to measure your culture?
If you want a snapshot of the culture in your business. Ask a trusted contractor, ask your bookkeeper or IT provider who are regular visitors to your office. Those professionals spend their work week in multiple office environments and are best placed to provide an insight to the vibe or feeling in your business.
Send your team an anonymous survey using tools like TypeForm or Formstack to look for consistent themes in the way the office is feeling or communicating about how teams are performing. Treat this as a “where there is smoke, there is fire” exercise in looking for opportunities to improve.
Culture is ultimately an emotional measure of your business and that isn’t always going to be something you can plot in an excel spreadsheet.