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Cultivate the Right Corporate Culture for the Digital Age

Jiaxin Liu
21 February 2019

The proliferation of new digital technologies has a great impact on operational models, ways of working, executive mindsets, and most importantly, corporate culture. The right culture in the digital age can make employees feel stimulated, supported and happy. Engaged employees help companies tackle the challenges of the digital era, respond to change faster and deliver better products or services to customers.

In this blog post, we offer a perspective to help organizations cultivate the right corporate culture and, hence navigate the complexities of the talent market.

Change the way of working

The journey to creating the right culture for the digital age starts by changing the way people work. Most companies insist on changing the way their employees think, which is hard to do, instead of changing what their employees do. Once an organization is able to change the way its employees carry out tasks, this will in effect, shift the way they think.

To foster collaboration, Google provides its employees with G Suite, its own cloud-based collaborative tools, which makes it easy for teams to work together seamlessly no matter where they are located. Microsoft is another company that is using technology to its advantage through its program dubbed “The New Way of Working”. Through the program, the company has created more productive and efficient processes, while enhancing employee engagement. The program enables:

  1. Employees to access every business application over the web, from the office or home, ranging from invoicing systems, logistics systems to sales information.
  2. Employees to integrate Facebook, Twitter and other social media services into Outlook.

The program has, in fact, reduced the quantity of emails each employee has to deal with by 30%, lowered building costs by 30% (equivalent to $644, 000 a year), and increased sales in the Dutch offices by 51%.

According to Christoph Knorn, Global Director of Employer Branding, Siemens AG wants to help make the future. As part of Siemens AG’s move from being a heavy industrial to a digitally-focused business, the company’s research teams are harnessing the power of data and connectivity to create totally new solutions and services. To make this innovation possible, the company has created a culture that prizes curiosity and experimentation, and an environment that encourages its workforce to work flexibly, collaboratively, and in ways that suit them.   

Meet the needs of today’s workforce

One of the most common challenges management faces involves how to effectively manage the generational divide in today’s workforce. As millennials become the majority of the workforce and Generation Z enters the job market, most enterprises will be looking to reshape their workplace culture to attract and engage this new set of workforce.

Millennials want to work with a purpose and, thus expect a different work-life compared to the Generation Xers. Their ideal workplace is one that is collaborative and technology-centric. They want to continuously learn new skills, and expect frequent feedback on their performance.

Gen Zers are digital natives. They don’t know a world without smartphones, social media, and the Internet. According to studies, this demographic cohort is interested mostly in job stability and value personal success, with professional and academic achievement topping their list of priorities.  

Therefore, this calls for organizations to consider the needs of each generation and provide a conducive workplace culture and environment. Toyota, for instance, has reshaped its workplace culture to appeal to millennials. It has done this by strengthening flexibility and work-life balance, which are top priorities for the generations joining the workforce. Some of the key steps the company has undertaken to achieve this include: better planning of workloads and shift patterns, and making more use of telecommuting for non-production staff. This strategy has lead to increased employee engagement, higher productivity, and reduced employee turnover.

Other best practices organizations can use to cultivate the right corporate culture for the digital age include:

  1. Provide constant feedback – Today’s workforce seek purpose and value in what they do; they thrive on constant feedback. This means organizations need to measure and show their employees the impact of their work. This consequently drives productivity.

  2. Create clear career paths – By providing clear and flexible career paths, enterprises will be in a position to motivate high performers. This, in turn, establishes a culture of opportunity.

  3. Communicate frequently –  New collaboration tools facilitate easy, instant and  real-time communication. Unlike long email threads and hours of in-office meetings, these tools improve the way teams communicate, and as a result, help employees foster a stronger sense of community by keeping them connected and communicative.

Looking Ahead

By cultivating the right organizational culture for the digital age, enterprises will be able to move beyond the siloed approaches, break the norms of bureaucracy and empower their employees at all levels. As a result, companies will adapt to the ever-changing business landscape easier and accelerate growth and innovation.

Is your organization finding it hard to establish the right culture for the digital age? Check out our ebook, Driving Talent Strategy in Today’s Digital Age, and learn the best practices you can use. 

Driving Talent Strategy In Today’s Digital Age

Driving Talent Strategy In Today’s Digital Age


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