For some years now we have heard about the digital transformation and how important it is for companies to address this process. And, to this day, there are still those who are not entirely clear what this means.
Embracing a transformation process on a digital level not only means taking advantage of the latest technologies to get the most out of them in the business environment. It also entails a change in the human factor, since employees must be able to adapt to new ways of working. To achieve this, we need a business culture oriented towards digitalization, an organizational mentality that points strongly towards innovation and advancement.
This culture will operate as a catalyst to achieve operational efficiency, because it is responsible for enhance the ability to adaptn, overcoming the traditional resistance to change that employees usually show.
Table of Contents
What does digital culture imply in the organization?
In order to implement this type of culture in a company, it is first essential to be clear about what we are talking about.
It is a set of behaviors and practices that are carried out within the organization, and also in its relationships with third parties, which They value technology and everything that has to do with the digital environment.
Although the culture of each company is different, when it has a digital orientation, we can perceive a series of common characteristics or elements:
Open mentality to technology
Employees are open to adopting new technologies, They don't mind changing their usual way of working. They are people who show interest in learning continuously and do not see digital tools as an enemy, but as an ally to improve their performance.
This culture has made innovation one of its hallmarks, to the point of taking it beyond the merely digital field.
In companies with a digital culture in which innovation is a rising value, employees feel free to propose new ideas without fear, and experiment with solutions that can help improve both the company's processes and products.
The work teams integrate and cohere even more thanks to the use of digital platforms. It is no longer necessary for everyone to be in the same physical space, because they can collaborate through video conferencing or instant messaging applications.
Flexibility and adaptability
Another feature that identifies an organization with a digital culture is that it is much more flexible and adaptable to changes. By being open to making adjustments, you end up being better prepared to respond effectively to changes in the market, whether they pose a threat or a good opportunity.
Focus on user experience
The company is committed to the use of technology to provide greater efficiency and effectiveness to its processes, but it does not stop there. It seeks to ensure that all those who have to use its technology (employees, clients and suppliers) feel as satisfied as possible with the experience.
Strategic use of data
In digital organizational cultures, data is of transcendental importance when it comes to make decisions and improve processes and products. Because they help the company better understand its customers and decide how to satisfy their needs.
At the head of an organization that is committed to digital transformation, there must always be a leader who is in charge of foster an environment in which the use of technology is common.
Focus on digital security
The digitalization of companies has many good things, but it also carries some risks related to cybersecurity.
The hackers have turned companies into their favorite “victims”. They put all their efforts into hijacking your information, either to sell it to third parties or to demand a ransom for it.
Precisely for this reason, digital culture has digital security as one of its main pillars. There is no point in advancing much at a technological level if this means that all the data processed by the company can be exposed.
How to implement digital culture in the company?
Now we know what digital culture is and what features we can see in it, but how can an organization take the step of integrating the digital factor into its culture? We have two answers to this question.
- Digitization of company culture. It consists of integrating digital culture into the culture that the company has already been applying. That is, it would be expanding and improving what we already have.
- Digital transformation of company culture. In this case, the digital aspect is not integrated with the rest of the culture, but rather remains independent.
It is difficult to determine if it is better to integrate digital culture and merge it with the company's culture, until both form one, or if it is more interesting for digital culture to be an independent section within the overall organizational culture. Because it depends a lot on the type of entity in question, and the conditions it has.
In reality, it does not matter how this process is approached, because the important thing is that it is carried out. That, in one way or another, digital has an important weight within the company culture.
Digital change management
As we have already pointed out on occasion, culture cannot be a mere piece of paper for the company. Is a guide that helps you advance on your path and, therefore, we must develop behaviors and attitudes that value that culture.
Therefore, if the company is going to adopt a digital culture, it has to start making adjustments that demonstrate its intention to give priority to technological advances and their use in its processes.
To achieve this, there are a series of practical strategies that help manage and guide the transition towards digital culture:
Clear and consistent communication
Any business process that involves changes must be based on communication that is clear, transparent and honest.
Frequently, Employees show resistance to change because they don't really know what awaits them.. How they will have to work from now on, and what is the need to put aside what already works, to do something else. But it turns out that something as simple as good communication is capable of overcoming this barrier.
It is essential to explain to the staff What changes are going to be carried out and why digital transformation is necessary. As soon as they understand this, their attitude towards new work systems and tools will begin to change.
The leader is the first to show his commitment to digital transformation. If you are reluctant to change, or do not show discomfort, but do not change the way you work, this will end up affecting the people in your charge.
What we need in this case are leaders who show their actively support change and encourage their employees to take advantage of new technologies.
Formation and development
Even for the most competent, flexible and adaptable employee, it can be a challenge to assume a new way of working and use digital tools different from the usual ones.
In order to ensure that the digital culture is implemented as naturally as possible, the company must help its workers overcome these initial fears and reluctance. In addition to the communication we referred to before, in these cases we will also need training.
The idea is to get everyone develop the skills you need to work effectively in an increasingly digital environment.
A tool that works very well is change teams, made up of people who have a better command of new technologies. Your work will be help your colleagues in everything necessary: provide training, resolve doubts, and provide support throughout the entire change process.
Identifying and addressing resistance
Even when creating the most conducive environment possible for change, there will always be some reluctance on the part of employees.
It is the responsibility of the company detect them in time and give them the most appropriate treatment. For example, offering more training to those who have more difficulties, or establishing a program of gradual adaptation to the new tools for them.
Another way to solve this challenge is give prominence to employees, who can be directly involved in the creation of the new culture. For example, expressing your opinion about the changes that are being carried out, or proposing new improvements.
Creating and implementing a digital culture requires time and effort from everyone involved. All this later has its reward because, a company that has successfully tackled the digital transformation process at a technological and human level, is much better prepared to survive in an environment as complex as the current one.