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How to Hack Your Company Culture to Improve Productivity

With highly stressed employees thought to reduce productivity by 9.1%, organisations must be dynamic in order to succeed. One of the most common ways we are seeing businesses achieve this dynamism is from culture hacking. The idea of ‘hacking your culture to change your culture’ is something Gartner has increasingly been talking about.

Fortunately, hacking your culture isn’t as daunting as it might first sound as it is, in fact, the process of identifying vulnerable points in a company’s culture and turning them into real change that sticks. So, how can businesses achieve this, and will it really improve productivity?

 

What’s causing dips in productivity?

To hack your culture, you must identify where productivity levels are dipping, as well as why they are dipping. For instance, one of the leading causes of being unproductive is not having the right tools to be able to perform. Organisations must then address this by creating a dynamic culture which champions the use of flexible, multi-device access to help their employees be more productive.

In a post-mobile world, many devices now provide a fabric that informs people what to do and when. Organisations must create a culture that accepts the role that technology plays and the resulting changes in behaviours and outcomes and arm their employees with the most relevant appliance or device for their role or workflow.

 

Fail fast mentality

Organisations should consider applying a fail fast approach to culture hacking to allow them to try out different solutions to rectify the vulnerabilities they identify. If that solution doesn’t work in the short-term, then they can revert back to their previous approach. For example, in order to improve productivity, a business may decide to try out hot desking, which is often considered to boost morale as well as productivity. If this doesn’t yield the desired result, then they can go back to their original approach with minimal disruption.

This initiative will also help organisations to create an environment that allows people to make mistakes, as long as they learn from them and celebrates the transformative power this approach can have on the business.

 

The evolution of the CIO

Shockingly, rather than being an accelerator to change, research from Gartner has found that almost half of CIOs (46%) believe culture is the biggest barrier to digital transformation. This suggests that a major overhaul in culture is needed in order for these organisations to have a successful digital transformation journey. As part culture hacking process, businesses mustn’t be afraid to change how certain roles operate and the part they play, especially considering by 2020 it is thought that CIOs will be as responsible as HR for culture change.

As CIOs begin to play a more diverse role within a business, technology will not only be integral to digital transformation, but also to creating the right culture. For instance, while the CIO would traditionally be responsible for corporate IT strategy and management, they are now increasingly taking up key influencer positions and will become instrumental to implementing new procedures and policies among employees. Whereas HR may have traditionally been responsible for implementing new technology among staff members, CIOs will now take the lead on deciding which devices staff members should use for which roles and how technology can improve productivity.

If businesses are to get the most from culture hacking, it’s essential they make it a company-wide initiative. By asking employees for their input, it will be easier to identify vulnerabilities in a business’ culture that the senior team may not be as aware of as those who experience it first-hand on a daily basis. These employees will also be the people who any changes in culture will have the most impact on.

As the idea of culture hacking builds pace, we will see technology play a pivotal role, allowing organisations to create a dynamic culture that inspires productivity and allows them to tackle challenges head-on.

Read more from Jon Payne here on the topic of hacking your companies culture on Elite Business.


Jon Payne

Manager of Sales Engineering and Education, InterSystems. Jon Payne is the manager for sales engineering at InterSystems and has 37 years experience building and delivering software in over 30 countries. Initially working for the NHS at the start of his career, Jon held a number of positions in both the healthcare and financial arena - including running his own consultancy - before joining InterSystems. Jon's role is to explore the opportunities for and then drive the adoption of InterSystems technologies.
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