Culture and Technology; How to Get it Right

Does the technology you have in your business fit in with your workplace culture? It's important to get this right, read on to learn why.
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Organisational culture can be used to your advantage because every workplace culture is different and unique. Culture is dependent upon your employees, the environment, your leader and therefore cannot be replicated. Using culture, in particular the more positive aspects, will allow for more engaged employees, with higher productivity and retention as a result. Your employees are your most important and valuable asset within your organisation and it’s important not to forget that. Technology and culture directly influence each other. As cultures change, so does the technology it innovates. 

Typical traits you see in an organisation are people practices and technology

Many people will jump in and buy technology that is unsuitable for their business. Does it fit with your people’s culture? They hear that implementing technology software is the way forward and a worthwhile investment to improve business operations and performance (and yes of course it is!). However, with the copious amounts of software out there today and attempting to align the right technology with your businesses’ desires, objectives and culture, it can be difficult to find the right one. It is important to take the time to do your research, understand the technology and understand what exactly you want to achieve from implementing the technology as well as ensuring it aligns with your workplace culture and people. 

When looking at your people’s experience combined with the tech, how do they fit together? You’re not going to achieve a competitive advantage with your culture if you choose technology that is not right for you or installing technology that perhaps your friend in the industry recommended. Not all aspects of your tech stack will contribute towards your culture, but being able to appreciate the design of your tech stack and how it needs to work in alignment with the culture you are trying to create will really pay off!

Matt Grimshaw; “Alot of what makes great culture is bound up in tasset knowledge, stuff that is hard to codify and forumlise and consequently can be hard to lift and copy. So if you can create a culture that is different and works for your organisation… it can give you a competitive advantage that is sustainable”. 

Culture is an emerging quality. Do you believe it can be built? 

You can design the ways of working and the environment in which you ask people to work, but culture is a shared learning. Identifying how you can work well as a team together so you can engage successfully to deliver to your customers. As culture develops, you will begin to instill this culture within your mindset which will follow through into other areas of your organisation. 

Organisations need to become more agile, they need to have greater situational awareness, to respond quickly in order to be able to adapt to any environmental changes. 

In our research report; ‘Fragile to Agile: How to Navigate the New Era of Hospitality’,Cultural Factors’ was identified as one of the most significant barriers to implementing change in operations. From a survey conducted, it was found that;

Overall: 34% of all survey respondents named change resistance as a significant barrier, and 

17% of all respondents named organisational culture in general as well or instead. In contrast, 53% foresee that technology to automate processes would have the biggest positive impact on their operations. Yet people factors (staffing -capacity and capability issues, and culture) are significant barriers that pose a challenge to address.

Organisations should think about how they go about structuring their business, the outcome of their desired structure on the business and the people helping to run the business. 

Throughout the pandemic, many businesses used this as a time to try to improve operations by implementing operational technology. However, are there consequences if we don’t actually adapt and change the way we work to align with this new technology? When operating software doesn’t align with the culture and the working environment it can be difficult to identify it as a mistake and there is opportunity there for tension to potentially develop within the workplace and in the relationships with your employees. Therefore, businesses can face backlash as these integrations can not work well together and will negatively impact on how the organisation is run. Again, this highlights the importance of choosing the right technology for your business as well as training your employees to work with this new operating software; By engaging employees during the process of acquiring software development at its early stages, you make sure the solution will meet their needs. You thus not only ensure project success but more importantly employee satisfaction which, at the same time, reduces the need to convince the team to use the software.” (HeadChannel). 

The right tech will really drive your culture, it will enable you to deliver a clear purpose and vision. The right technology will provide better working conditions for your employees, enable new engagement opportunities, provide you with deeper, insightful data you can use to improve business processes and overall, improve business performance. It is important to learn from this in order to start a journey to unlearn, so you can begin meeting the demands of employees and customers and getting your culture right!

To hear more on how Culture and Technology, head to the Hospitality Mavericks Podcast with guest Matt Grimshaw and tune in: 

https://www.hospitalitymavericks.com/podcast/episode/237ec5bd/138-matt-grimshaw-founder-of-the-pioneers-on-culture-as-your-competitive-advantage

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