Best of HDI in 2022 - #4
A strong work culture can be one of the most valuable facets of an organization. It can benefit employees overall and drive business success. However, many IT leaders struggle with establishing positive connections. Too often, their teams grapple with organizational culture for various reasons.
However, adapting to a strong IT culture is critical — especially when scaling a business to a wider audience. Growth can be exciting, but a company’s commitment to its philosophy must be in place to achieve growth. Your organization's values stick once you embrace culture differently and your team unifies around its beliefs and behaviors.
How IT Culture Benefits Organizations
Many companies find cultural challenges arise because of rapid changes in the business and technology landscape. These organizational disruptions can place IT teams in a reactive state regarding budgets and timely execution. Consequently, IT employees feel the pressure of constant work — 40% suffer from increased burnout, resulting in mental health issues.
Furthermore, silos can exist within the IT department. Organizations historically tend to value solo IT heroics, de-emphasizing teamwork and collaboration. Inflexibility is another issue. Many teams undergo overlapping, unstrategic processes that result in longer development cycles. This leads to frustration among peers and a culture of mediocrity.
A strong IT culture can shape a business's beliefs, behaviors, and outcomes. This can lead companies to experience strong leadership, stability and thriving partnerships. However, leaders must be open to adaptation to develop a strong cultural workforce in IT.
Here are three suggestions to help:
Start Changes Anywhere
Companies often believe leadership is the strongest force to drive cultural change. An IT leader or CEO has to put forth effort in maintaining a strong community sense. However, research shows the opposite.
Leadership communication and setting examples can lead to culture change, but initiatives account for only 6% of success. Fostering unity within the organization ensures employees remain as a team and company values are steadfast.
How can companies develop these big changes? It requires transparency and communication within the IT department. Employees need to understand what changes you expect of them and how they contribute to the organization’s vision. Once managers align the goals, workers will have an easier time accepting the transitions if it’s part of the company transformation.
Consider providing incentives to create a priority in culture. Measure performance so employees can progress through actionable steps. Establish goals and communicate recognition to take culture more seriously and show appreciation.
Create an Asynchronous Workflow
Asynchronous workflow allows employees to work more efficiently without disrupting their schedules. Many factors can influence the success of this method. A mix of in-person meetings, online discussions and other methods for collaboration allows IT employees to work on anything at any point in time.
However, an asynchronous workflow involves everyone focusing on discussing projects and ideas in a virtual setting. Doing so integrates operations, breaks down silos and creates accountability among employees.
Establishing a good asynchronous workflow requires discipline and training. For instance, you could remind everyone to take notes during in-person meetings to avoid losing valuable information.
Foster Personal Connections
IT team members often work from various locations and travel to different offices to meet with others. Face-to-face interactions have become the most practical way to connect. However, if this is not an option in your organization, allow team members to communicate through virtual meet and greets.
Employees who feel they have meaningful relationships align with the company’s purpose and goals. For example, organizations have the power to promote strong relationships by empowering workers to communicate with others of similar backgrounds.
According to one report, 50% of tech workers felt the need to leave their job because the company culture made them feel uncomfortable. Likewise, 68% of companies believe a lack of diversity exists in the tech industry.
Consider prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to build a culture that provides fair treatment, equitable compensation and equal opportunities. Ease concerns of others, be open to answering questions and share visions for the future of the IT department.
Keep Moving Forward for a Brighter Future
Remember, culture is not a destination. It’s a continuous journey — and fostering it requires constant care. Continue striving to improve workplace culture. Eventually, your company will have what it needs to motivate employees and elevate its reputation.
Today’s talent shortage for technical skills is larger than ever. Make an effort to build a strong IT culture. Your organization will be able to hire top employees and create a dynamic workplace.