Culture & community

How can HR Software support better workplace culture and community?

More than ever before we talk about the importance of culture and community within the workplace. Attitudes towards concepts such as inclusion, true collaboration, wellbeing, social interaction in the workplace have become increasingly positive over the last 10 years. And over the last 5 years, these social concepts have become the new reality for progressive organisations.

Just take a look at any job site and you’ll see that businesses are increasingly keen to recruit Chief Culture Officers, People & Culture Leaders, Culture Analysts, Culture Managers and Culture Administrators. Culture is big business.

From Richard Branson, to Deloitte, to leading HR Guru David Green, we keep hearing that happy staff are the answer to happy customers, and a healthy revenue number! And the bottom-line is no longer strictly the domain of the CFO or Sales Team. HR and IT also have a role to play in crafting an environment and eco-system that empowers, embraces, engages and energises an ever-diversifying workforce into delivering outcomes that generate unique, bankable, competitive advantage.

But what does all that really mean?

Essentially, it’s not all about the bottom-line anymore - although some will scoff and say that’s bunkum. It is about providing the tools in the workplace to make life better, enjoyable, collaborative, fun. With this comes the desire to succeed, which ultimately leads to greater effectiveness, efficiencies and wellbeing of the person and the organisation.

Social media is a given in our everyday life. With apps like Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Facebook, TripAdvisor at our fingertips, the way we interact with our immediate and larger communities has been transformed. Our world is changing, and that rate of change is only going to get faster. It’s become obvious that we need to embrace technology – at work as well as outside of it - or we will be left behind.

As David Green has noted, employees expect a different experience at work – one that more closely mimics the digital consumption experience as a consumer.

However, HR Technology, to date, hasn’t really done that.

Future-focussed organisations must task themselves with becoming aware of the new solutions out there, like Jemini, or risk falling behind. To be a successful business in the digital age requires a platform for easy interaction, an unparalleled user experience, and the sharing of information so that we are all in sync. As our ways of working become more diverse, more mobile, more remote, this will become even more important. Community is about being connected, providing the fabric that binds us together. We need interaction with each other - it is an inherent need. We look out for each other, we have each other’s backs, we respect each other, we provide feedback, we communicate.

IT Managers, People and Culture Managers, and CEOs alike must actively and enthusiastically embrace the need for culture and community – right through to the employee experience using the software and tools that they touch and use every day. “Workers who perceive their very human need for meaning and purpose as being met at work exhibit higher levels of performance and put in greater discretionary effort.” [1]

By John Mann

[1] “Turning passion into organizational performance,” Training and Development, American Society for Training and Development 55, no. 5 (2001), pp. 104–111; Charles Handy, The Hungry Spirit: Beyond Capitalism (New York: Broadway Books, 1999)

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