In the first of a series of blogs discussing what this new normal looks like – and how to survive and thrive in it – we introduce its different dimensions and consider the role of corporate culture in Reinventing Work.
Redefining the workforce
With employees working from home, management leading from their living rooms, and interaction happening largely via virtual meetings and phone calls, companies are struggling to adapt. The sheer speed of change is putting a strain on everything, from IT infrastructure to leader-employee relations. Many companies are now realizing that they can no longer ignore the clamor for change concerning the way they do business and run their operations. However, with this trend of remote working set to stay, employers need to redefine the way their most important asset – their workforce – can continue to succeed.
Why is it then, that, according to a study conducted by Kentik, while 47% of professionals worldwide reported they felt more productive while working from home, and another study, conducted by Atlassian, came to the conclusion that 76% prefer to avoid the office when they have to be extra focused on a project, Gartner’s research shows, that around 53%3 of company leaders do not intend to allow employees to work remotely full time going forward? Especially since many office workers would like to continue working from home for at least part of the time in a post COVID-19 world?
Corporate culture is a key stumbling block. Many companies lag behind when it comes to building a future-oriented corporate culture. And even when organizations embrace the technology and remote ways of working their employees demand, the right culture remains the main accelerator to survive in the new world where uncertainty prevails and trust is a valuable currency.
What does this culture look like? It is inherently built on digital and its role in reinventing work. Our research shows, that digital leaders with a more evolved digital culture have been uniquely positioned to weather the COVID-19 storm. How? Because they were digital ready. By continuing to deliver remotely and focusing on their customers rather than being absorbed in internal struggles to find a footing in the post COVID-19 world, this has allowed them to outperform conservative organizations, as well as those just beginning their digital journeys.
Survival = Remote Working Skills + Technology(Culture)
In the course of our change study, we found out that corporate culture is not just a highly significant indicator for overall employee satisfaction and business success, it is also the foundation on which companies can redefine themselves in the new normal. There has never been a better (or more urgent) time for business leaders to reflect, take a step back and build a stronger, more sustainable workplace by re-inventing their organizational culture as they adjust to the new paradigm that is the working present.
This is an area on which Capgemini Invent has been working as we help our clients to define their digital culture and embed it within their businesses. Transforming culture means constantly re-evaluating long-lived patterns to eventually reshape and embrace a holistic way of working. This approach provides the means necessary for a future ready corporate culture where employees, leadership and companies have the means to grow.
We believe there are eight dimensions of the new normal and we have built our Digital Culture Assessment to measure the maturity of our clients across these dimensions.
Organizations in the new normal are:
- Autonomous: Companies that actively support their employees’ ability to work autonomously – even from home – will stand out.
- Agile: Times of uncertainty and big changes are best met with a mindset of dynamic thought and action, where companies are willing to rapidly adapt existing processes and structures.
- Collaborative: Using synergies and breaking down silo thinking is as important to coping with the new normal as is helping one another to meet new challenges.
- Innovative and continually learning: Companies with a strong focus on innovation and learning see the continuous development and improvement of their organization and its employees as an essential factor for success.
- Entrepreneurial: The encouragement of employees as well as leaders to take risks and forge ahead with their own ideas is vital to identify and develop solutions on how to move and behave in a changing environment – even if it bears risks.
- Customer oriented: Placing customers changing needs, expectations, and fears in the center of all thought and action ensures business continuity.
And they have:
- Digital leadership: Leaders are the beacon employees look to for orientation in these uncertain times and must communicate a clear vision and strategy for the future.
- Digital technologies & processes: A modern and functioning IT infrastructure is essential to cope with new challenges, and an openness to new technologies should be the basis for forward-looking business models.
Building a resilient business
As we slowly emerge from the global lockdown, business leaders have a clearer picture of how resilient their business models are and where improvements are needed to operate successfully. Enabled by an operational digital culture, they can use that knowledge to redefine themselves, reinvent work, and put their companies on course for future success.
Stay tuned for our continuing blog series on life in the new normal, where Reinventing Work is enabling organizations to reshape the settlement between companies and people to reduce their cost base, retain and motivate the right people, and be more sustainable. We’ll also be looking at where we have implemented methodologies and best practices through the lens of our eight dimensions to embed or boost digital culture.
Find out more
How ready is your corporate culture for the future – right now? Find out with our free Digital Culture Assessment teaser version here.
Listen to our podcast on why the transformation to the virtual organization is a critical step on the journey to a digital workplace here.
Discover more about how we’re Reinventing Work
Manager – People & Organization