HR Management & Compliance, Talent

How to Use Technology to Drive Organizational Culture

Corporate culture, or organizational culture, is notoriously difficult to change. The term refers to the ingrained values, practices, and essence of a company. The concept can take many dimensions: focus on timeliness, rigidity of corporate hierarchy, office politics, etc. At the same time, the relatively independent influence of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of employees can mean that a corporate culture is very fluid, homogeneous, and difficult to control.
Technology, some say, can help.

In an article for HR Dive by Pamela DeLoatch titled “Can technology drive organizational culture,” DeLoatch discusses how advances in technology can help grease the gears of an otherwise cumbersome process of changing an organization’s culture. Part of this involves simply communicating the intended culture.
DeLoatch quotes Jordan Birnbaum, VP and chief behavioral economist at ADP, in support of that idea: “To the extent that you want certain principles to be a bedrock of your organizational culture, that means you have to make them available to people … Technology offers an opportunity to make sure that the organization’s intentions for the kind of culture it wants are communicated with regularity.” Makes good sense. If culture is important and if you’ve clarified the culture you desire, you should be communicating that vision to employees—not just once, but regularly.
Improvements in technologies influencing how we communicate with each other can make a big difference in an organization’s ability to steer the ship of corporate culture. This is especially true in organizations that may have less-than-traditional levels of face-to-face interaction because of international business models, telecommuting, or other factors.
Company culture is inherently monolithic. It’s an organic creation that often takes years to develop and is based on many informal, social influences. One of the benefits of modern technology—in particular, telecommunications—is that organizations are increasingly able to monitor, mediate, influence, and control the forces that help to shape corporate culture.