Could it be true that as we become more connected with technology, we become less connected with ourselves? If "People are the Culture" as the saying goes, what impact might technology indirectly have on workplace culture?
The value and significance of culture are spelt out in its definition "the sum of attitudes, customs and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another". This applies to social groups of people just as it does to groups of people within an organisation. We can copy systems and structures, offer the same products, yet the customer "experience" is determined by the culture. More specifically the experience we have with the team members at the customer interface - the brand ambassadors for the culture.
In an organisation, the over-arching workplace (macro) culture is made up by the sum total of individual (micro) cultures of its people. What effect might a growing reliance on social media for dopamine-fueled gratification and feelings of social validation have at the micro culture level? In turn, what collective impact might this have on the macro culture of an organisation? The answer may be found with the intent for social media interaction.
The answer may be found with the intent for social media interaction. There are organizations who leverage social media for the purpose of providing a channel to connect with their tribe in a way that adds connection and brings organisations values to life. For these organisations, social media is part of the macro culture and part marketing and delivery strategies. It's monitored, benchmarked and used to maintain the culture on social media platforms. In contrast, businesses where social media is primarily used by individuals to connect at a micro culture level is a symptom of cultural dysfunction.
Gallup reports around 70% of the workforce report feeling disengaged at work. Our perception of how we add value is connect to feeling we make a difference, to better self-engagement and better business results. Confidence comes from within.
In the Deloitte 2015 Millennial Survey, 77% of “Super-connected” Millennial's, cite organisational purpose as one of the main reasons they joined. They want to be treated well , feel like they're part of something that's making a difference, with a defined purpose authentically driving actions and decisions.
Purpose is strongly correlated with strong business performance, personal satisfaction and retention rates. Creating a hyper focus on the ability to articulate how individuals and teams specifically contribute to the larger purpose of the organization, creates more productive, engaged and fulfilled team members. In contrast, feeling less connected at work, may drive a social media habit founded on the need to feel connected at a micro level as a substitute for the connection that's missing from the macro culture of the organisation.
This is an opportunity for organisations to get clear on what they stand for, communicate this clearly and often to their people to maintain the macro culture of the workplace.
Kerryn Gamble is on a confidence building mission, she assists professional women, build their confidence capital to address the leadership gender imbalance. Kerryn works with ambitious women to rewire their self-confidence for success on their terms. Kerryn speaks on self-leadership, overcoming self doubt, people pleasing and procrastination. Find out more at kerryngamble.com Email via email@example.com
Kerryn is Vice President of Professional Speakers Australia (VIC, SA, TAS), Founding Director of CORE Potential, creator of Results Roundtable, members of the Australian Institute of Training & Development and International Coach Guild.
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