Digital Culture in the Workplace

Written by Prof. Simeon Yates, Director at Institute of Cultural Capital

A question for Digital leaders is where to place their energies – on creating or implementing the best or novel technologies, or in creating an organisational climate in which digital can flourish?  Our recent research in collaboration with Cisco has focused on the key factors needed to create a positive digital culture in the workplace.  The research based on a survey of over 3000 workers found that getting this right is a more important factor than generational change in implementing new digital solutions.

The research has found that different organisational cultures lead to contrasting rates of digital adoption. Company digital culture ranked far above an employees’ IT experience out of work, company size or the sector in which they operate, when determining attitudes to digital roll-outs.

A concerning 29 per cent of businesses are still not bringing in digital technologies a result that fits with work previously reported by Lloyds. Research also revealed a disconnect between what employees and businesses at large thought was a successful digital roll-out.  Around a quarter (26 per cent) of workers suggested a digital technology to leadership that they thought would benefit the organisation, but nothing came of it.

There are clear lessons to be learnt from those organisations getting digital roll-outs right. Employees that demonstrated the most positive attitudes to digital technology revealed that there are four key areas for businesses to address for success.

Clear digital leadership – Demonstrating a clear digital vision is important but so is taking the time to ensure that workers are on board and equipped to undertake the same digital journey. Research found that 40 per cent of workers stated that the digital technology wasn’t explained effectively to them by their employers.

Fostering positive attitudes to digital technology – The more time organisations spend consulting staff, and building a culture that nurtures an acceptance of change, the more effective implementation of digital technology is in the workplace. A concerning 64 per cent of workers stated that they weren’t consulted prior to the provision of new digital technologies.

Limit organisational barriers – Prior to roll-out, organisations must assess their structure to highlight any potential barriers to success. This could include addressing out-of-date internal processes, removing restrictive legacy technology systems, or resolving a pre-existing negative digital culture. Employees do value digital technology, with 58 per cent believing its implementation can make their organisation more productive.

Good communications – Employees appreciate traditional forms of communication around digital roll-outs. This includes face-to-face interaction, dedicated training on the new tools and a clear articulation of how the new digital technology will impact their role at work. Research found that 57 per cent of employees stated that they would have liked more information on how to use new digital technologies.

Access the full report at:


Comments are closed.