The Millennials won’t save you, but culture can

New research commissioned by Cisco, in partnership with the Institute of Cultural Capital (ICC), has found that creating a positive digital culture at work and encouraging worker confidence in digital tools are the most important factors in ensuring digital roll-outs are successful.

Based on a survey of more than 3,000 UK workers, the findings outline the most important factors to determine whether businesses will succeed with digital roll-outs. Research has found that different organisational cultures lead to contrasting rates of digital adoption. Company digital culture ranked far above an employees’ IT experience, company size or the sector in which they operate, when determining attitudes to digital roll-outs.

British workers are largely optimistic about their experiences with digital technologies, with more than two thirds (67 per cent) stating that digital technology has had a positive impact on the way they work. Yet there is still work to do. A concerning 29 per cent of businesses are still not bringing in digital technologies.

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.

Employee confidence in leadership when it comes to digital technology is also mixed. Whilst a quarter (24 per cent) of workers are confident in the digital vision put forward by senior management, just under half (45 per cent) are undecided and around a fifth (19 per cent) stated that they are actively concerned about their company’s digital future. The research also found that 29 per cent of employees believe that their leadership team is struggling to push through new digital ways of working, with the same number stating that culturally their organisation is not ready to embrace digital solutions.

Phil Smith, chief executive, Cisco UK & Ireland, commented, ‘There’s no doubt that organisations today face a digital double-edged sword. On the one hand new technologies are continuing to re-invent what is possible in the workplace and it is clear business leaders and employees alike understand the potential benefits digital technology can bring. But our research reveals that without first fostering the right culture in the workplace and following a few golden rules when engaging with employees, it’s possible for digital roll-outs to go off-track. Employees are craving clear digital leadership to drive the organisation forward and the boardroom must ensure digital delivers on its promise to help drive productivity and organisational effectiveness.’

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