A business should be a little community unto itself, with its own traditions, social structure and – perhaps most importantly – culture. This article will explain a few useful ways in which a company can train its culture in a digital-friendly direction.
What is a ‘digital culture’?
Before we start, we ought to make one thing clear: this article defines ‘digital culture’ as an engagement with digital matters that manifests in both digital and ‘real world’ scenarios. In this definition, talking about social media marketing over a coffee would be just as important as reading about the subject online.
Share knowledge and insight
If you’re only going to take on board one tip from this guide, we would urge you to make this the one. Digital culture at the workplace starts with the routine sharing of news, opinion and expert guidance.
Get the ball rolling by conducting your own research into interesting digital topics and sending the best content you encounter to your colleagues. Top quality, highly pertinent content should be shared with everyone on the team, whilst more specific or niche content should be sent to the team member or members who will find it especially useful.
A particularly handy means of facilitating this sort of conversation on an ongoing basis is using a team chat app like Slack, though using emails would suffice.
Sharing digital knowledge and insight is as simple as pasting a link into a message and hitting ‘send’, but it’s worth considering assigning the role of ‘Digital Champion’ to one of your existing team members. In just an hour or so per week, a diligent researcher can connect the right staff with the best new info.
Promote friendly competition
Within moderation, a touch of competition in the workplace can have a healthy influence on a team’s output – though do bear in mind that the tone should always be fun and games, rather than Hunger Games.
One particularly effective use of competition in a digital team is encouraging staff to identify or create the most elegant solution to an existing barrier to the team’s progress. The possibilities here are endless – the following examples should get your creative juices flowing:
• The company is low on ideas – how can we encourage more creative thinking?
• Our ‘Book an appointment’ page has a high exit rate – how can we keep users on the site?
• We’re struggling to get our clients’ in-house development teams to understand our instructions – how can we do this better?
• Our creative team’s output has fallen over the last 12 months – how can we solve the problem without firing or hiring new staff?
Management can identify the most suitable solution suggested by measuring projected time and cost spend against the potential benefits to the company. If a solution won’t take long to deliver and could serve to generate high revenue or improve your processes, you’re probably onto a good thing.
Get everyone together
We’re getting better at communicating digitally, but there’s a long way to go before we can convey our knowledge and opinions as deftly via digital devices as we can face-to-face – especially where complex, nuanced, technical or sensitive subjects are concerned. That’s why it’s crucial to get your team together as often as possible.
Team meetings go under many guises, from scrums and thought showers to status update meetings. But the priority is simple: interdepartmental discussion at close quarters, providing each team member with a holistic oversight of the non-classified content of daily operations. No meetings for the sake of meetings, but foster team communication in as many ways as possible.
Exposing team members with different specialisms to the full scope of a digital team’s activities can spark ideas from novel perspectives and inspire independent research into unfamiliar digital topics. Perhaps most importantly of all, it fosters a sense of striving towards the same company-wide goal.
“Learn the rules like a pro…
Learning isn’t just a tremendous boon to a person’s working life, it’s an intrinsic requirement of mental growth and happiness. All businesses should ensure employees are constantly learning and growing – and considering the rapid pace at which the digital landscape is changing, that’s especially true of digital businesses.
There are many avenues for businesses to explore in the field of digital education. For developers, the excellent free online resource codeacademy provides coding training in an accessible, gamified format. It’s the perfect way for ambitious junior developers to broaden their horizons on their own time.
Here at Target Internet we provide cutting edge digital marketing classroom training and interactive elearning to companies great and small. If you’re looking for free insight, you can read more articles just like this one in our Resources section, completely free of charge.
However you do it, make sure you place learning at the heart of your team’s digital culture.
…so you can break them like an artist.”
If your digital team is already competing with the best in your field, now might the time to go in search of the next big thing.
Digital platforms are extremely well suited to experimentation across a vast range of marketing and operational activities, and the companies who hit upon the next great innovations can reap extraordinary rewards.
When your team comes up with a revolutionary idea, try delivering your traditional model/product/message/content/etc. to one audience segment, whilst simultaneously delivering the experimental idea to another. By appraising the results, you’ll be able to tell whether or not the idea is suitable for roll-out on a wider scale. This ‘split testing’ process is a highly effective means of mitigating risk whilst you experiment with revolutionary ideas.
Some workers are best suited to delivering day-to-day digital operations; others are more creative. A strong experiments team needs to possess immense competence in both respects – an innovation wing who can come up with radical ideas, and an integration wing who can ensure the best of these ideas are implemented without compromising the business’ existing operations. When both sides work in harmony, the possibilities can exceed the contemporary frontiers of human achievement.