Organisations are constantly clamouring for the very best talent – robots may take over some jobs in the future, however countless studies reveal an ever-growing concern about the digital skills shortage.
Competition for skills is growing constantly, as rival organisations aspire to attract staff who not only present enviable work and academic credentials, but also embody the company’s values and vision.
Leaders have historically looked outwards for solutions – adopting complicated recruitment strategies and expensive marketing campaigns – but the answer has been under their noses the entire time.
They should be looking within their own organisations.
Businesses almost always have the necessary talent to hand – but because of external market forces and focus, companies haven’t always been good at creating environments that are ripe for utilising or nurturing that talent.
There’s recruiting great people, and then there’s helping great people to recognise and strive for their full potential. Leaders sometimes mistake these things for being the same, but they’re not.
Leaders have focused on the former for far too long, recruiting great people for ‘cultural fit’, rather than looking inwards and helping people to recognise, strive for and achieve their full potential. The latter, needless to say, is underpinned by company culture – the beating heart of employee engagement.
But what does that company culture look and feel like?
That’s for company leaders to begin to unpack, but it ultimately begins with introspection – examining and understanding the who, what, where, when and how of the company’s and internal stakeholders’ identities, values and beliefs.
Developing a culture
When trying to arrive at a true and lasting company culture there are three steps to consider:
1. Connect corporate values and purpose with employees.
Cultures are a product of collective storytelling. Stories of shared ethics, values, knowledge and learning, empowers humans to flourish and leads to reciprocity through empathy and compassion. By tracing corporate values back to the very people that make up the business, organisations can foster a stronger sense of individual power and responsibility that will empower and motivate people to perform at their best.
2. Understand your people in a real and meaningful way.
You’d be surprised at how many leaders I meet who really don’t understand their employees or know what makes them ‘tick’. Without knowing the true skill sets of your workforce you ignore your own company’s blind spots. Furthermore, leaders too often assume a shared motivation in work but as NTT DATA has previously highlighted, we know that different generations regard work in very different ways. Through a greater understanding of the nuances, leaders can build a much more robust culture from the ground up that resonates with everyone in the organisation – not just those in the boardroom.
3. Provide autonomy.
The way that companies monitor success can be a part of this third stage: numbers count, and yet they only tell part of the story.
Reframing some indicators of success to include human-centred measurements will have a more sustainable impact on motivation, happiness, innovation, financial growth and stability.
Traditional numerical business KPIs can still be useful, but less quantifiable KPIs such as personal development and learning need to be a part of measuring success.
Clearly defined business cultures will enable businesses to visibly demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility and a culture that’s ethical. Companies like to project a veneer of inclusivity and diversity but don’t always embody these principles internally – that simply needs to change.
Thriving in the digital age
A company’s ability to inspire its employees and nurture each individual’s full potential will be the greatest differentiator in the coming decades. Discovering the culture that works for your business and engraining it across the entire organisation at every layer, will separate you from the competition. Getting this culture right is a philosophical process as much as it is a practical one.
NTT DATA is hosting its inaugural OnWave Summit 2019 this September. The OnWave Summit hosts world class speakers and business leaders – bringing attendees the latest trends and insights on leadership, talent and the future of work.