Building a united workforce
How Mayo County Council use tech to lead the way.
Can you imagine your workplace without the internet? Think of the difference in culture, the pace of change, the connectedness of colleagues and clients. Technology has always had a significant impact on the culture of work. But in today’s workplace, this has proliferated as the speed of technological evolution has continued to accelerate at a rate that few could have predicted.
We are now in an era where new technologies are so abundant – and their application so varied – that we have more choice than ever about how we want to engage with them. This is giving us increasing control over how we use technology to define the culture of our workplace.
Here we look at the way that three very different companies are using Microsoft technologies to help reinforce and guide their organisational culture.
Dutch company, Tony’s Chocolonely, has always been about more than the chocolate they make. Grown out of a journalist’s dream to make the chocolate trade slavery-free, the company has had ethics and principles at its core ever since it was founded in 2005.
And those principles aren’t limited to the way that their chocolate is produced – it’s also about how their team is organised and interacts. “We say that our team comes first”, says Rick van Doorn, IT Manager at Tony’s. “Without the team, there is no company. And keeping that team collaborating optimally is vitally important to everything we do”.
As the company has thrived and its team has grown from six to over 100, the challenge has been keeping the company’s cultural values consistent through a period of significant organisational transformation. According to Angela Ursem, Marketing Communications Manager, an important part of this has been choosing the right technologies to keep the company “open, honest and communicating”. This has included upgrading to Windows 10, moving company data to SharePoint, and managing devices with Microsoft Intune.
But perhaps the most significant innovation has been the company’s use of Microsoft Teams. As with every other aspect of work life for Tony’s employees, that strategy is carefully aligned with company values and organisational culture. “We use the chat feature in Teams to build the personal relationships we want to encourage”, says Ursem. “Email is more formal, more time-consuming. Chat lends itself to the shared humour and quick check-ins that naturally fit our culture and make us more efficient”.
But how new technologies are implemented doesn’t just depend on organisational culture – it’s about the size of a company too. For global automobile behemoth, BMW Group, the challenges were markedly different.
In the automobile industry, disruption is a fact of life. BMW Group executives know that maintaining excellence in today’s connected world means using technology to move from a process-oriented way of working to a more agile, collaborative ethos. This has required a complete shift in organisational culture and the company’s approach to teamwork.
But for a company with 134,682 employees, 150,000 devices and 70,000 phones in 500 locations, making that shift was no small task. It meant choosing the right software and apps to keep everyone productive, while also underscoring its values of security and teamwork. Migrating to Windows 10 was the answer.
“What I value is that Windows 10 is the foundation for our modern workplace transformation”, says Markus Boenisch, General Manager of Global Workspace at BMW Group. “It will honour our commitment to a new way of working – new ways of collaborating, all while staying more secure”.
And it’s not only software and app solutions that are helping companies drive workplace transformation and define a new organisational culture – it’s the devices they are using too.
Public administrator, Vinnova, aspires to be Sweden’s most inviting employer. To achieve this, the office atmosphere has to be “open, creative, smart, and cool”, explains Ulf Trulsson, Chief Information Officer. Having the right devices for the team to use has been the key to realising this vision.
“By our very nature, we are highly collaborative”, he says. But the original mix of technologies the company had been using since 2001 did not support that culture or vision.
“By adopting Surface devices that so closely suit the way we work, we now have the kind of tools an organisation all about innovation truly needs,” he says. The introduction of Microsoft 365 and the Surface device has not only improved the working lives of Vinnova employees, it is attracting new talent too. “Everyone has everything they need on their desk on the day they start. That’s very important for being an attractive employer”.
The new culture of work is about embracing collaboration and fluid teamwork – and selecting the right technology to support the company culture and ethos that underpins this.
Solutions like Microsoft Teams, Windows 10 and Surface can be used to work with the culture that you define. Whether you’re a small business or an enterprise, a non-profit or a Fortune 500 company, the technologies of the modern workplace have a solution for everyone.