Building a digital culture has gone from being something nice for businesses to have to absolutely essential. Many organisations, like retailers and other customer-facing businesses, have built multichannel experiences and installed new digital systems, but this simply isn’t enough to keep your company competitive right now. Even the best systems aren’t worth much if the company’s culture doesn’t also get on board.

Establishing a digital culture goes beyond carrying out digital work every day; it’s about all of your employees appreciating and enjoying the digital tools that facilitate your work. However, embedding a digital culture in your business can be a daunting task. Here are four tips for effectively creating and nurturing a digital culture in your company.

Inform and train

According to Forbes, 90 per cent of digital transformations simply don’t meet the needs of the company in question, and this is often down to leaders failing to get employees on board. One mistake many leaders make is focusing on systems and processes whilst overlooking the need to engage with their workers.

You might understand how important a digital culture is, but you need to convey this to everyone at your company if you want to stand the best chance of success. Digital training can go a long way toward not only giving people the knowledge to succeed but also helping them understand their roles and their importance. There doesn’t need to be a lot of downtime as employees are trained; it is possible to obtain online digital learning programs that staff can use when they’ve got some free time.

As part of this process, you might also try to ascertain the digital interests of those working in your company. Talk to each team member individually or pass out questionnaires to uncover each person’s interests and strengths when it comes to digital, then use that information to shape your digital culture strategy.

Foster collaboration

Teams cannot work in silos any more. For a digital culture to be effective, different teams, such as sales and marketing, need to be comfortable working together closely to ensure a consistent message is conveyed to clients and prospects alike. This also extends to other areas; for example, customer service teams need to work closely with IT to find ways to improve systems.

You might be surprised by how big of an impact a culture of collaboration can have on your workflow. One way that managers and other leaders can encourage a collaborative environment is by setting up team-building activities outside of work. This builds empathy, and in turn, group cohesion.

Experts like Ryan Hibbert of Riot Hospitality Group can vouch for the importance of collaboration between managers and employees. He says: “I’m a big believer in managing by doing. I run our hospitality business by developing talent, getting my hands dirty, and hand-selecting people who share my passion.”

Emphasise transparency

One of the most important aspects of a digital culture is transparency. Every single one of us is now part of the digital world, but your employees’ familiarity with technology needs to be fine-tuned to suit the needs of your company. Transparency can come from anything from internal memos and microsites to monthly open forums and social media groups.

When employees can communicate with one another as well as their superiors, you can reach new levels of transparency. Moreover, having an open and transparent environment trickles down to clients, enabling your employees to build a good rapport with them and communicate a sense of authenticity.

Accept risks – and embrace them

Digital often involves experimentation, and that means there are some risks involved – but it’s that same experimentation that can lead your business to new heights. Digital moves quickly, and your workforce needs to be agile and ready to adapt. You want your employees to feel comfortable trying something new, but they need to have the skills and ability to make the most of the insights and data they’ll glean from taking risks. When employees and employers have mutual trust, they won’t be so afraid to innovate.

It can take some time to shift to a digital culture in your organisation, but the sooner you start developing one, the faster you’ll be able to stand out from the pack in the digitised business world.

Tobias Matthews

Tobias Matthews


Writer at Fourth Source.