Technology can play a huge impact on the company culture and the companies are starting to realize this. Solaris Technology pays a huge amount of attention to company culture and the use of technology has made a remarkable difference on how things are done in the office and the culture that has been promoted due to the integration of certain technologies in work.
As Solaris Technologies realized that their success is heavily relying on creating a culture where “soft skills” like communication, collaboration and innovation thrive, Solaris Technologies started seeking out new business models for the future — becoming more digital, tech savvy and agile in adapting to change. For Solaris Technologies this was not a very drastic change, being a software company, the employees were already used to dealing with technology and have a shorter learning curve when it comes to incorporating new technology in the office.
“By the nature of changing the business, changing the strategy and getting the culture to facilitate and drive that change, they are embracing newer technologies in and of themselves to be the mechanism of the culture shift,”
Establishment and Reinforcement of Culture
An organization is always changing and being modified. Hence, the culture of organizations is also set and reset over time. These changes are made to the extent that the company has certain principles to act as the foundation of the organizational culture. This means that the changes being made must be available to the people all the time. They have to be consistent and must be made part of the daily routine of the organization.
The culture of the organization is quintessential. Once Solaris Technologies had finalized what they wanted their culture to be, they used technology to reinforce this culture into the daily workings of the office. With the world moving towards technical advancements on a daily basis, it is important to recognize the available advantages of technology and use them to meet your personal requirements. It is also important to create a balance in the usage of technology; one must realize at all times that technology is used to assist in the reinforcement of culture and not the other way around. Technology offers an opportunity to ensure that the intentions of Solaris Technology to incorporate a certain sort of culture is being implemented regularly and it can be regulated.
“The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing. People can be independent and autonomous. They can be entrepreneurial”.
So if the company wants to increase work collaborations and team work, how can you use different tools to incorporate it in the working of the office? When Solaris Technologies wanted to increase their intra team collaborations and enable smoother communications between the employees, they began to use Skype; a software platform used for collaborations and communications. It allowed the employees to have real time interactions to share ideas and provide input to each other about the work that is being conducted. This allows the team members to be more connected without having to call meetings and get work completed more efficiently; without wasting too much time.
Solaris Technologies has been adapting multiple tech tools to support their culture. It has allowed the company to find what works best for them and how the integration of a specific tool or technology can assist the employees in making their work more manageable and methodical.
When do you know that it is time for a change?
Tools and technology are mostly used to change the work culture or to sustain the already existing culture when the organization is at a turning point; in case the company experiences any hurdles in attracting new employees or attaining older ones or simply if the company wishes to incorporate new, nontraditional team members into the organization, which may trigger the urge to consciously create the culture accordingly. However, it is not always possible to update all of the Human Resource platforms. So instead of completely changing the way processes are being carried out, Solaris Technologies uses more specific pieces to address the problems being faced in maintaining the culture.
The CEO of Bonusly, Crawford Marks, says that there are three different categories in which a person can divide the factors that require the use of technology in the improvement of the culture. These are; performance management, employee recognition and/or listening through feedback. Although these things can be attained without the integration of technology, the use of technology is useful in moving these processes along and getting them incorporated more swiftly.
“I think as a company, if you can get those two things right — having a clear direction on what you are trying to do and bringing in great people who can execute on the stuff — then you can do pretty well”.
There is no doubt that these things can be attained by staying on the conventional pen and paper mode, however as the companies scale up and grow larger in size, it gets increasingly difficult. It also becomes a very cumbersome task to mine the collected data to gain insights about the process and progress of the work being conducted. A lot of time is wasted in gathering data for analysis and reading the information that is provided as it is a hassle trying to find what you are looking for. The utilization of technology helps to engage the team members in a more scalable manner; improving the workplace as well as the workflow. As the company grows in size and becomes more dispersed, it is very difficult to scale up without the utilization of technology.
It isn’t just about using the technology, but also about effective implementation
Solaris Technologies realizes that even the best initiatives can fail without the appropriate implementation of these initiatives. The tools being implemented must recognize true human behavior. Human Resource initiatives, are more often than not, designed for the way we wish the team members were rather than how they actually are.
“Determine what behaviors and beliefs you value as a company, and have everyone live true to them. These behaviors and beliefs should be so essential to your core that you don’t even think of it as a culture”.
The wellbeing of the company’s culture is not very easy to measure and analyze, however; employee engagement is necessary to create a positive experience for the team members. Technical tools and softwares play a key role in managing these concerns in a world that is swiftly changing towards digitization. It is always a good idea to test run a tool before implementing it in the organization. The percentage of team members that take part in the program, the feedback that they provide, as well as other statistical analysis i.e. changes in turnover, alterations in absenteeism patterns, or achievements in reaching business objectives are all indicators of whether a company is making progress by integrating the new system or not.
In the end of the day, Solaris Technologies believes that company culture is created from the leadership style in the office and it stems from the company’s core values. Other factors act as valuable tools that reinforce the present culture that you have established over time. These other factors include the workplace and the technology being utilized by the company. To change the corporate culture, one is required to make use of these tools quite thoughtfully and consciously. Technology does not know which way to direct the culture, it is simply a tool that the corporation can use to get favorable outcomes.
“Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game-it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value”.
The role of technology in culture:
It is very important to understand that you cannot change the entire culture of your company simply by the use of a new technology. However, it can have a huge impact driving the shift in the workplace environment. One must realize the importance of technology and the role that it can play in changing the culture, if used appropriately. Some of the benefits of incorporating technology are as follows:
The company can utilize a space utilization software. This sort of software enables the line managers and department heads to access the usage data of the employees; providing the department heads with a better insight of the habits of the team members; how they work, how they prefer to communicate and interact with other team members and so on. This information can be very beneficial to understand the patterns of the employees and understand what serves as a motivation for them.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Buckminster Fuller
A Human Resource manager could use such a technology to collect all of the required information on a candidate, including the resume, the application, the interview notes and even the feedback provided by the interviewer. This data would also be easily accessible from multiple devices, making it easier to analyze the potential clients from anywhere and making the hiring process a lot faster than before.
The biggest advantage of such a tool is the great level of transparency that it creates between the team members and the line managers. It also allows for efficient decision making, based over factual information that has been statistically analyzed.
“The technology you use impresses no one. The experience you create with it is everything.”
– Sean Gerety
Solaris Technology always stresses on the opinion that the real goal of technology should be to make the functionality of the office smooth and the work more seamless. The technology should help by reducing the barriers in the office, this allows employees to become empowered to work in ways that yield higher productivity and efficiency. A good example would be a tool that can help by cut down on time spent in trying to locate colleagues, find slots available for meetings and much more. This allows people to conduct work without over booking meetings or wasting valuable and available time slots of the team.
There are plenty of benefits in incorporating any such technology in the office. It helps to increase communication and builds better collaboration. This allows the employees to feel more supported and empowered. This proves to be quite helpful especially in work spaces such as Solaris Technologies where collaboration and team work are highly encouraged.
“Technology is best when it brings people together.”
There are many tools that companies use to track the goals and survey the progress of the teams. Managers of different teams get to quickly check in with the employees and that also with more frequency, instead of having to wait for an annual performance review. Giving feedback simultaneously also allows the team members to edit and correct their mistakes, helping them to learn through the process rather than waiting to tell them more efficient modes of conducting work.
Human Resource can very swiftly make use of survey applications to grasp the sentiments of the employees or ask for suggestions and feedback. Employees can be given the opportunity to ask and answer questions about the company goals and initiatives on these applications. Making it easier to communicate and exchange information. There are many benefits of such a tool. It allows for stronger communication within the company. Companies are able to course correct and address potential issues more proactively.
With the help of technology, employees are able to work remotely or when they are travelling. They can clock in at hours which are convenient for them if it isn’t possible for them to work during the actual office hours. This allows some flexibility to the employees without becoming a barrier in the flow of work. Solaris Technologies is moving away from the all-encompassing systems and moving towards more interconnected and modular technology for their company. This allows more control over what you want to achieve and helps the company integrate technology only when they need to, instead of over burdening the employees with tech that has no value for them. The benefit of such technology is the ability to create a flexible work environment for the employees without affecting the work that needs to be done. It allows for more family friendly work policies without having a negative impact on the performance of the team members and ultimately, the team. It becomes easier for companies to scale up and mold when the technology in itself is flexible.
“Can you avoid knowledge? You cannot! Can you avoid technology? You cannot! Things are going to go ahead in spite of ethics, in spite of your personal beliefs, in spite of everything”.
-JOSE M. R. DELGADO
Solaris Technologies integrates softwares that monitors the building system of the company. These softwares allow the employees to audit and test out a variety of systems and equipment without any hurdles and difficulty. This helps to estimate the return on investment (ROI) and the practicality of each option under consideration by the company. When the company decides on one of these scenarios, employees are able to track conflict resolution and make changes accordingly; reporting back on the changes being made and using this data to make more informed decisions. It takes the part where you need to guess and take risks out of the equation.
The benefit of this is that we are able to make more efficient decisions without having to spend hours buried deep in analyzing spreadsheets and data forms.
Although this is not new knowledge, but, technology is getting better and better at assisting work places in going paperless. This is great, not only for the company but also for the environment. Solaris Technologies has completely gone paperless and shifted their entire work to more digital platforms. With the use of technology such as digital whiteboards and tablets, organizations are able to reduce printing in the office which translates into reduced ink and toner usage along with a reduction in the space requirement that comes along with the need to store paper files.
The Internet of Things (IoT) offers huge opportunities to organizations to make their work environment more eco-friendly and efficient. This ranges from smart lighting which saves capital by only turning on with presence detection, all the way to digital letters and e-cards to avoid paper waste. There are plenty of benefits of adapting such a route in an office. For starters, it reduces the cost of functionality in the office along with the energy being consumed to do things without digitization. Secondly, it gives rise to good corporate and social responsibility in the individuals as well as the corporation. It is a great initiative that brings about mutual benefit for the people and the world as a whole.
Technology can be utilized to recognize and reward employees every time they do exceptional work or complete their work in a highly progressive manner. This technology can be used to give shout outs to employees for carrying out exceptional work in the office or doing any additional job or project simply to hone their skill set.
The use of technology to recognize employees is a very effective way to boost the employee engagement and to motivate them to strive harder. It can work as a positive competition for the employees when they hear about all the exceptional work their team members are doing. This allows for an environment of growth and forward thinking which is beneficial for both the employee and the company. It also makes the person who is being praised feel that his work is being recognized and his efforts are not going down the drain. It involves the team to do better work and learn to be jovial for the achievements of their colleagues. This sort of positivity has really helped Solaris Technology keep and maintain an optimistic environment in the workplace that is coherent with the culture of the company.
“We try to have the kind of a culture that doesn’t value excuses in the sense that when you’re supposed to accomplish something, and you’re at a high level, then your job is to accomplish it, in spite of difficulty. And you’re rewarded for dealing with that.”
– Phil Libin, Co-Founder, former CEO of Evernote
It is no news that technology plays an important role in changing the corporate culture in an organization. However, it is also essential to recollect that technology is merely a tool and nothing more. It can be utilized for work but it should not be expected to do all the work on its own. As a company, when you are selecting a technology, create a strong understanding of what it is that you wish to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it. Before you start to integrate any app or software into the daily working of your workplace, make sure that the platform or the service that you have chosen will be beneficial for you and help you in achieving the cultural change and integration that you wish to attain from these new and advanced tools. Solaris Technologies has always benefitted from a number of platforms, apps, softwares and services which have always played a huge part in ensuring that the culture of the company stays the same with persistence and consistency.