June 9, 2017
A majority of employees (62 percent) believe their company culture is one of the biggest hurdles in the journey to becoming a digital organisation, and this is putting companies at risk in falling behind competition in today’s digital environment claims a new report. The Digital Culture Challenge: Closing the Employee-Leadership Gap published by Capgemini, and Brian Solis, a prominent digital analyst and world renowned author, uncovers a significant perception gap between the senior leadership and employees on the existence of a digital culture within organisations. While 40 percent of senior-level executives believe their firms have a digital culture, only 27 percent of the employees surveyed agreed with this statement. The survey asked respondents to assess their companies’ digital culture based on seven attributes: their collaboration practices, innovation, open culture, digital-first mindset, agility and flexibility, ‘customer centricity’ and a data-driven culture. Insights gathered from the report, and through a series of focus interviews, helped to identify some of the reasons behind this digital culture gap including senior leaders failing to communicate a clear digital vision to the company, the absence of digital role models and a lack of KPIs aligned to digital transformation goals.
Cyril Garcia, Head of Digital Services and member of the Group Executive Committee at Capgemini, said: “Digital technologies can bring significant new value, but organisations will only unlock that potential if they have the right sustainable digital culture ingrained and in place. Companies need to engage, empower and inspire all employees to enable the culture change together; working on this disconnect between leadership and employees is a key factor for growth. Those businesses that make digital culture a core strategic pillar will improve their relationships with customers, attract the best talent and set themselves up for success in today’s digital world.”
Key report findings show that there is a profound disconnect between leadership and employees on all the dimensions of digital company culture:
- Innovation is still not a reality for many organisations. Only 7 percent of companies surveyed feel that their organisation can test new ideas and deploy them quickly. This figure echoes employees’ sentiment about culture of innovation, with only 37 percent of respondents stating that their organisations have a culture of innovation, experimentation and risk-taking against 75 percent of senior executives. Organisations need to actively reward risk-taking and create an environment where employees can experiment.
- There is strong disagreement on collaboration practices. The findings reveal a divide between senior-level executives and employees on collaboration practices. 85 percent of top executives believe that their organisations promote collaboration internally, while only 41 percent of employees agreed with this premise.
- Leadership believes they have a digital vision, employees disagree. The research found considerable differences between what leadership and employees perceive as a clear digital vision. 62 percent of respondents in leadership positions affirmed they have a well-defined strategy to achieve their digital goals, while only 37 percent of employees agreed with this statement.
The report, which includes more than 1,700 respondents in 340 organisations across eight countries, highlights that companies are failing to engage employees in the culture change journey. Getting employees involved is critical for shaping an effective digital culture and accelerating the cultural transformation of the organisation. Leadership and the middle management are critical to translating the broader digital vision into tangible business outcomes and rewarding positive digital behaviours.
Digital culture leaders set themselves apart
The research identified a group of digital culture ‘front-runners’ (34 percent of organisations surveyed) who performed consistently well across the seven dimensions of digital culture and whose leadership has largely succeeded in aligning the wider organisation to the desired culture. The UK, Sweden and the US have a strong representation of digital culture leader organisations (63 percent, 60 percent and 56 percent respectively), while automotive (43 percent), consumer products (38 percent), and telecoms (32 percent) have the highest proportion by industry sector.
These digital culture front-runners tend to hire differently than their digital slow-moving counterparts, consciously looking for behavioural traits such as creativity and autonomy when recruiting – 83 percent of front-runners compared to 29 percent of the digital slow moving counterparts; adjusting role descriptions and KPIs to align with overall digital transformation (75 percent compared to 17 percent) and aligning their compensation structure to digital transformation objectives (70 percent compared to 13 percent).
A copy of the report can be downloaded here.