woman telling a secret
PHOTO: Sai De Silva

Countless SaaS platforms, collaboration tools, security solutions and technologies offer ROI in productivity and promise growth — and many of them can help organizations actually accomplish what they promise in startling ways. Yet, as I touch on in almost everything I write, all of this requires planning and significant efforts in change management. In fact, as I’ve previously argued, the pace of change is becoming so quick that project-based approaches to change are insufficient to meet its demands. 

So, here it is, the big secret to doing it all right: Create a company culture that genuinely cares for and empowers your employees. 

Plain and simple. Actively working to make sure your employees are happy, challenged and engaged, while providing them the resources they need to get the job done, is paramount to success today. 

Create an Organization of Power Employees

The more you depend on your employees to adapt to new processes and technologies, the more you need them to feel they have a stake in the future of your organization. Employees who have positive incentives and feel confident about their employers and their roles are much more likely to proactively learn new technologies, adapt to change, and even help empower those around them. 

Anyone in IT knows how valuable power users can be to help dull the pains of technological adoption. The goal of every organization should be to create an inclusive atmosphere that incentives not only power users, but power employees.

Beyond being more productive, employees who are happy and proud of where they work will wear your swag, tout your brand, recommend your organization to friends of similar talent, remain loyal and most of all, personally invest in your processes and customers. If they feel like you really care and they are empowered, your IT teams will happily push themselves to go above and beyond to make sure their users have what they need and are actively and continuously supported. (Read here on my tips to investing and expanding your IT team).

This does not necessarily mean raises, unlimited paid time off and expensive benefits for everyone (these can be pretty good places to start, though), but it definitely means, at a minimum, an ethically positive, reinforcing and inclusive company culture that genuinely cares about its employees, from the top down.

Conversely, we now live in an age of screenshots, chat and email platforms and widespread social media. If your company is not a great place to work, people will make this known very quickly. Additionally, with skilled talent now in high demand, passionate people can afford to be much more discerning about where they work — this is especially true of employees in the tech sector. 

Related Article: Your Digital Transformation Won't Succeed Without Cultural Change

You Can Tell When a Company Supports Its Employees

You don’t have to take my word for any of this, just pay attention to the news. Companies and leaders that empower their employees are frequently lauded for doing so. The pretenders always eventually succumb to the worst kind of bad press (your efforts needs to be genuine). It’s not just about the press though. Know this: the ones that truly make an effort are often best performers in their class. 

Even if your organization has made strides in this direction, there’s always more that can be done, and we all have a part to play. After all, culture really means everyone, right? 

We employees can help encourage this by thanking our leaders for the things they do right and being the change where we are — always striving to be positive and empower ourselves and those around us in optimistic ways.

We can all take this to heart and share the sentiment far and wide as we dive into 2020. And may we all have a more productive, inclusive, positive and successful new year! 

Related Article: What Successful Employee Engagement Looks Like