A growing business must focus on critical elements like marketplace demand, customer service, sales margins, the most suitable technology, to name a few. However, leaders also need to foster a strong company culture that supports long-term strategies and is underpinned by timely and reliable data.
Company culture is what your workforce collectively believe is expected of them and how those behavioral norms influence their engagement and effectiveness. It sets the tone for the work environment and how people represent the business and relate to internal and external stakeholders.
Now that so many companies collect data from across the business, leaders want to create more data-driven cultures. Transforming into a data-driven organization takes more than just technology. Since the change requires new skill sets, processes, and behaviors to support deployment of a self-service analytics solution, executives play a critical role in advocating and orchestrating that change.
Why? Because data doesn’t drive success on its own—only when people mobilize around data, putting facts at the center of every conversation, does data unlock collaboration, lead to strategic insights and enhance decision-making.
When employees aren’t engaged or don't have the right tools, a job is just a paycheck and they move on. But when a business has a solid company data culture, staff look forward to logging in or going to work; they embrace new opportunities, and become invested in the company’s success. In today’s blog we’ll explore ways to promote your company's data culture.
Accepting failure and learning from mistakes
Begin to promote a safe company culture by adopting a policy that accepts mistakes. We all learn through trial error and mistakes are a learning tool that can guide success. For instance, the new online sales strategy is proving less successful than the face to face strategy. This failure is actually an opportunity to glean important information about your customers’ behaviour and how you need to tweak the sales strategy further.
However, when we use punishment or criticism to handle mistakes, we only foster a culture of fear. When employees are afraid to make mistakes, they will no longer take risks. This is why Simon Sinek, author, encourages praise over criticism. From working with and observing multiple high performing leaders and companies he states, “Leaders serve their people so that their people may better serve the customer" by responsibly praising and recognizing them for good work (and being specific in the praising to reinforce the behaviors you want).
This is because when people are praised, they experience success. When people experience success, they learn to succeed. It is important to encourage a culture of praise between teams, as well. When teams experience praise from each other for their accomplishments, bonds are created and they want to lift each other up and achieve goals together.
Improving communication between departments
Healthy, open communication between departments creates a team spirit. Begin to nurture this attitude by requiring multiple teams work together on projects. For example, have sales and marketing work together to create a strategy to increase the sales of a particular product. When they’ve achieved their goal, celebrate their collective win. Celebrating them as a whole fosters their sense of community.
Another way to improve interdepartmental communication is to use modern software that has built in collaboration tools or workflow that allows for instance the finance team to easily seek feedback on the budget from everyone in the team without compromising the numbers . Other software allows different teams to educate others about their work and promotes healthy communication and feedback and a joint understanding of their crossover tasks.
When all decision making is data-driven
Businesses are much more interested in how things are changing than where they finished because they want to use data to change outcomes. Timely decision-making can be the difference between satisfying a customer or not.
That’s why an organization-wide data-driven culture is important—along with the right technology and a flexible, data-literate workforce. When data is transformed from static reporting into a valuable tool, employees develop new habits, such as understanding trends and opportunities in the middle of changing business cycles. A crisis like the pandemic can kick-start new habits around data and analytics, when confidence in the numbers is necessary and quick answers are important.
Having a strong company culture backed by data visibility allows your employees to feel part of a team. It creates trust and encourages growth. When your employees are happy, they become personally invested in your company’s success.
Would you like to learn more about data culture, download this free ebook: Digital transformation: 4 reasons it needs to include data