NZ firms urged to create new company culture

A recent Microsoft study calls on Kiwi bosses to unlock employee creativity and encourage teamwork.

NZ firms urged to create new company culture
Zealand companies need to foster a new workplace culture, research by Microsoft Study finds, to better suit the changing face of the Kiwi workforce and achieve digital transformation success.

This could be done by unlocking employees’ creativity, fuelling teamwork, strengthening security, and streamlining processes.  

Kiwi workers expect as much from their employers, the study said, as 72% of those surveyed said they expected their organisations to invest in culture development.

Meanwhile, 76% of workers expect their firms to close the digital skills gap.

An increasingly mobile workforce, exposure to new security risks, the rise of diverse teams and gaps in employees’ digital skills all contribute to the changing NZ work culture. 

For example, more individuals are working across multiple locations using multiple devices because of greater mobility and proliferation of mobile and cloud technologies.

Just 31% of those surveyed spend all their working hours in the office, and 53% work off their personal smartphones.

The study also found that 67% of employees work in multiple teams at any one point. Thus, real-time insight and collaboration tools are crucial in getting their work done.

There are clear gaps in employees’ digital skills even as corporate leaders have embraced digital transformation -- indeed three quarters of business leaders in New Zealand acknowledge the need to transform into a digital business in order to succeed.

The result of efforts here are uneven and in fact 76% of respondents feel that more could be done to bridge the skills gap.

“The rise of digital technologies, along with a new generation of millennials entering the workforce, has brought about a need to address changing workers’ expectations, knowledge and skills, as well as the tools they use,” said Microsoft New Zealand’s Cloud Productivity Business Leader, Mark Walton.

“Organisations need to reskill its workforce to develop creative and strategic skills for the future.”

But people remain at the heart of and the main drivers of digital transformation.  “The challenge organisations face now is how to implement new ways to foster a modern culture of work to better empower workers.” Walton said.

Microsoft recommends that organisations do the following to foster a good work culture:
  1. Unlock creativity
Through collaboration, people share ideas and innovate while working across devices.  According to the Microsoft study, 54% of respondents feel restricted in the way they currently work because the tools they need for their line of work are only available in the workplace.
  1. Fuel teamwork
The study found that 29% of respondents needed technology for collaboration so they could respond, in a timely manner, to internal and external requests.
  1. Strengthen security
While 65% work on employer-issued PCs, 53% also work on personal smartphones, carrying with it potential security risks. In fact, 56% of respondents check personal emails on company-issued devices for pure convenience.

Leaders thus need to ensure no confidential data of the organisation are at risk while also making workers feel they can work without barriers and that their productivity is not impeded.
  1. Keep it simple
Microsoft Asia Pacific IT leaders found that 53% of IT decision makers in  New Zealand say they need to simplify the management of their security portfolio. There is a need to streamline the IT management and reduce complexity.

Related stories:
Binary bores could be destroying your workplace culture
Global study reveals recipe for real cultural change

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