1. You don’t know anyone who works at your company.
2. You try not to involve yourself with your company’s digital networks.
3. When it comes to certain office protocols, you have no idea what is and isn’t acceptable.
If you answered ‘True’ to these statements, you’re part of the 20 percent of global employees who work on virtual teams, and your organization’s culture is a total mystery to you.
This is a problem, because even as we strive to enhance our cultures so our employees will stick around, our strategies mostly shut out employees who don’t come into our offices. If we want to encourage collaboration and track productivity, we have dozens of effective digital tools from which to choose. But when it comes to tools meant to inform and reinforce culture, there’s not much.
In a recent article for Fast Company, Austin Carr reported on a few new technologies that are a step in the right direction. Yammer, which is an enterprise social network that Microsoft acquired for $1.2 billion, acts like a Facebook for internal business use. It enables employees to exchange messages, media and status updates—integrating the option to “Like” a coworker’s post or give him or her “Praise” badges.
Taking it a step further is emotional intelligence company Kanjoya, which has a product called Crane that taps into an organization’s Yammer network and analyzes data to measure how employees are feeling at any given moment or on any given topic. Crane can tell, for instance if your employees are irritated by a new policy or don’t like the way management is handling a current issue. Although it’s not always clear what leaders should do with Crane’s data from a big picture perspective, the program at least allows them to address small details that might otherwise go unnoticed and fester.
For tips on how to effectively build culture in a digital world, check out my full post on the AMEX Open Forum.