Businesses must adapt internal processes based on cultural shifts
A business must constantly evolve in order to survive. Identifying when cultural shifts have happened and adapting your strategy accordingly is essential.
When a company gets set in its ways, it runs the risk of stagnating. Over time, this can result in difficulties attracting the next generation of both workers and customers. Adapting internal processes in line with market activity, new technology or cultural shifts can make businesses more resilient and is something all leaders need to keep a close check on.
Be the change you want to see
When Dice launched in 2018, we wanted to set ourselves apart from the outdated white male stereotype that has plagued the engineering industry. From day one, we've been committed to hiring more female engineers and promoting a culturally diverse workforce. “When we set the business up, we were really keen to differentiate ourselves from other practices which can be quite stuffy and traditional in their approach. There aren’t enough females in engineering and we wanted to be part of that change,” said our director Wayne Oakes. A big part of attracting more women was ensuring the company culture was open, inclusive and conducive to diversity. “I have personally worked in a toxic male-dominated environment which was very much banter led. We wanted Dice to feel like an inclusive environment. It was a conscious effort to make sure that the other culture didn’t creep into the business,” Wayne said. “A laddish banter culture knows only one way of working. The more diverse and inclusive the workforce is, the more receptive people are to listening to other ideas. That’s where the good stuff happens.”
Adapt internal processes in line with cultural shifts
For us, one of the first steps towards hiring more women was adopting a recruitment strategy that prioritised cultural fit above anything else. Instead of prioritising skills or experience, we look at who is the best fit for the company and whether people share our core values of diversity and inclusiveness. “We recruit on personality more than technical ability. We can train for skills. That doesn’t necessarily correlate to hiring more females into the businesses but it doesn’t eliminate them. It keeps a level playing field because we are focusing on inherent personality traits,” Wayne said. We also offer a fully flexible approach to work and an unlimited annual leave policy. This means that potential barriers like childcare responsibilities do not exclude people from being able to work. Another internal strategy the business has adopted is a fully digitalised application for HR management. The application has tools that allow management to understand how staff are feeling and what morale is like within the business. The app also has anonymous features so staff can report any issues in confidence.
Building a diverse workforce
Around 50 per cent of staff at Dice are female. We have has also made a raft of promotions to ensure women are represented at the highest levels. “Having more females and a multicultural workforce makes us work better. It creates a more diverse approach in terms of the way we deliver work, how we plan and how we share ideas. It’s better to have people from different backgrounds with different viewpoints, especially in project-related tasks. There are often new ways of doing things you haven’t identified that improve things,” Wayne said. Businesses need to keep track of current affairs and industry press to identify any cultural shifts and ensure that they’re brought into the workplace. “You have to be continually evaluating, reviewing and overhauling the way your business does things. It’s not easy, but it’s something that you need to pay attention to. If you don’t do that, are you going to be attracting the next generation of skilled workers into your team? Possibly not,” Wayne said.