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Why CIO’s Will Have as Much Influence on Company Culture as HR Does

By May 16, 2019 No Comments

Jim Steinlage, President & CEO of Choice Solutions,

As CHROs and CIOs continue their collaboration on bringing about their organization’s digital transformation, one truth has clearly emerged: CIOs are playing an equally important role in creating a work force culture that supports the company’s metamorphosis.

Mutually Beneficial Cultural Outcomes

A recent Gartner study concluded that by the year 2021, “CIOs will become as influential as HR in creating culture change in their organizations.” That’s because CIOs now realize that culture is one of the key accelerators of digital transformation and that, as CIO, they have the means to reinforce a desired culture through the technology choices they make.

Where HR has traditionally been tasked with fostering a strong workforce, what that means and how it’s achieved has changed. It’s no longer simply hiring the right people for the right jobs. Rather, it’s about how to keep the workforce engaged and empowered throughout their time at your company. That means working with the CIO to create a digital workspace that enhances the employee experience.

Why CIO’s Must Build a Strong Company Culture

As technology evolves so, too, does the role of the CIO. It’s no longer enough to focus on IT information within the internal business structure. Traditional approaches are giving way to transformational ones and CIOs are in a unique position to redefine their own duties while exerting considerable influence on company culture.

Why is culture so important? At its core, it’s what defines your company and affects the overall strategy it employs when establishing leadership. Employees need to know what their employer’s mission is. Creating a workplace culture that focuses on creating an environment where employees are excited about what they do and who they work for is vital for most companies. That means CIOs need to stay ahead of trends that effect their industry, keep their company’s top players informed of technological changes, and embrace new models of success.

There are plenty of ways CIOs can influence a company’s culture, including:

  • Accelerating the adoption of new technology.
  • Helping employees quickly adapt and embrace new technologies.
  • Prioritizing ease of learning.
  • Investing in workforce planning and analytical technology.

On a personal level, reassessing leadership skills, changing one’s mentality to “think bigger,” and emphasizing the company’s mission over technology will all help establish bold goals that lead to increased value.

Bottom Line

The future of the workplace is not about the company or the leadership. It is about your employees and what they think, feel, and want out of the work experience. CIOs who become “culture champions” by bringing about a digital transformation that results in an engaged and empowered workforce that’s invested in the long term success of your business will ultimately be seen as life-changing heroes.