Five worthy reads is a regular column on five noteworthy items we’ve discovered while researching trending and timeless topics. This week, we take a look at how culture can play a pivotal role in your IT team and overall corporate strategy. 

Human resources, personnel management, talent management—the list goes on. We all know this function by multiple names, but the work they do remains mostly the same. Recruitment, training, compensation, and compliance are just some of the areas the human resources department focuses on. In the midst of all this management, culture tends to get put on the back burner.

Culture defines a workplace’s environment, values, beliefs, practices, and much more. In short, it’s the personality that develops in your IT team and the rest of your organization. Despite knowing the importance of developing an amiable and positive personality, more often that not, culture forms without foresight. Culture will often take form without the individuals responsible for shaping it aware of their involvement.

The tide, however, seems to be turning. Culture is no longer regarded as only an HR issue; it’s grown to become an overall business concern, meaning IT teams should also be savvy to these changes. Organizations are waking up to the importance of focussing on their people and cultures. In the current era of unprecedented technological innovations, it may seem like applications can substitute almost any job function, but it’s important to remember that technology is merely a facilitator. People still form the linchpin of organizations.

What organizations need is a strong culture that promotes high employee engagement. Studies have shown that organizations with highly engaged workforces have revenue growth that is 2.5 times greater than those with less engaged workers.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at five interesting reads from around the web which highlight the necessity of making strong culture a mainstay of any organizational strategy.

  1. How to Set Your Company Apart in a Tech-Driven World
    While technology has a lot to offer, your greatest asset is your human workforce, but it’s arguably one of the most complicated assets to work with as well. Only by understanding the psyche of the workforce and prioritizing it can businesses begin to set themselves apart. 

  1. The Big Lesson Silicon Valley Can Learn About Creating Office Culture
    While perks such as free meals, Foosball tables, electric bikes, fully equipped gyms, and music classes have plenty of appeal, it’s a business’ culture that consistently ranks number one for employee recruitment and retention. 

  1. Do You Have a Strong Company Culture? Look to Technology and People to Make It Stronger
    An intellectually challenged workforce is a satisfied and engaged workforce. When you support the objectives of your people, you support the objectives of your company.

  1. The Tech Industry Is Getting Very People and Culture Focused, Here’s Why
    Many companies are starting to realize that to stay competitive, they need to become more people-focused. The right culture can be the competitive edge you need to boost employee satisfaction, which improves customer service, business performance, and employee turnover. 

  1. How a Strong Corporate Culture Translates to Organizational Success
    Corporate culture is often represented by what the typical employee thinks about their company and how they act while there. This representation can have a lasting impact on a company’s success.

In the IT department and elsewhere, most of an organization’s activities are determined by its culture. However, there might be a big gap between the intended and actual culture. You might set out with a certain idea, but what materializes can be vastly different.

Only 12 percent of employees believe that their organization drives the “right” culture. Building a culture that actively encourages empowered teams, strong employee satisfaction, and high organizational performance takes patience, perseverance, and the right attitude.

If you’re someone who can shape the environment at your workplace, how would you do it?