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How IT and HR Will Promote Corporate Culture in a Remote-Work Reality

The pandemic crisis has fundamentally changed how corporate culture is managed and has created a new need to focus on digital “wellness.” As remote work becomes the norm—in some cases, it’s how the bulk of work is done now—the digital experience becomes a key determinant of how corporate culture is demonstrated and the quality of the employee experience. The quality and robustness of the digital experience is the manifestation of the level of effort that management is making to enable workers, and it speaks volumes about culture.

To be successful and deliver a great digital employee experience requires HR and IT teams to work closely together. A recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study commissioned by Citrix provides key insight into this requirement. This data shows that the chief HR officer (CHRO) plays a leadership role in the employee experience twice as frequently as does the CIO (35% versus 17%). This study shows that the two key roadblocks to effective HR/IT collaboration are lack of mutual understanding and lack of common objectives.

However, technology, specifically digital workspace technology, is well positioned to facilitate HR/IT partnerships and provide the foundation for developing a positive corporate culture through the digital employee experience. The right digital platform can showcase how management values workers and that the culture is about empowerment and fostering success. The EIU study shows that a digital workspace provides key enablers that workers demand, such as access to necessary information (47%), ability to work from anywhere (43%), and ease of use (39%). This solution also makes it possible to better engage new hires by providing a warm digital “welcome.” The digital workspace can deliver the apps, permissions, information, and details about corporate benefits starting Hour 1. On-boarding and making the new employee comfortable happens far more quickly and can be done remotely.

With the sudden and nearly universal shift to remote work, the importance of IT and HR working together to promote an empowering corporate culture with the right digital tools has risen to the top of the priority list. For IT teams, adding another major initiative can be taxing, given the resource demands of other digital transformation projects. Therefore, many CIOs are addressing the problem with a packaged digital workspace solution running in the cloud. Cloud infrastructure simplifies many aspects of IT operations and makes it possible to deploy the platform more quickly. In addition, full-featured options such as Citrix Workspace have the complete set of capabilities necessary to meet the needs of the HR team.

The EIU study provides some insight into how those IT and HR teams that have already addressed this challenge found ways to overcome it. The most common approach is to develop a joint set of KPIs that measure the employee experience and are used by both HR and IT. For organizations that EIU defines as “high performers,” 46% have taken this path. Another solution that is working for these high performers is to hire staff or retain experts that have knowledge in both disciplines, as 40% have done. Yet teamwork still has a way to go; only 30% of the HR teams at high performers are advising IT on the impact of technology on the employee experience.

Delivering an effective and positive corporate culture now requires much more focus and investment in the employee digital experience. For those workers that spend only a small amount of their work time in an office, the digital experience will drive their perception of culture and the organization. It will take the combination of new digital workspace platforms that provide the technology foundation and teamwork between HR and IT to ensure the promotion of a positive corporate culture and employee experience. As more workers put the quality of their digital work experience at the top of their list of expectations, the time is now to start on both tasks to ensure the business succeeds.

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