CIOs and HR directors must collaborate to secure long-term digital success, says RSM

As remote working becomes the new normal, RSM is urging Chief Information Officers and HR directors to collaborate to adopt the right digital tools to enable colleagues to work more effectively and to develop a ‘new sense of belonging’.

Providing the right software and digital solutions to enable colleagues to communicate and work as a team is an essential part of building a successful business and a positive workplace culture, and has a huge impact on efficiency, as well as colleague wellbeing and inclusion.

The leading audit, tax and consulting firm warns that failure to adapt to the new norm and emerging digital demands by not providing effective tools for collaboration could have dire consequences, not just in terms of business performance but also staff turnover and market competitiveness.

Chris Knowles, Chief Digital Officer at RSM says: ‘How we relate to the organisations that employ us is fundamentally changing as a result of the remote working forced upon us by the coronavirus lockdown. We are realising that businesses are not defined by their bricks and mortar, but by their human relationships, interactions and processes. Those relationships are now intermediated largely through technology. It is no longer just a supporting tool. Rather it is the very essence of how we work and defines how we think about our jobs and our employers.

‘Up until 2020, many would have still identified with offices as not only contributing to that sense of belonging but being the very cornerstone of it. That way of thinking has changed, immeasurably.’

Technological solutions that create a sense of belonging and corporate culture are available, but this fast-moving space needs careful consideration, not just from an IT perspective, but from a people and culture perspective too. Clear guidance for colleagues on the right tools to use is essential, or else businesses risk staff adopting their own methods, and creating chaotic working practices.

Chris continues: ‘Surveys show time and again that a sense of belonging is what employees value most, particularly among millennials. This means collaboration between HR and IT on how the ‘employer brand’ and corporate ethos should be reflected in, and enabled by, remote technology platforms is vital. The tools are there to get it right, but it needs careful reflection on the organisation’s ethos to put an appropriate training and communications plan in place, ensuring the sense of belonging we once had in the office is reproduced for the era of remote and virtual working.’