7 tips on how to build the right digital culture within a large B2B corporate



Creating a digital culture is a challenge for many B2B companies in the Netherlands. Especially with the current scarcity on the labour market. It is difficult to attract good people and retain staff with technical knowledge. ERIKS Digital, is located in Amsterdam, in the heart of the Tech industry. Despite the large number of competitors, ERIKS Digital is able to find ways to attract top talent and create a successful work culture. Adriaan van der Heijden (Recruiter at ERIKS Digital) and Marieke Hermans (Digital Director) give a number of tips on how to create a great digital culture.

The market is changing and B2B organisations have to change with it. This change also means creating a digital culture. How do you handle that? The expert group has 7 tips. Herbert Pesch (director of B2B digital agency Evident) and Roelof Swiers (Country Manager of B2B commerce specialist Intershop) are co-chairmen of the B2B Digital Expert Group. This session took place at ERIKS Digital, which was created when ERIKS decided to merge the digital competences within the ERIKS group with e-commerce start-up ZAMRO.

Skilled people are scarce
Creating a digital culture is a challenge, especially with the shortage on the labour market in the tech-industry. It’s difficult to attract and retain skilled professionals with technical knowledge. However, as a B2B organisation, keep calm and check out these tips:

Tip 1: hire people with a digital mindset
By attracting people with a digital mindset, you can change the corporate culture. But how do you find these people? Adriaan van der Heijden, recruiter at ERIKS Digital: “People find the values of an organisation increasingly important. It is not so much what you do, but how you do it, which strengthens employer branding. You can show these “values and motivations” for example, by starting a blog about the way you work. Furthermore, when it comes to recruiting: be proactive and approach the people you want to have. When sending a message to a candidate it is important to distinguish yourself from other recruiters by making the message as personal as possible, for example by responding to someone’s talents or hobbies. Mass communication no longer works, personal communication does. An advertisement on LinkedIn can work, but the chances of success are higher if you go to events where the talent you are interested will also be attending. And don’t forget your own network: maybe good employees also know people who want to work for your organisation.”

Tip 2: try new forms of job interviews
If your ideal candidate comes over for an interview, give feedback straight away. This way you get to know each other better. Let the candidate know what the most important values of the company are and be realistic about the job. The times when candidates only had an interview with the manager are behind us. That’s why we also do peer-to-peer interviews. This gives the candidate gets a better picture of the team and vice versa.

Tip 3: work on engagement
If you want people to feel involved with your organisation, consider the following methods; When an employee is hired, make sure that he/she gets a buddy from another department. This way, the new colleague learns how the company works, both practically and socially.

Give the new colleague a welcome package and make them feel at home in the department as soon as possible. Social events such as get-togethers and parties are important for the right working atmosphere. An organisation should be a place where people feel happy. You can find out whether your approach works by regularly measuring employee engagement.

Tip 4: create diverse teams
“I am convinced that one of the reasons we are so successful is that the team feels right. Our team exist of 25 nationalities and people from different backgrounds. Diversity is important, because it gives energy and new insights. I believe that diverse teams can achieve better results because it gives a better reflection of our society,” says Marieke Hermans, digital director of ERIKS Digital.

Tip 5: ask for feedback
Continuous feedback and open communication are important. Organise 1-on-1 performance reviews: what went well / what could be improved? What does the employee expect from the manager? Set quarterly goals that are aligned with the organisational goals. If an employee leaves, hold an exit interview. People who leave are often the honest and can give valuable feedback.

Tip 6: make the job interesting
The more mature the position, the more people feel connected to your company. Also, make sure that people can grow in their function or can easily move to another role. Listen to individual wishes and offer courses, training and coaching. For example, through online learning platforms (such as Udemy and Goodhabitz). Encourage employees to attend conferences (also abroad) and organise company brain shares or meet-ups with topics that are important to the organisation.

Tip 7: work agile
An agile way of working fits well into a digital culture. You can quickly deliver subprojects and co-create with your clients. Adjusting and switching is more convenient than working according to traditional methods. When feedback is given regularly, the output will have better quality. This also ensures that the team remains motivated and costs of rework are saved.

With these tips and ideas, you will come a long way in creating a digital culture, especially in a B2B environment. We are looking forward to receiving more tips.

Don’t forget to check out the video about this B2B session.

Mascha Tamarinof
Responsible for marketing and business development at @Evident. "Let's talk B2B!" initiator and host. Passionate about B2B digital.

Mascha Tamarinof