What’s the relationship between technology and company culture?
It’s a question we’ve been thinking about a lot at Sift lately, as we study how the team at Rocket Mortgage has built an incredible employee experience — based on a best-in-class understanding of technology.
I posed the question to Brian Woodring, Chief Information Officer at Rocket Mortgage. He guides the company’s digital strategy — for both customers and team members.
His answer blew me away: “Tools don’t create culture on their own, but they unlock the ability to create great culture.”
In other words, it’s not about the tech. It’s all about building and supporting the culture.
Here’s how Brian puts that mantra into practice: he thinks about being an “outside-in” company. “Outside-in” companies start with the customer. They ask, what does the end user want from us? How could we most seamlessly deliver it to them? They build the experience the user needs, and they find a way for the technology to support that.
On the other hand, “inside-out” companies focus on themselves first. They can get bogged down in their own org chart, which makes it hard to see the end customer’s perspective and needs.
Most tech companies are “outside-in” when it comes to customer experience, and Rocket Mortgage definitely is. But Brian says that it’s time to apply the same “outside-in” mindset to the employee experience.
Here’s how the tech teams at Rocket Mortgage apply the “outside-in” model to internal technology: “We think like product managers and we treat our internal users like customers. We think of our internal tools, like Salesforce, or Microsoft Teams, or Sift, as products that we roll out to our customers — our team members.”
Brian sees this approach as the future for enterprise technology. “All of us are becoming savvy critics of technology,” he says. In other words, we expect tech that’s easy, intuitive, and helpful. We want our needs and our experience to be front and center.
We want our technology to help us build a great place to work.
I’m curious if other “outside-in” tech companies are adopting this mentality when it comes to the digital workplace. How are proven customer-facing strategies working when we apply them to our own coworkers? What lessons can we learn from consumer tech to make our workplace tech better?
Looking for more advice like this? Download our eBook on How to Build a Best-in-Class Digital Workplace below. You might see some words of wisdom from Brian himself.