While digital transformations are necessary to improve operations, most companies don’t see any improvement because they neglect digital work culture, said The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in a press release on Thursday.

Out of the companies who ignored work culture during digital transformation efforts, only 17% saw improved financial performance, said the release. But, 90% of companies that did focus on digital culture saw incredible financial performance. Additionally, 80% of companies that prioritized digital culture sustained breakthrough performance, said the release.

SEE: Digital transformation: A guide for CXOs (Tech Pro Research)

“Culture provides the guidelines that steer employees to make choices that advance the organization’s goals,” said BCG senior partner Jim Hemerling. “And the case for fostering a digital culture is powerful: it empowers people to deliver faster results, attracts talent, and pushes innovation.”

If organizations are considering a digital transformation project, they must have a plan in place. Some 60% of enterprises don’t have any transformation plan for their companies, according to a 451 Research report, and find it difficult to achieve strong alignment between IT and the business.

BCG’s research provided five key components of a successful digital work culture:

  1. Encourage employees to engage with customers, as well as partners
  2. Promote delegation over control at work
  3. Emphasize boldness instead of caution
  4. Focus on action rather than long-term planning
  5. Foster a collaborative workspace instead of individual work

If business leaders want to create a successful work culture, they must communicate what needs to be changed, encourage leadership by providing opportunities for employees to grow, and organize the company’s systems and procedures to allow for digital transformation, said the release.

SEE: Digital transformation: A CXO’s guide (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

Digital transformation projects post many challenges. Companies have to invest in technologies in a different way, reconsidering what audience their digital transformation efforts are being directed toward. Digital transformation also forces CXOs to rethink how they lead their companies and what their ultimate end goals are. As technology innovates, an organization must follow suit.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • In order to have successful digital transformations, companies must prioritize a healthy digital work culture, according to The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
  • Business leaders can foster a positive work culture by communicating what needs to be changed, encouraging individual leadership, and organizing the company’s procedures.