If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it
Culture is often seen as something organic and intangible and it largely is, however, that doesn’t mean we can’t influence it through our people strategy. But as Peter Drucker said, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”, so in this post, we’re looking at practical steps you can take to measure company culture so that you can enhance or improve it.
We’ll explore four key tools you can use to monitor the health of your company culture, our experience is that each of these tools work together to give you the most comprehensive view of your team. Let’s get started!
1. Continuous feedback and happiness – the personal view
Having a continuous feedback process in place for people to provide personalized insights on how they are tracking at work gives you and your leaders an insider’s perspective on what’s happening within teams and your culture, providing a great basis for regular manager and team member interactions.
How often should we be gathering feedback? We recommend monthly feedback check-ins which can help:
- pinpoint individual employees or teams requiring additional support or congratulations
- uncover both positive and negative things going on within teams that could be impacting organizational culture.
- quickly identify company-wide issues or trends
For example, if multiple people in a team are constantly experiencing higher levels of stress or concern, looking into the root cause and publicly responding will help to build trust as they leadership team will be seen to be listening and taking action. If there are issues in your culture, his is a great first step to identifying them, understanding them and working towards a more productive, healthy environment.
RELATED: 5 myths about company culture, busted
As part of our regular continuous feedback loops, we also include our Happiness Analytics which provides further insight into what’s impacting your team happiness. By asking your people to rate their happiness in regular check-ins, you can see trends in happiness levels over time.
The personal focus allows you to track an individual’s happiness over time, managers are going to know when something is off simply by the trend moving, providing your managers a great track to run upon in terms of being able to respond one-on-one.
2. eNPS: Making sense of organizational engagement
Building upon the idea of team trust and engagement to monitor and measure company culture, how would you know if you were having a positive influence on things like engagement, buy-in and culture? Is your team sufficiently engaged (and could they even be considered ambassadors!) or could your team’s engagement have taken a turn for the worse after rolling out a new initiative?
Most engagement surveys don’t consider smaller shifts and changes, and even if they did, they are most likely only undertaken once a year, so understanding the immediate trends and being able to respond to current concerns or opportunities is difficult to practically achieve.
That’s why eNPS (employee net promoter score) can be so useful for measuring company culture.
While the focus of feedback and happiness is personal, (helping to facilitate great manager and team member conversations), eNPS helps you understand the state of your overall employee citizenship, so it is more useful as a company-wide and team-based tool. And instead of being conducted once a year like engagement or other employee surveys, it’s typically done quarterly.
Like an NPS survey your team is asked a simple question:
“would you recommend this organization as a great place to work?”
Then there is a simple short response field to provide context for the answer, so it only takes a few minutes to complete.
Having collected all this information, it is then what you do with it which is critical! NPS typically calculates a score and separates the response into three NPS groups: promoters, passives and detractors.
IntelliHR goes further by then allowing you to see the underlying themes from the responses received. This is where the real gold is, helping you understand why your team is feeling the way they are feeling, and being able to investigate the trends at the individual team level with just a couple of clicks.
RELATED: Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) Explained
3. Sentiment analysis – uncovering the hidden signs
Imagine a situation where one of your teams is performing really well, they are all well remunerated and incentivized and feedback is looking fine. Everything looks good on the surface, but the turnover in that team is higher than any other in your business.
This is usually a sign of underlying morale or team leader issues. But how can you know for sure, and more importantly, find the root cause of it?
Sentiment analysis is an AI tool included in some HR systems that processes all of the responses from your team’s feedback as well as a range of other inputs (i.e. survey pulses, goal comments, diary notes) to give you visibility over the emotional tone underlying them.
Gaining visibility over the sentiment of team’s interactions provides the missing piece of the jigsaw, the hidden insights that feedback and eNPS by their nature may have missed. A lot of negative sentiment could signal something that needs to be investigated, while positive sentiment will show you the areas where things are having a positive impact which should be shared.
Within this analytic view of sentiment analysis in HR, you can drill down to every individual data point to see where positive or negative sentiments are being expressed, and take action on your findings – another excellent way to measure company culture.
4. Performance – delivering real outcomes
Once you have visibility over everything above, another sign of a healthy culture, when coupled with engagement, is high performance. By monitoring your business’ performance on a whole as well as performance within teams, you can identify if all of your work improving engagement is paying off.
Dips in performance can also signal a negative culture growing somewhere in the business. Look at teams or individuals that typically perform well and take note if there have been any sudden drops in productivity or failure to complete goals (here’s more on how to set and measure employee goals). From here, you can delve into their check-ins and sentiment data around that timeframe to identify any potential problems. Likewise, if you notice a team has had a jump in productivity, this is an opportunity to explore what they have been doing differently and look at replicating this across the business where appropriate.
These are our tips to measure company culture so that you can work to improve it. Want to see if you have the tools in place to foster a healthy workplace culture? Take our Culture Health Check quiz to see where you sit and get some more tips along the way.