How to Measure Company Culture
Positive work culture is the fuel that powers a business's success - but how can you measure the status of your work culture?
On Season 5, episode 1, of the Survive and Thrive podcast, host Jennifer Ayes discusses the importance of work culture in influencing the success of a workforce team.
The Importance of Company Culture
Work culture is an influential element of a company's workforce. According to a recent survey by PwC, almost 70% of C-suite executives and board members believe culture is more important to an organization’s performance than its strategy or operating model.
For workforce leaders, refining work culture goes hand-in-hand with realizing and establishing positive and sustainable change for their organizations. However, in order to assess and implement adjustments to leadership methods, leaders must be able to measure their company culture effectively.
Unfortunately, many organizations fail to establish ways of measuring the impact of work culture, both positive and toxic. It is commonly understood that toxic work cultures are ones of low impact and productivity. And yet, traditional business metrics often fail to pinpoint cultural indicators that can have an impact. This has left companies unable to measure the status of their workforce culture, creating a factor that is both invisible and important.
So how can business leaders address areas that require improvement if they have no way to measure their culture's strengths and weaknesses?
Indicators of Positive Work Culture
Transforming how organizations value work culture can enable leaders to measure and determine the status of their culture more effectively.
By practicing new ways to assess culture, leaders can identify indicators of success for them to strive towards when assessing the impact of different leadership methods. Tracking the quality of work culture by measuring cultural indicators would also allow organizations to reach informed decisions to facilitate positive work culture.
Unfortunately, traditional measurements companies use to represent their business success fall short in this respect. Traditional metrics focus mainly on figures that describe financial income and output but rarely leverage metrics that represent the social positivity, emotional health, and overall aptitude of the members of their organization. Additionally, these metrics fail to consider the correlation between finances and culture.
But work culture involves just that - the teamwork, morale, encouragement, and support experienced by workforce members, which enables them to thrive. Therefore, when determining indicators of cultural success, leaders should focus on the experiences and insight of their organization's staff members, and how that relates to the overall objectives of the company.
Three Ways to Measure Your Organization’s Work Culture
Methods of acquiring data to measure company culture should focus on staff members' opinions, experiences, and behaviors.
Use Anonymous Surveys
One example is to use anonymous and frequent surveys to gain honest feedback from employees. Surveys should contain questions indicative of the company's culture–questions that can be difficult to ask. This would include questions about present leadership, workplace bullying, or simply, external motivators. If you’re hesitant to ask a question, that means it must be asked. If you want to ensure even more accurate results, have a third party conduct the surveys so that employees feel more comfortable being honest.
Measuring employee responses over time would enable leaders to identify positive and negative trends within their work culture.
Assess Staff Behaviors
Another popular method is to measure the behavior of staff, for example, their attendance and employee retention trends over time. Tracking these indicators can help leaders to identify factors that may contribute to changes in these behaviors.
Finally, management can consider the communication trends within their workplace using intranets and internal communication tools. Healthy communication and collaboration between individuals, teams and departments generally signify a positive work culture.
By using employee-centric methods to measure and track the status of company culture, organizations can better understand how their leadership influences the people and culture of their workforces.
If you would like to learn more about reimagining culture in the workforce, check out this week’s episode of the Survive and Thrive Podcast.