So over the past few weeks we’ve looked at some common company culture myths, as well as things that can kill a good organisational culture. Now we know what not to do, it’s time to look at some proactive steps you can take to improve. But as Peter Drucker said: “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 monitor key trends and influence it through our people strategy.
Let’s 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, and next week we’ll look at practical steps you can take to improve and influence your culture.
Having a continuous feedback process in place for people to provide personalised insights on how they are tracking at work gives you and your leaders an insider’s perspective on what’s happening within teams, providing a great basis for regular manager and team member interactions.
We recommend Monthly Feedback check-ins which help uncover positive and negative things going on within teams. This knowledge is invaluable, and by acting upon and responding both at the individual level and the aggregated company-wide level, your leadership team will build trust and engagement simply by being seen to listen and respond. For example, if multiple people in a team are constantly experiencing higher levels of stress or concern about their ability at work compared to other areas of the business. Publicly responding to this and looking into the root cause will build trust and is the first step in bringing that group into line with a more productive environment.
Having integrated tools which aggregate all your feedback data so you can quickly identify company-wide themes is hugely beneficial, this will allow you to interrogate your feedback data so you easily identify key themes and even pinpoint individual teams requiring additional support or congratulations.
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 not only 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.
Continuing to build upon the theme of team trust and engagement, how would you know if you were having a positive influence on your team’s ‘buy-in’ – are they sufficiently engaged to be considered as being Ambassadors, or maybe recently your team’s engagement had taken a turn for the worst? Most engagement surveys don’t consider issues like this, 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. With this challenge in mind, we’ve developed a continuous employee version of the widely used Customer Net Promoter Score called eNPS, it’s focus is helping you understand how your Organisational Ambassadorship is tracking. Whilst Feedback and Happiness focus was personal, helping to facilitate great manager and team member conversations, eNPS operates to help you understand the state of your overall citizenship, so it is more useful as a company-wide and team-based tool.
eNPS is short for ‘Employee Net Promoter Score’. Like an NPS survey your team is regularly asked a simple question, would the team member recommend your organisation as a great place to work? Context for this answer is then requested as a simple short response field. The eNPS survey is typically sent quarterly, it only takes a few minutes to complete. Having collected all this information, it is then what you do with it which is critical. A good system will calculate your NPS result and separate the response into the 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.
Imagine a situation where one of your teams is performing really well, they are all well remunerated and incentivised 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 hidden 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 that processes all of the responses from your team’s feedback as well as a range of other inputs 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 which 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, 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.
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. 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.
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.