How To Measure Culture Change

Jann Freed Leading 1 Comment

Several of my recent blog posts have been about culture and several readers asked about measuring culture change.  This is my response to that inquiry.

You have probably heard the old adage (paraphrased):

“What measures matters.  And if you don’t measure it, then it must not matter.”

Since culture influences how people feel, what they believe, and how they act, most of the time you can “feel” the change in culture–both good and bad.  Hopefully, in a positive way–people start behaving differently, you hear people using different language, customers start noticing things are better and positive changes are being made.

So what are the best ways to measure culture change?

The short answer is that it is very difficult to measure culture.  Culture consists of many moving parts–variables.  And these variables are hard to isolate.  But there are things that can and should be measured and employee engagement–employee experience is a good place to start.

According to Deloitte’s latest “Global Human Capital Trends 2017,”

“Looking across all 10 trends we discuss this year, it’s clear that employee experience is a central theme in 2017. Leadership, organization structure and teams, career mobility, learning, diversity, employment brand, and HR services, all affect an employee’s experience.

High-performing companies have found ways to enrich the employee experience, leading to purposeful, productive, meaningful work.”

The employee experience and the ways high-performing companies enrich the experience is all about culture.  Deloitte learned in their research that “leaders lack an understanding of culture … and most executives cannot even define their organization’s culture, much less figure out how to disseminate it through the company.”  Deloitte concluded the the most important thing is not “What your culture is but rather if your culture is helping or hurting.”  They believe measuring the impact of culture on employee engagement is a good place to start.

Numerous articles have pointed out only about 33% of American workers are engaged at work.  The majority are “somewhat engaged” or “disengaged!”  Start by measuring employee engagement and then taking steps to improve this measurement.  Engagement is more than job satisfaction.  It includes passion, dedication, fulfillment, productivity.

Surveys exist to help measure the various impact different pieces of the culture have on employee engagement.  You don’t have to reinvent the wheel because there are tools to help organizations measure the impact of culture.  But it is important to realize the significance of culture and the difference it makes on the major indicators companies like to report such as productivity, satisfaction, and development and growth of employees.

Since culture matters, it is important to measure it!

How do you measure the impact of culture?

What are some of the tools used by your organization?

How engaged are your employees? Do you know?