Measuring Your Culture: How to Do it and Why it’s Vital

by Roger Longden | Jul 18, 2017

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Objectives and Key Results (OKRs for short) are changing how companies define and communicate success. Why not have a read through our free beginners guide to OKRs to get more information on how you can align and grow your company.

Rowing is my sport. I love it because it’s consistent, each stroke is an opportunity to reflect, learn and adapt  I also love it because it is teamwork laid bare. If one person is out of time or off balance, the rest of crew must compensate and overall, the boat will be slower. I see company culture in the same way.

If someone isn’t aligned then it pulls everyone else back. Sure, the job will probably get done, but not as fast, not to the same quality and certainly not with the commitment you’d like to see. The outcome you’ll be seeking by measuring and managing your culture is increased employee attraction & engagement. These are two of the biggest headaches I hear business leaders cite time after time. One 10 year study compared the growth in share price of the best US companies to work for versus the S&P 500. It found that the best co’s performed better by 15% over 10 years, and recovered faster after the 2008 recession.

So where can you start with culture?

Culture is the epitome of “soft” – you can sense it, but you can’t touch it let alone measure it. Well actually, you can.

The Barrett Values Centre have built a global reputation over the past 15 years for their expertise and leadership in measuring and developing culture. They have a number of data-driven tools which examine values from a personal, organisational and even national perspective. Most impressively, they have a proprietary way of measuring the entropy present in your culture. The higher it is, the more damaging it is to your results.

In the work that me and my team do, we are often find ourselves guiding clients through the creation of the the next update of their growth plans. It’s no coincidence that our V2R (Vision to Results) method starts with either a definition or a revisit of their core values. Once they do, we then challenge them to integrate their core values into:

  • Decision-making. Words and actions should be aligned. If not, they how can we expect to be trusted?
  • Competitive advantage. Core values reinforce the company identity and gives customers and prospects a sense of the experience they can expect. Like will attract like too, so you’ll have a better chance of doing business with those who share your values
  • Recruitment. It’s vital to find top performers who match your core values. This is why you need to go beyond just skills and experience and look for cultural fit
  • Boosting employee retention and productivity. It’s a simple fact that people will give more if they feel connected, and that sense of connection can come from aligned values. The way you integrate them into how you manage, reward and recognise helps to do this.
  • Partner relationships. The best partners are ones who share your core values. They are often easier and more productive to work with.

So, with all this potential opportunity at stake, wouldn’t you rather start to measure and manage your culture intentionally?

If so, we’d love to have a chat to see how we could help.