3 key metrics for culture:
By Hebba Youssef
This quarter I’ve been focused on different aspects of culture from what it is to what can impact your company culture.
I wanted to wrap up with how to measure your culture.
Is it even possible to measure culture? Yes and no.
Measuring culture can be complicated because:
- It’s subjective: your employees may interpret culture differently. What helps is having a commonly known definition of culture.
- It’s complex: as you’ve read this quarter culture is complicated! There are so many things that can influence culture that distilling it down into a couple of metrics can feel impossible.
- It’s dynamic: culture is not a moment in time thing, it’s dynamic. It can change as an industry, organizational structure or even leaders evolve.
- It’s not standardized: organizations use different tools, approaches, or surveys to measure culture. That makes it difficult to compare to other organizations with benchmarks.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to measure your culture.
Measuring your culture can:
- Help you uncover areas of improvement
- Gain alignment with organizational goals
- Help you create a more engaged culture
Here are 3 metrics to consider when thinking about your culture:
I’d recommend you consider a mix of qualitative and quantitative data, leveraging multiple sources of data and regularly revisiting how, what and why you collect this data.
^^ live footage of HR during exit interviews. JK
When thinking about measuring culture I always think about turnover data.
Because if employees are leaving your organization in waves there might be something wrong with your culture.
Cough it could be toxic cough.
This resource from Workable covers the following:
- Calculating monthly turnover
- Calculating annual turnover
- Calculating retention rate
3 important parts of turnover:
Who is leaving? Top performers leaving can be detrimental to a business and your culture! On the flipside, low performers leaving may actually help your culture.
When are they leaving? You should know the different inflection points of when employees are leaving. If you have a significant amount of employees leaving within 90 days you may have problems in your recruiting and onboarding process. If more folks are leaving around the 2 year mark maybe there’s a problem with growth at the organization.
Why are they leaving? Enter exit interviews! Exit interviews are full of so much juicy information and can help you uncover so much. If employees are consistently citing the same thing (ex: compensation) then you know where you can focus!
The bottom line: turnover can teach you SO MUCH about your culture and help you uncover factors that could be impacting your culture.
A definition: employee engagement is the emotional and mental connection that employees feel towards their place of work.
The relationship between culture and employee engagement?
Culture drives employee engagement.
If you have a supportive culture your engagement will be higher. On the flipside if your culture is awful you may find your employees disengaged.
So, how do you measure engagement?
Before we get to that I have to note: engagement, like culture, can be difficult to measure because it depends on a lot of nuanced factors (like emotion) and collection is often inaccurate when relying on traditional modes.
To design and get the best engagement data there are a few moving parts:
- Insightful surveys
- Max employee participation
- Collection & analyzing data
- Designing action plans / initiatives
- Implementing action plans
TBH, working on engagement is like a full time job!
There are a lot of tools out there that can help out of the box.
The bottom line: if your employee engagement is low then that’s an indicator there is a cultural problem somewhere.
Digging into the data and putting together action plans is a great place to start.
This guide from Culture Amp is full of great resources on how and why to measure engagement!
I have a love/hate relationship with eNPS. Shocker to no one.
What is eNPS?
eNPS = employee net promoter score.
Net promoter score (NPS) was used to measure customer loyalty and experience and it was adapted to discover the same for employees.
It’s a simple question: On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to this organization as a place to work to others?
Breaking it down:
- 9 or higher are considered promoters (engaged employees)
- 7 or 8 are considered neutral
- 0 to 6 are considered detractors (disengaged)
Why I love: it’s only one question so usually employees will answer, it’s easy to continuously measure, and you can benchmark compared to other organizations (above 80 is considered world class).
Why I hate: it’s limiting and doesn’t really tell you much about what you can fix.
The bottom line: I will always leverage eNPS with other surveys and data.
Wrapping it up:
Now, you hopefully have a few ways to think about measuring your culture.
My biggest tip: ALWAYS leverage multiple sources of data and don’t forget observations can be powerful!
If you feel like the vibes are off (as the kids would say) it could be an indicator to dig deeper into your culture.
Next week, I’ll give a brief recap of what we learned at the workshop and what’s coming up the rest of the year for I Hate it Here.
To be continued…