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How Do You Measure Culture In An Organization?

How Do You Measure Culture In An Organization?

The Great Resignation has highlighted the importance of a strong organizational culture. 

In August 2021, 55% of the U.S. workforce said that they planned to look for new employment over the next 12 months, and organizations with robust cultures are better prepared to weather the storm: Perceptyx data shows that companies are better positioned to retain their top talent when employees have a strong perception of their employer’s stability, manager quality, team quality, and social responsibility.

A comprehensive employee listening strategy can help you hone in on the drivers of your company’s culture and find ways to address real organizational challenges. Below, we’ll explore how to measure culture in an organization — and how to create actionable insights from the data. 

See how the Perceptyx platform can help you build a strong company culture and keep your employees engaged.

How do we measure culture? In a broad sense, the term “organizational culture" encompasses many aspects of the employee experience, but focuses on the alignment (or misalignment) of values between senior leaders, managers, and employees. 

Perceptions of culture correlate strongly with employee engagement, and many organizations begin measuring culture in order to facilitate engagement. When values are communicated consistently and clearly, employees are more likely to have an emotional attachment to their work – and they’re more willing to stay with the organization and act as advocates for the brand’s vision.

Some key considerations to keep in mind when building an employee listening strategy for measuring culture: 

  • To measure culture, you’ll need to measure the alignment of values between leaders, managers, and employees. Employees should understand what your company believes in. Just as importantly, they need to see leaders take actions that support those values.

  • Within an organization, subcultures can exist. Leaders and managers may form “pockets" with distinct values that may not be communicated by leadership. This isn’t necessarily a problem: In large organizations, subcultures are both necessary and unavoidable. However, you’ll need to measure aspects of senior leadership and manager relationships to get an accurate overall picture. 

  • Benchmark data is essential. Survey data might indicate that 70% of your employees have a strong perception of culture, but without context, that statistic isn’t especially helpful. For actionable insights, you’ll need to compare your results to other organizations within your region or industry. 

Using Surveys to Measure Organizational Culture and Engagement

Organizational culture is typically measured through annual census surveys, but pulse surveys can be effective when addressing specific challenges. For instance, the sudden rise of the remote workplace prompted many companies to engage in additional surveys to find barriers to engagement – many of these surveys included items related to culture (such as perceptions of company commitments to health and wellness). 

For census surveys, items should be broad enough to be applicable within any industry, but specific enough to accurately reflect whether the company’s values are aligned with individuals. At Perceptyx, we utilize benchmark survey items that are broad enough to apply to any organization, which ensures that the responses can be contextualized properly.

Here’s an example of two survey items that address organizational culture. Employees are asked to rate each item on a 1-5 Likert scale:

I am aware of the company mission and values.

Senior management models our values.

These types of benchmark items can deliver valuable insights about company culture when compared with external data from other organizations – particularly when combined with other key employee engagement metrics such as the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) and Employee Engagement Index.

Looking for a Way to Measure Culture in Your Organization?

Successful organizations have strong cultures, but they build those cultures by listening to every aspect of the employee experience. 

The Perceptyx platform provides resources for retaining top talent, keeping employees engaged, and ensuring that communicated values are aligned with employee expectations. By tracking survey responses throughout the employment lifecycle – and enabling key comparisons with data from other organizations within your industry – Perceptyx helps your organization connect the dots between insights and actions.

Get in touch to see how Perceptyx can help your organization build a long-term strategy for measuring culture.

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