Tailoring Safer Systems

Measuring Corporate Culture in Real Time

Corporate culture is being given ever greater relevance. It is referred to as the DNA of an organization. There are as many corporate cultures as there are companies. But what constitutes a positive corporate culture? How can it be measured and how can it be continually developed?

In this article, I introduce an innovative measurement method that is clearly superior to conventional employee surveys. It enables companies and business units to measure corporate culture virtually in real time with minimal effort at low cost, to identify trends early on, and to implement specific improvement measures in a targeted manner.

Corporate culture

A culture is defined by shared values and beliefs. In a corporate context, this can mean shared norms and values, a common understanding of corporate strategy, a certain way of communicating and interacting with each other, etc. Often, corporate culture is also described as: How we do things around here.

In a positive corporate culture, employees identify themselves with the corporate strategy and values. They are actively committed to the company’s success. Good interaction among employees and supervisors enables them to contribute without fear of negative consequences, to express their opinions, to critically question processes and products, to contribute ideas and to point out problems in the organization. In return, they receive appreciation. They show a high level of loyalty and commitment to their employer and are prepared to deliver top performance. The positive corporate culture is not only evident within the company, but also manifests itself externally. It is perceived by customers and potential employees and represents a significant competitive advantage, among other things in attracting talents.

A positive corporate culture creates the basis for sharing information and thus for organizational learning and innovation. It enables a company to fully unleash the potential of its employees and leads to corporate know-how becoming not the sum of employee know-how but a multiple of it.

If corporate culture plays such an important role, we want to know where we stand with our company. But how can we measure culture?

Measuring corporate culture

Many companies conduct annual or biennial employee surveys to measure employee satisfaction and company culture. However, there are many drawbacks to this type of survey:

  • Participating in the survey is time-consuming for employees.
  • The survey is a snapshot and is highly susceptible to external influences.
  • Evaluating the responses takes a long time and provides an overwhelming amount of information. The transfer top-down into the organizational units also takes a lot of time and any measures can only be taken long after the survey.
  • The results of the surveys can be compared. However, due to the long period in between, it is difficult to analyze the effectiveness of specific measures in isolation. The reasons for improvement, lack of change or even deterioration remain unclear.
  • Static surveys over several years no longer do justice to today’s dynamic business environment.

A solution is offered by the collaboration platform LutherOne with its module FRIDAY6[1]. FRIDAY6 is an employee survey tool that works with weekly, intelligent mini surveys, which consist of six questions[2] (statements that are to be rated on a Likert scale of 1-10). The questions origin from a pool of 100-120 questions on a wide variety of topics and are assigned to employees individually. Thus, the individual question sets differ, and employees receive different questions each week. Answering the questions takes 1-2 minutes and can be done conveniently on a computer or smartphone. Management thus receives a comprehensive picture of the situation in the company and in the various business areas on a weekly basis. FRIDAY6 offers numerous advantages to companies, some of which are explained below:

  • FRIDAY6 can be tailored to a large extent to the specific needs of the company.
  • The survey results are processed weekly in a comprehensive management cockpit. This shows numerous dimensions relevant to the corporate culture – corporate climate, leadership, trust, commitment, customer focus, strategy, etc. On one hand, the cockpit shows the status quo, and on the other hand, the corresponding trends are displayed.
  • The user-friendly presentation and handling and the very low response effort ensure a high survey participation over time.
  • Due to the weekly surveys and the clearly structured dimensions, specific development areas can be identified and improved in a targeted manner. The effectiveness of the improvement initiatives can be measured within a few weeks and corrective action can be taken quickly.
  • The regular surveys per se already lead to an improvement in the corporate culture. The motivation of the employees increases because they can actively contribute. This effect is further enhanced when they feel they are being listened to and their feedback leads to improvements within the organization.
  • A reduced form of the management cockpit is visible to all employees and creates transparency and trust.

Picture: Part of a management cockpit example (trial platform)

FRIDAY6 creates optimal conditions for measuring corporate culture and initiating cultural change. Due to the numerous dimensions measured, companies can take specific and smaller measures without getting lost in the complexity of cultural challenges. Especially in today’s world, which is characterized by constant change, this is essential.

 

Did I arouse your interest? Contact me, I am happy to discuss with you how you can measure and continuously develop the culture in your company in real time!

safety & risk solutions GmbH, Phone +41 76 343 44 09 or e-mail fabian.landherr@safetyrisksolutions.ch

 

 

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[1] The FRIDAY6 module is available independently. There is no need to implement further modules of the collaboration platform LutherOne.

[2] For smaller organizations, instead of using FRIDAY6 with weekly six questions, there is the option of using Monthly16’s monthly 16 questions, which will lengthen the evaluation cycle but provide better quality results.

Managing Director at safety & risk solutions GmbH

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