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The Diligent team
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How to measure and monitor corporate culture

September 20, 2019
0 min read
A conceptual illustration depicting a magnifying glass at the center, representing the examination of corporate culture. Surrounding the magnifying glass are interconnected gears symbolizing the various aspects of corporate culture, emphasizing the need to observe and understand its multifaceted nature.

Corporate culture is a topic that's increasingly coming up as a governance issue. Best practices indicate that corporate culture should start at the top. While companies often have good intentions, the idea of culture is subjective and intangible, making it hard to quantify. Companies struggle with how to measure and monitor corporate culture, and many just don't bother with it.

If your company truly wants to improve its culture, you need to assess it and evaluate the results so that you know what, if anything, needs to change. For companies that feel challenged by how to go about the process, technology is their friend.

Measuring Your Corporate Culture

Any time you want to measure the results of something over time, it helps to have a baseline to work with. The best way to measure corporate culture is by using a survey for your employees.

Design your questions around the important elements that you want your corporate culture to embody. It's okay to use basic questions, but you should customize them to reflect your intended culture.

Your efforts in getting survey results need to be consistent. You'll make things easier on yourself by shooting for questions that make things clear and concise. Set up an answer system that is metric friendly. Using a methodology using a scoring system will work better than simple 'yes or no' formats.

Be sure to stress to your employees that their answers will be kept confidential so they'll be honest and forthcoming with their answers.

When the results come in, they should give you a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses. The results will allow you to highlight common insights and come up with an action plan to move in the direction that you want to go. Focus on a couple of strengths and weaknesses and set some measurable goals for the next survey.

For example, if you want to measure the employees' view of the company's ESG efforts, design a section of questions on this issue and allow them to rate questions on a scale of 1-10. If the scores average around 5.5, set the next goal a bit higher next time, perhaps around the 7 mark.

Questions to Ask About Culture

As noted earlier, asking for a score in a range of 1-10 will give you a good base to measure results against moving forward. Here's a sampling of the types of questions you could use:

  • The positive environment here motivates me to come to work every day.
  • I enjoy working here because I feel valued.
  • I enjoy working here because I have an opportunity for advancement.
  • I take advantage of company-sponsored opportunities for career development.
  • My annual review accurately reflects my good performance.
  • The company addresses employee job performance failures in an appropriate manner.
  • I understand the company's perspective on success.
  • My department discusses and celebrates successes.
  • My superiors share feedback with me on my performance.
  • My superiors are open to my suggestions.
  • I feel stressed at work.
  • I get good, valuable feedback from my superiors.
  • I have a good work/life balance.
  • I feel that I'm a valuable part of a team.
  • The company gives back to our local community in viable ways.
  • The company is flexible when I need to address family needs.

Sharing Results with Employees

Your employees will be more invested in helping you achieve your goals when you are transparent with them about the results. Employees will be very interested in learning how their perspective matches up with that of their peers and with the company's goals.

By sharing the goals and the results and letting employees know that the company is intent on improving the corporate culture, they'll be more likely to be motivated to share in the goals because they'll gain the sense that the company cares about their working experience.

Once the results are in, you may want to adjust the questions slightly. Schedule new surveys on a regular basis, but not too often. Once a quarter is a good time frame for assessing corporate culture.

Companies may only want to share the results of the surveys once a year. Hopefully, employees will be able to see some gains in progress.

Using Technology to Measure and Monitor Results

Diligent Corporation designed its Board Evaluations tool to help companies measure and monitor performance. The Evaluations tool is part of the Governance Cloud ecosystem, a suite of governance tools to help companies measure and monitor results on a variety of issues.

The Evaluations tool works efficiently as a digital alternative to off-the-shelf surveys. It's a cost-effective way to gauge corporate culture and can also be used for annual board self-evaluations and other purposes. The program is designed to allow companies to use a variety of question types that have already been user-tested. The program also has a built-in feature for monitoring submissions.

If administering the survey was easy, Diligent Evaluations makes evaluating the results a snap because it makes simple work of creating graphics and Excel reports for further analysis, including automatic averages reporting.

Leveraging Survey Results for Other Purposes

There are other ways that companies can leverage the survey results. As the company recruits new employees, the results will encourage new employees to accept jobs within the company. The results of surveys on how to measure and monitor corporate culture speak volumes about the company's commitment to developing a pleasant and productive work environment, which sets the company up for gaining the best employees.

Survey results are also valuable as a marketing tool. Companies may use it to advertise the skills and value of leadership in various departments. Employees like to work for great people who are strong leaders and who are fair and ethical in dealing with their employees.

Diligent's Evaluations tool is the perfect solution for conducting employee surveys on corporate culture because it's fast, convenient and nets meaningful results. The tool is an efficient and cost-effective way to assess corporate culture. The sooner companies get started measuring and monitoring corporate culture, the sooner they'll get the results that will help them make meaningful change.


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