The science is in, and there’s no doubt about it. A company with a culture that sparks employee engagement, nourishes growth, and unites everyone around the same mission and will consistently outperform those with ineffective or toxic cultures.
The good news is that you can improve your culture, but only if you measure it. Initial measurements provide a benchmark for improvement, and continually monitoring your company culture tells you which policy changes are paying off. Simply put, only a scientific approach will tell you what’s working and what needs a few tweaks.
Assessing and shifting a company culture is no easy task, but the rewards are powerful. Here are five benefits of improving your culture, which all starts with measuring and monitoring it.
Benefit #1: Aligning Everyone in the Same Mission
Brand and mission are integrally bound to one another. If your mission involves exceptional customer service, for example, it is very hard to deliver that level of service to external customers if your employees aren’t delivering it to each other.
This is especially true in our post-pandemic world, where Covid-19 has changed the way we do business. Now that so many of us are working from separate locations, it can be even more challenging to get everyone on the same page. After all, written communication is more likely to cause misunderstandings and misinterpretations, and even video chat falls short of in-person meetings. Alas, it’s the best we have got right now.
Monitoring your company culture empowers you to identify any lack of cohesion where it exists, so you address it accordingly.
Benefit #2: Improving Productivity and Work Quality
Companies with healthier work cultures experience a number of benefits in terms of productivity and work quality. Gallup, the gold standard for polling and research, performed a study where they identified the companies with the healthiest and least healthy company cultures.
They then compared the top quartile companies to the bottom quartile companies and found that the healthier cultures experienced:
17% Higher productivity
40% Fewer defects
10% Higher customer rankings
20% Higher sales
21% Higher profits
All this begs the question: how much revenue are you losing by not monitoring your company culture?
Benefit #3: A Strong Culture Attracts Top Talent
Every year, we see reports in the news about companies with the highest employee satisfaction ratings, and they tend to track with some of the most successful and profitable ones, such as Starbucks, Apple, and Alphabet (Google’s parent company).
Not only do those companies reap the rewards of greater profits and happier customers, but they also attract top talent. Any profitable company can offer an impressive salary, but when employees are dedicating 40-60 hours per week to your organisation, they want more than cash. This gives companies with healthier cultures a distinct advantage.
In the end, attracting top talent creates a virtuous cycle in which smarter, more creative, more conscientious employees raise the bar for everyone. In short, they help create an even better culture, pushing profits higher. This makes developing a healthy culture a win-win for everyone.
Benefit #4: Management Can Present a United Front
One of the biggest problems with dysfunctional cultures is that employees receive mixed messages from management. Their manager tells them one thing, while their manager’s boss tells them something else. This results in learned helplessness, where employees perpetuate dysfunctional processes to avoid rocking the boat.
That’s common for large organisations, but measuring and monitoring your culture can help management identify the problem and present a united front. In the end, when employees aren’t confused about what’s expected of them, everybody benefits.
Benefit #5: Engaged Employees Work Harder and Stick Around
According to Gallup, the top quartile of companies (in terms of how employees rate their culture) experience lower turnover and less absenteeism compared to those in the bottom quartile.
41% less absenteeism
24% lower turnover (in industries with high turnover)
59% lower turnover (in industries with low turnover)
According to a study performed by the Center for American Progress, high turnover can cost a company around 20% of a mid-range, salaried employee’s annual paycheck to replace them (e.g., someone earning $50,000 USD per year costs $10,000 to replace). Meanwhile, higher-end positions can cost more than 200% of the annual salary.
Measuring Culture: Not all Surveys Are Created Equal
Peter Drucker famously said, “What gets measured gets improved.” Conversely, what you don’t measure gets swept under the rug and continues to impact your company in a number of ways.
The most important question to ask yourself is not whether you should measure and monitor culture, but how you should go about doing it. Some companies use internal, self-created surveys, but unless you have organisational psychologists and statisticians on your payroll, they’ll struggle to ask the right questions and obtain the information you need to benchmark, monitor, and modify your culture.
A Trusted Survey from an Industry Leader
The People Edge is a consulting firm based in Nairobi, Kenya. We have partnered with Denison Consulting to deliver an Organizational Culture Survey developed by experts.
The Denison survey not only asks the right questions—it allows you to benchmark your scores against a global database so you’ll know exactly where you need to improve.
Want to learn more about how to measure, monitor, and improve your company culture? Contact us today for a free consultation.