office, workplace culture

By Elen Davies, Director of Expert Services, Temporall

Phrases like ‘workplace culture’, ‘organisational health’ and ‘high-performance culture’ have recently become common in boardrooms as companies look to mimic the success of companies with high-profile cultures like Google and Asana.

These organisations share one crucial trait: they know that in a highly competitive marketplace, culture can provide an advantage. It helps attract and retain high-calibre employees, impacts organisational performance and boosts the bottom line.

But if high-performance culture is so important, exactly what is it, and how can companies make sure they have one?

What is a high-performance culture?

Workplace culture is not just about making sure staff are motivated and treated fairly – it goes deeper, explaining how employees behave and make decisions on a daily basis.

Culture is best defined as the values, behaviours, processes and systems in an organisation that decide how work really happens. A company’s values and ideal culture might be defined by the leadership team, but it is how these play out in the day-to-day behaviours of all employees that really shapes the workplace culture.

There are a few obvious things people look for in a company culture. We all want to work in a place where people are treated well, where leadership cares, and where there are great benefits. But having a good culture isn’t about gimmicks or short-term motivation boosters like beanbags and free sushi. It’s about how the organisation actually works day-to-day, and how well people’s actions are aligned with the business’ overall strategy and identity. It has a significant impact not just on how happy and efficient people are at work, but also on the company’s overall performance and success.

The future of culture: analytics

So, how do you know if you have a high performance culture or not? Culture analytics is technology which makes it possible not just to measure and understand your company culture, but to make changes and track the effect they have.These cutting-edge tools can measure the previously unmeasurable, turning data into insight that helps leaders take informed action.

Data analytics is already a growing practice in HR. By collecting data about payroll, absences and operations performance, it gives insight into an organisation’s workforce and HR practices. So imagine the questions that could be answered by technology gathering more complex data about every element of company culture.

  • Is our culture evolving to support our strategic goals?
  • Which members of staff have the most social capital, and why?
  • Do our staff understand what our values are and are their behaviours and actions in line with them?

These are the kinds of questions culture analytics can answer. Not only does it mean that culture can be measured so accurately that it could become the latest KPI, it can even use artificial intelligence to predict future trends in the business.

Early analytics adopters

Sophie Berryman, VP Talent and Organisation Development of Rakuten Marketing, is an early adopter of culture analytics. She says ‘We have moved away from a narrower focus on engagement towards a more dynamic and strategic focus on culture analytics. We are asking the right questions, which are backed up by behavioural analysis and psychometrics, and we have the right tools to analyse and truly understand that data.’

The ultimate goal for any businesses should be to align culture to strategic objectives. a  And the way to measure and track this accurately and continuously is through Culture Analytics

But it’s not just businesses that benefit. Measuring and improving a culture is best for staff too. With the kind of high-performance environment that culture analytics can provide, employees will know what they’re aiming towards and why, feel trusted to go and make it happen, and be highly motivated to go and achieve it.

Elen DaviesAbout the author

Elen Davies specialises in helping individuals and groups shift how they think and behave. She brings more than 15 years senior level consulting and Board level experience to Temporall along with her passion and depth of experience in coaching, psychology and behavioural change.

A seasoned executive coach, communications and employee engagement consultant, she is dedicated to supporting individuals and organisations access their full potential. Elen integrates psychodynamic and humanistic approaches and she has also studied with the leading thinkers in the field of developmental psychology.