office, workplace culture

Better for everyone: how data analytics can transform workplace culture

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.

UK companies lack data, security, Python, Ruby, UI and UX talent

The tech sector lacks talented candidates in data, security, Python, Ruby, UI and UX, according to report into IT skills.

The report, by Hired, investigated supply, demand, interview requests and job offers.

Job Interview - Via Shutterstock
Job Interview - Via Shutterstock

Demand for security engineers spiked by 234% in the last 18 months alone and in addition the report found that the average salary for tech workers in London are lower than in Silicon Valley and New York. Salaries were found to be 38% higher in Silicon Valley than the UK and 35% higher in New York.

Hired conducted a survey to find out the views of companies and candidates. As a result the Mind the Gap report was created to identify which digital skills are in demand.

Jacqueline de Rojas, techUK President, provides a forward for the report in which she writes: “Digital skills are not just about the needs of tech companies – be they start-ups or multinationals. The UK needs people with the skills to help them keep pace and thrive in a digital future.

“This starts with inclusion – we must make sure that no part of the UK is left behind in the digital revolution, and people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds are given the tools and access to education to develop their digital skills.”

She added: “We must commit to challenging our employees and peers to learn new skills, or to update their current set, to ensure we remain ahead of the curve.”

Commenting on the report Claire Cockerton, CEO of ENTIQ, said: “Over the last decade the UK has worked tirelessly to become a centre of excellence in innovation and technology; today the industry is worth an incredible £161bn to the economy and supports more than 1.5million jobs across the country. Yet, as Hired’s report reminds us, there is always more we can, and indeed must do.”

“The statistics revealed a yawning skills gap emerging, with new skills such as data and security both vastly underserviced with talent. When considering the potential impact of Brexit, this becomes an even more concerning statistic. To address it, as an industry we must ensure we support free movement of talent and review the list of skills that are open for working visas, particularly in these key areas of technology that are currently underserviced.”

“Secondly, we must look to the long-term and work together with the Government to solve the education issue. There is a need to implement new initiatives in the curriculum that are consistently updated to reflect the ever-evolving nature of technology. Not only that but we must begin to celebrate our successes – and indeed openly address our failures; we must work together to showcase our technology entrepreneurs to the wider world to inspire tomorrow’s leaders. For the UK to remain a global player, it must address both of these points now, working to upskill current talent, as well as addressing the next generation. Only by doing that can we futureproof UK GDP. A failure to do so will see us fall behind on the global scale.”

Richard Shea, Managing Director EMEA Search of Futurestep , said: “This report has highlighted something the industry has been talking about for the last five years; but obviously, not enough action has been taken. The growing digital skills gap is worrying. By 2020, the UK alone will require 2.3 million digitally skilled workers. But according to these latest findings, supply is already falling incredibly short of catering to demand.

“To start bridging this gap between the cry for technology talent and the shallow pool we have on offer, we need to look to our grassroots and begin with education. As the UK continues to develop its digital economy and fuel the UK’s Plc, we are seeing an absence of students going on to study technology subjects at higher levels. This is where the pipeline of talent begins to leak and we lose potential members of the tech workforce.

“Yet too many organisations are waiting for governments or even competitors to do something to address it. All companies within the technology sector must take ownership of helping educate the younger generations; whether it’s through early employment careers, graduate recruitment or simply visiting schools with role model spokespeople, to solidify the UK’s future as a leading global hub with tech talent being the centre of its success.”

Paul Brown, Head of HR, Business and Application Services at Fujitsu EMEIA, said: “The findings of this Mind The Gap report make for concerning reading - particularly the fact that the uptake of technology degrees is falling over time. Our increasingly digitally-led business environment and society means that STEM and digital skills are essential in the UK, both within technology firms and virtually every other industry. Expertise in the fields of data analytics and security are increasingly important for all organisations, but we are already battling against skills gaps in these areas.

“STEM subjects clearly still suffer from an image problem. It’s often assumed that the only jobs that you can get with a degree in maths or engineering are highly technical and perhaps dull. We need to tackle these misconceptions and showcase how roles in technology are addressing some of the most important issues in society and creating new career paths as well as advancing economic growth.

“It’s also important to recognise that creativity and innovation can be as important as technical skill in ‘Digital’ jobs. Through engaging a diverse array of young people in STEM subjects and maintaining their interest through education and in to the workplace we will help protect the UK’s future competitiveness.”