Workplace culture can be roughly defined as “the values ​​of how things are run in an organization”. It is very critical for the success and continuity of an organization that it determines certain and clear values ​​​​from its establishment and builds the workplace culture on this. So is that enough? What if things change and the culture evolves into something else? How to measure company culture, how to keep the pulse of the live workplace culture in the organization? We’ll explore that in this article.

What is Workplace Culture?

Workplace culture is the organization’s expectations about how things will be run and how communication will be established. Workplace culture affects the communication between employees in an organization, the relationships that employees establish with customers, and the way things work; it directs almost everything related to the organization and adds an originality to the actions of that organization.

A good workplace culture should be easily identifiable when asked. A successful company culture should ensure that a few keywords or phrases come to mind when asked.

The benefits of a positive company culture are many. Some of those:

  • Effective people and talent management (Leaders know how to approach employees, encourage employees about their skills and help them develop.)
  • Successful recruitment process (During recruitment, the candidate’s compatibility with the organizational culture is examined and candidates who may harm the culture are not preferred; potential risks are eliminated.)
  • Employee relations and employee loyalty (Company culture affects the relations between employees and each employee’s relationship with the company, and strives to establish a positive relationship.

In short, corporate culture does not only regulate company relations, but also wins the hearts of the employees with talent management and job satisfaction. While regulating the relations with customers, it also increases customer satisfaction and the possibility of being preferred.

How To Measure Workplace Culture?

Negative Workplace Culture 

A recent survey by MIT and Glassdoor found that 85% of CEOs and CFOs believe that an unhealthy workplace culture leads to unethical behavior. The cost of a dysfunctional culture can be substantial. Public companies caught committing corporate fraud lose, on average, 25% to 44% of the value of their equity.

How to Build Workplace Culture?

There are several steps to building the corporate culture in an organization. (We will briefly mention it under this title, but for more detailed information, you can check our article “What is Company Culture and How to Build it?”)

  1.  Identifying Core Values: Starting with identifying the essential core values ​​of your company gives you a solid foundation for building the culture.
  2.  Being Realistic: Ensure that the company culture is not just on paper, but inside your office, in your behavior. Make sure everyone, from the CEO to the intern, behaves according to the culture.
  3.  Observing and Listening: Every company is different, so they have different needs. Listen and observe your organization, discovering what you need will help you create company culture.
  4. Creating a Psychologically Safe Working Environment: Create a safe environment where your employees can express their ideas. So you can make changes by taking their thoughts into account. Silence can be a sign of a negative work culture.
  5.  Admitting Mistakes: Creating a great company culture the first time can be difficult. Accept that you can make mistakes in this process, do not ignore the problems that arise and change.
  6.  Be Open to Change: In a time when technology is rapidly changing, it would be a mistake to think that a rule can be functional for a long time. Adapting to the times allows you to survive and be successful. Be flexible.
  7.  Benefit from Technology: You can take the pulse of the company culture by making use of technology, or you can achieve more beneficial results by spending less time and money on its formation.

Why Measure Workplace Culture?

A business is built on some values ​​in its foundation. Although some basic values ​​are determined at the beginning and a corporate culture is created, the culture changes as long as the existence of the organization continues. Company culture is a living thing, influenced by employees and the demands of time.

Change may not always be positive. Great core values ​​may be chosen or an excellent corporate culture has been created, but these “perfections” may not or may not fit the organization, but may change over time. It is necessary to measure how the company culture works in the organization in order to learn how the change is going and to fend off potential risks.

Measurement Sides of Company Culture

Company culture cannot be measured alone. Since quantitative data cannot be used in the measurement process, qualitative evaluation is made. Company culture is a barometer, producing certain behavioral patterns within the organization. By examining these behaviors, comments can be made about the place and functioning of company culture in the organization. For example, what happens when an error is committed? If employees are afraid of making mistakes or admitting their mistakes, and this is common, it may be evidence that the company does not support open communication.

The following areas can be examined in measuring company culture:

1. Leadership

A leadership culture prevails in most companies that have proven successful. In these companies, the leader is both a role model, a motivator and an inspiring figure. Leader sets an example for her/his employees with her/his behavior. It encourages employees to be productive with human relations and talent management.

2. Communication

No organization can do a job without communication. For things to work, there must be interpersonal, intergroup and inter-institutional communication. Internal and external relations give information about the culture of the institution. Open, clear and respectful communication leads to positive thoughts about your company culture.

How To Measure Workplace Culture?

3. Wellness

Employees are the cells that keep an organization alive. A problem that occurs in any cell can cause serious problems by first affecting the organ and then the organism. Both the physical and mental health of the employee is vital for the survival of an organization. How the workload of the employee, which is the biggest and most valuable resource, is managed and what kind of support is provided in case of any problem is also a part of the work culture.

4. Agility

Agility is the speed with which a person or organization adapts to changes occurring in their environment. In today’s highly competitive market, agility is a must for companies. Can the employees analyze the market in which the company is located, can they see the innovations, what kind of solution suggestions do they offer? If you want to take your business to the next level, reorganizing your company’s culture to encourage agility will give you good results in the long run.

5. Environment

It is an indisputable fact that the environment one lives in affects people. The environment, whether at school, at home or at work, affects a person’s performance. Is your office a comfortable place for your employees, do you have enough drinks and food, are there areas where employees can relax or have private conversations?

6. Vision

Step by step to success. Your goal is just as important as your steps. Identifying your company’s purpose for existence, what it wants to do, and where it wants to go helps your employees understand what you expect from them. The adoption of your company’s vision by the employees also leads the company to success step by step.

Company Culture Measurement Methods

There are many ways to measure company culture. Here are the most used measurement types:

1. Surveys

Questionnaires are the most basic tools used to take measurements. Surveys can be made for employee loyalty and satisfaction. Conducting these surveys anonymously can yield more honest results. Analysis of the survey results, on the other hand, gives information about the current company culture. However, surveys should not be considered as the only option. Because surveys provide data on the obvious things that can be translated into qualitative or quantitative.

Surveys can be conducted traditionally as well as digitally. Digital surveys are best, especially for groups that work remotely. Business management software like PeerBie offers surveys for any topic, but Microsoft Forms and Google Forms can also be used for surveys.

2. Key Performance Indicator

The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) can be roughly defined as the systematically determined goals and the state of achieving them. Goals are set for an employee within a certain time frame, and when the time is up, it is examined whether the goals have been achieved. Not only the success and failure situations, but also the reasons for these situations can be analyzed.

The APG-KPI can be beneficial as well as harmful. If the employee is not found during the goal setting process, and if goals are not set in line with the employee’s abilities, this may result in bad results. The workload and stress of the employee may increase, and the employee who is faced with failure may feel inadequate. This situation may decrease the efficiency of the employee and may actually result in losing an employee with potential.

With PeerBie, you can set daily, weekly, monthly, individual or group goals; you can divide the goals into subtasks and add them to your calendar.PeerBie also allows you to measure your working efficiency with the reports it provides.

3. Behavior Tracking

Culture is best observed on behavior. By observing the behavior of your employees, you can easily understand how compatible they are with the company culture. This method, which is more useful than surveys, allows you to see not only what is being told, but also what is taken for granted or not worth telling.

For example, if innovation is one of your core values, you may want to report creative ideas within groups by the group leader.

How To Measure Workplace Culture?

4. Focus Groups

Focus groups are another tool you can use to measure your company culture. In this method, the aim is to collect qualitative data by meeting with the employees one-on-one.

An interview is arranged with a group of employees, and in this meeting, feedback is received from the employees about how they feel and think about certain situations and events. Thus, it can be seen how compatible the teams are with the culture and whether change is needed.

How to Develop Company Culture?

Culture emerges through the combination of feelings and thoughts. The severity of feelings and thoughts against a concept determines the place of that value in our lives. In order to improve the company culture, the feelings and thoughts of all employees, from managers to trainees, should be examined and how much these affect their behaviors should be analyzed.

In the recruitment process, attention should be paid to hiring employees who are compatible with the corporate culture. In the process of getting to know the candidate, a set of questions should be asked in order to measure the values ​​of the candidate and their suitability for the organization should be tested.

Measurement techniques can be used to improve the corporate culture in your existing organization. You can learn the feelings and thoughts of your employees through surveys and interviews, and you can determine how these attitudes affect their behaviors with detailed examinations and make some changes accordingly.

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