How Measuring Company Culture Improves Recruiting & Retention

Talent pros know full well the importance of an inclusive company culture in attracting top talent and keeping them around. But it’s not enough to articulate the culture on your website and Glassdoor profile. How do you measure and improve your culture in the interest of optimizing your hiring and retention functions?

To learn more, we tracked down Mila Singh, Culture Strategist over at CultureIQ, and Adrianna De Battista, Diversity Recruiting PM Lead at Lyft. We’ll be hosting a live webinar with both of them tomorrow, but to get warmed up we figured we’d share some of their high level tactics.

How do you define culture? Why is it important?

Culture is much more than a buzzword– you can be really intentional about it in your organization. If you wait for the culture to define itself, it may develop into something you don’t want it to be. There’s a quote from the famous educator Peter Drucker: What gets measured gets improved.

In CultureIQ’s work with companies that are intentional about their culture, they see culture is truly what drives a company’s competitive advantage. It’s also what drives employer brand because employees are your biggest advocates.

How can you measure culture?

The bottom line in measuring culture is asking employees about their experience and observations. CultureIQ conducts a survey that measures 10 qualities common to high performing organizations. One example is collaboration – how well do people cooperate, share and work well together?

To measure engagement, ask an employee net promoter score question (eNPS): How likely are you to recommend your company as a place to work? The eNPS along with the other qualities will provide a snapshot of how the culture is doing.

Many organizations who do a culture survey for the first time often say, they “feel” or “sense” their culture may be a certain way. When they see the data they can actually take action in specific areas that are now quantifiable and measurable.

If you are thinking about starting a survey program at your company, you can start small with a pulse survey – a short survey with employee net promoter score and a few other questions. You can also opt for a focus group or suggestion box. Either way, asking employees for their feedback and responding to it is the first step towards measuring and strengthening culture and engagement.

How can culture be improved in the interest of better recruitment/retention?

Lyft started employee resource groups (ERGs) as a way to ensure underrepresented groups had their interests represented within the organization. The focus was on employee development, growth, and access to resources and the executive team.

This was a big part of starting to develop a culture of inclusivity. It helped give employees from underrepresented groups an opportunity to organize and have a larger share of voice in the organization.

The main goals of ERGs are ensuring all employees have the opportunity to be heard in the organization, and of course to partner with recruiting in the interest of employee referrals and retention.

Mila and Adrianna have many more strategies for measuring and improving company culture, which in turn they’re able to apply to recruiting and retention. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty, join us on the full webinar.

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