The Quickest Way to Measure Your Corporate Culture

The Quickest Way to Measure Your Corporate Culture

[read time: 2 mins]

One of the biggest challenges in corporate culture is finding ways to effectively measure and gauge the strength of your culture. Over the past decade companies have used various survey methodologies in an attempt to uncover the truth about their cultures with the most popular one being an Employee Engagement Survey. The problem is that these surveys are time consuming, difficulty to analyze without outside support, and require a fair investment to implement.

The answer for companies who aren’t ready to take the plunge into instituting a full-blown employee engagement survey actually comes from the world of customer experience. By combining two questions together you can create an easy to use survey that’s fast and efficient, and so simple to complete that your response level will also be considerably higher (important with any type of survey).

First, we need to talk about the The Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS was designed to measure how likely clients are to recommend a product or service to a friend. Satmetrix Systems, the company behind NPS, researched companies that experienced above average profitable growth and their research showed that customers who answered one simple question with a 9 or 10, are promoters of your business, customers who answer 7-8 are passive, and anyone that ranks your company 6 or less is actually a detractor – they are highly likely to actively recommend that people not do business with you. The question, “How likely are you to recommend our product or service to a friend or colleague?”

Here’s how to modify the NPS for a simple corporate culture survey: take the Net Promoter Score question and alter it slightly to focus on your employees’ perception of your business instead of your customers:
1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend to friend or family member that they come work at our company?
2. If you gave a score of 8 or less, what would need to change in order for your answer to be a 9 or 10?

Using these two questions you can rapidly put a corporate culture survey in place. Although this will not give you the richness of a full Employee Engagement Survey, these two questions will provide you valuable insight into the core areas that you need to pay attention to now.

*If you’re interested in learning more about Net Promoter Score, Harvard Business Review has a fantastic article that summarizes the entire concept entitled, “The Only Number You Need to Grow” (

Mike Desjardins

Mike is a a graduate of UBC’s Sauder School of Business with a Bachelors of Commerce, Mike has spent the past 21 years transforming businesses.

  • maria loscerbo
    Posted at 21:41h, 07 January Reply

    Another interesting barometer is to go to websites like to read comments posted by current and former employees. (Sometimes a few disgruntled employees will make uncalled for negative comments…I would take those posts with a grain of salt). Overall it can give you a sense of the culture as most comments are unattributed and anonymous.

  • Joel Shapiro, Ph.D.
    Posted at 09:39h, 22 February Reply

    Seems like a crucial metric. The value of more detailed employee engagement surveys is that they ask employees about how well the major organizational levers are functioning. This enables you to pinpoint where the gaps & weaknesses are; where improvements need to be made. It is not cheap, the surveys are longer and produce more data, but when well constructed give you tons of good information.

    In summary: the method you described provides a measure on something that really counts (a crucial end result we want to achieve) but it is a kind of “absolute score.” A better report card not only gives you a “pass / fail” but also analyzes strengths, weaknesses, trends, etc.

    Conclusion: companies need to do both; both are valuable and complimentary.

    Just my opinion.

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