Going beyond engagement - understanding your culture

Going beyond engagement - understanding your culture
Going beyond engagement - understanding your culture

Organisations are going through rapid change – and the way these changes are implemented can re-define cultures across organisations, which is often an unintended consequence.

In this climate, it’s understandable that, according to Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends report 2016, culture and engagement remain “a major concern for C-suite”.

The Deloitte report defines culture as “the way things are done around here” whilst it describes engagement as “how people feel about the way things are done around here”.

Amrit Sandhar, Director at The Engagement Coach, says: “Whilst there is a huge focus on engagement surveys and change management, measuring culture is critical to knowing how changes are being implemented, and their impact on people.”  

Brent Daily, author of ‘Culture Analytics: The Money ball for Building Team’, believes, when measuring culture, that: “The first step is to understand the company’s core values… forget the qualitative focus groups. Focus on gathering indisputable quantifiable data… having metrics provides the upper hand.”

Sandhar adds: What if we could provide ‘indisputable quantifiable data’, through qualitative insights in the form of metrics? How much value would this add to senior executives trying to understand the impact of change on their organisation?

Surveys alone don’t give us the full picture. When people’s responses are limited to a questionnaire, it’s easy to see how engagement survey results are difficult to interpret. Our experience shows qualitative focus group data can be essential to better understanding your organisation’s culture and engagement, providing that ‘indisputable quantifiable data’.

Dunelm has gone through exponential growth since it began in 1979 on a Leicester market stall. Although Dunelm had been running engagement surveys over a number of years, it became apparent that crucial feedback was missing.

Working closely with Amanda Cox, their People & Service Director, we identified the biggest issues on the minds’ of colleagues, and highlighted critical insights from focus groups, which when converted into data, enabled Dunelm to make impactful changes. This helped Amanda define the People plan, change how leaders worked, and support the organisation’s long-term vision.

HR has at its fingertips, the ability to gather impactful people data, beyond just engagement surveys, to understand the true impact of change on organisational cultures - so it can not only be anticipated, but intentional, to truly unlock the passion and productivity of our people.

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