Taking an evidence-based approach to improve workplace culture
Many CEO's and People & Culture Professionals ask us - how frequently should you run a culture survey. We believe that focusing on culture survey cadence is the wrong approach.
However there are some flaws in two of the most common approaches.
Problems with large annual culture surveys:
These large annual projects are well intentioned and can certainly provide useful insights and can indeed be very useful.
However they have common issues:
Firstly they often have too many questions because it is only annual, and every leader wants their burning questions answered, which means
- Lower-quality responses because responders get survey fatigue
- Lower completion rates
- Most importantly too much information which leads to analysis paralysis
- No evidence-base to make well considered courses of action
All of these contribute to either nothing happening at all, or nothing happening for many months as the data is poured over, meetings are held and options are sourced and considered.
So if nothing is done, or done quickly, not only is it a waste for time, but it leads to the workforce being disenfranchised as they take the stance "if you coerce us to answer so many questions, at least do something!"
Problems with daily or weekly pulse checks
Once again, these have merit and can be used to great effect. However, they also often have to some common flaws:
- They can end up focusing on fleeting feelings
- They are too frequent to be actionable in a way that has lasting impact
- It is difficult to act on everything all the time - there are competing demands on the people receiving the information.
- They rarely provide a clear path of action to make a systemic change that leads to sustained improvement - it's easy to be drawn into constant reactive responses.
We recommend a much more measured, clear and sustainable approach.
Cadence of Culture Surveys is less important than evidence-based action
Using the REACH Culture solution organizations can benefit from several aspects of best-practice:
- The tool is long enough to create powerful actionable insights, but not so long as to result in survey fatigue (about 15 minutes)
- The survey is evidence-based which means it produces recommendations - which if actioned will result in improvement of key results such as engagement, internal net promoter scores, and retention.
- Analysis is instantly generated using clear reports and simple language
- All of the recommendations generated by the survey are immediately actionable using the extensive resources provided by the rest of the ecosystem.
When action directed by the Culture Solution is taken, we can demonstrate significant impacts on key culture metrics within 90-days, check out the case study here.
The answer to the question - how often should we run a culture survey? Never if you aren't going to do anything with the findings in a timely fashion. As frequently as quarterly if you are getting actionable, evidence-based data - and you take action.
Reach out today, and start improving your workplace culture today.