The Commercial Performance of Culture – How to Measure and Design it

Our Ask The Expert series was hosted this month by the culture transformation agency – We Are Unity and according to one guest “it doesn’t get more exciting for the HR industry than what we saw in this presentation!”

We Are Unity Director, Ben Bars, and Head of Insights & Analytics, Reetta Makinen, shared how it’s possible to not only measure the commercial performance of your culture, but also best align it to the business strategy.

Ben said: “Our clients are increasingly looking to future proof themselves, so it’s critical that their HR functions have a metrics framework that directly links employee experience and culture to business performance and shareholder returns.” Interestingly, Ben added, “I am not sure why most companies tend to exclude the Board’s behavioural contribution when it comes to measuring culture.”

The session talked to the very definition of Employee Experience and how their new EX Framework crucially measures the contributions of all OPEX streams throughout an organisation. The We Are Unity team also shared some of the Culture metrics they are producing, such as agility, risk tolerance, customer orientation, knowledge transfer and speed of change adoption.

What became apparent was the value of asking the right questions. We Are Unity talked to the importance of EX survey questions being future focussed and commercial, so the insights can be used by the business in a predictive manner to drive immediate behaviour change.

Reetta said: “Engagement will always be there, but it’s just an outcome score. The way most organisations have measured engagement and held leaders accountable for that score hasn’t necessarily resulted in the right commercial performance.”

The session finished with some discussion around the Commercial Culture Benchmark they are working on, which certainly provided food for thought. Plus some advice on how HR could build an effective business case in order to access additional funding for such non-traditional data and analytics work.

Thanks to the team for a fascinating presentation and we look forward to hearing more from We Are Unity as they progress with this new body of work.