The Culture Change Gap and Talent Analytics
Culture Change is a complex and frustrating process and you are not alone if the thought of embarking on a Culture Change initiative has been overwhelming. But it can be easier!
An organisation’s culture comprises an interlocking set of goals, rules, roles, processes, values, attitudes and assumptions. That’s why single-faceted initiatives such as self-directed teams, customer focus, Agile, or restructuring might make progress for a time. However, the underlying pull of the existing elements can draw the organisation back to the pre-existing culture.
Integrating Talent Analytics into the Culture Change process has improved decision-making. It has helped to close the gap between existing and desired cultures. As organisations recognise the importance of continual monitoring and management of culture, analytics have become an essential part of business. We have come a long way from the old Employee and Culture Surveys.
Quality Talent Analytics
The synergy between Culture Change processes and Talent Analytics depends on the quality of the analytics and the ease with which we can collect employee information. The best Analytics tools provide following.
- They analyse both hard, experiential data and soft, behavioural data.
- They collect enough data in a single, quick, online questionnaire.
- At least 150 traits are measured – tools that measure less than 100 traits are unlikely to provide meaningful analytics
- The analytics are specific and job-centric, instead of general personality information. This eliminates assumptions about the how a personality will manifest in the workplace.
- They identify specific traits and do not categorising people,.
- Job-fit is measured by identifying and weighting traits for high performance in the role. These should include essential traits, traits that will support a person in the role, and traits that will derail a person’s effectiveness in the role.
And very specifically for Culture Change Programs:
- They can capture and encode behaviour expectations, values and organisational culture shifts into trait patterns or trait formulas. These provide specific information on team and individual strengths, derailing behaviours, and areas requiring support or re-engagement.
We have been using Harrison Assessments as the basis for our Strategic Analytics Solutions for 14 years. We chose this tool because of its rigour and accuracy. Despite changes in the field of analytics over that time-frame, it still remains the most rigorous and accurate of the available tools.
Close the Culture Change Gap with Talent Analytics – 6 Culture Change Strategies
Analytics can close the gap in Culture Change programs in different ways. We recommend the following 6 Culture Change Strategies Using Analytics for decision-making.
1. Benchmark, Pulse, and Watch the Gap Close
We use analytics to benchmark the organisation at the beginning of the program, at important “Pulse” points during the program, and as part of the final program stages. Having a comprehensive and clear view of the organisation and culture will show progress as well as areas that have stalled and need an extra effort.
2. Close the Leadership Gap
We recommend that a culture change program begins with the Executive and Leadership teams. Analytics can clearly show the gap between the current values and behaviours of these teams and the desired ones. The gap can be used to create team and individual support plans.
3. Hire for the New Culture to Close the Gap
We use an automated process to determine the elements of high performance in roles and excellent culture fit, which are captured in trait formulas and patterns. Our recruitment process in culture change programs recommends hiring against job fit and culture fit. The resulting analytics are used to identify the best ways to manage, engage, develop and retain the new hires.
4. Identify Employees who Model the New Culture and Those who will Struggle
The trait formulas created for recruitment are used internally to identify employees who model the new culture – these are the best embedded change agents. Just as important is knowing those who will struggle. Some employees will need a little encouragement and support, while others will require more. Staff leakage is minimised by pro-actively supporting those who need it.
5. Use Key Motivators to Close the Gap
Change interventions have a higher chance of successfully creating long-term change when they tap into the top motivators of an individual or teams. Let me give you an example. If your team has a strong love of challenge and a sense of competition, create change activities that tap into these to engage the team quickly. Likewise, teams of knowledge workers often feel they add value when their opinions are acknowledged and appreciated. To create engagement, invite team members to contribute to the decision-making and planning processes.
The value-add of analytics above a manager’s knowledge of their team is the specificity of the data, and the way that initiatives can be tailored for each group.
6. Use Loyalty Factors to Close the Gap
One of the difficult side effects of Culture Change initiatives is the loss of staff during the process (which is often disruptive), or because people feel that the work itself is changing. Some staff turnover might be desirable, but you can avoid loss of valued staff by understanding the Loyalty Factors of individuals and groups. Loyalty Factors are cultural and other requirements considered important by an employee, additional to those related to their job, work content or manager. Examples are flexible work arrangements, or support for self-development and improvement.
Individual and team reports provide valuable data, and we also recommend using other groupings of employees. We begin with the critical roles within the organisation – for example all Middle Managers, High Performers, Care Workers, or the like. Then we consider groupings for location, age brackets, or number of years in the organisation.
Analysis of Loyalty Factors will provide information on each group. Our key way of using these is to design workplaces that will help in retaining key people in critical business roles both during the change process and also after the change is embedded.
Bring Culture Alive with Talent Analytics
Change is difficult, and Culture Change is especially so. It is tempting to use wet-finger pulse checks during a Culture Change program – assessment of progress and the status of the program without data. Integrating analytics considerably shortens programs and the associated disruption by providing objective information to guide decisions. It also gives clear feedback on progress and indicates ways that processes and practices can be enhanced to fit the new culture.