Culture Crunch: Creating a dynamic culture as you grow

Culture Crunch: Creating a dynamic culture as you grow

As companies grow it is inevitable that cultural changes will take place, and this will have a direct impact on employee engagement, retention and overall company performance.

So, how can you get ahead of this change, and understand what’s in store at every phase of growth so you can make better decisions around culture and your employee experience?

Join us as Culture Amp’s Senior People Scientist, Gavin Morse, and Vice President of Learning and Organisational Development, Dr Melissa Giles, discuss key trends across company lifecycle data from over 4,500 companies worldwide.

During this session we will explore:

  • The impact of company size on culture
  • What improves with company growth (and what doesn’t)
  • How different growth phases affect what employees are looking for


To view full transcript, please click here

Hamish: [00:00:01] Yeah, definitely. Well, thank you. Yeah. Once again for joining Culture Crunch today. Everyone from everywhere you are in Australia and maybe around the APAC region as well. Before we kick off today, we're going to begin with an acknowledgement of country. So I'm joining you today from the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation. So I'd like to acknowledge the traditional custodians and pay respects to elders past, present and emerging. I'd also like to extend respect for all First Nations people from everywhere you are joining today. So thank you. Before we begin, I just wanted to start with a few little important housekeeping items to cover off. So today's session will be recorded and we will share the recording with you afterwards along with today's slides. So feel free to listen and enjoy and you will get a copy of this afterword. And there is some amazing information that's going to be shared as well. So I'm sure that's going to be quite helpful and enjoyable for you by the end of the session. At any time, use the chat function. This is all about interacting, asking questions, sharing your thoughts and ideas as well. And for a special moment today as well, to get everyone started, we want to ask a specific question to the crowd. So if you have your chat function open, please share away what is your most useless fact that you know, I'm going to start off and then I'm going to hand it over to Gavin. And my most useless fact is something I never knew. I never knew that pineapples actually didn't grow on trees. They actually grow underground. And I felt really silly about that because I used to watch a lot of SpongeBob and I thought, pineapples grow on trees. I'm going to hand it over to Gavin. Gavin, what's your useless suspect?

Gavin: [00:01:52] I think a moment to really sink in on this idea that pineapples don't grow on trees. Because every time I hear that fact, I'm always shocked, despite the fact that I've heard it a couple of times. So I really need to just lock onto that. Realize they don't grow on trees. I don't know where they come from, but it's definitely not a tree. My useless fact is that the sound that you make when you sneeze, which is traditionally achoo, is actually a socially conditioned response. So what you see across different cultures and different groups is that the sound that you kind of verbalize when you do sneeze can be quite different depending on the culture you grow up in. So for me that was really interesting because I always felt like such an automatic thing, but it's actually something we learn at quite an early age how to express that sneeze. So I love that fact I'm going to pass across to Mel.

Dr. Melissa: [00:02:40] Loving some of the ones in the chat here. A group of zebras is called A Dazzle of Zebras. That definitely feels like a trivia quiz question. My useless fact was the opposite sides of a dice always add up to seven, something that I never realized. But there you go, that was my useless fact. I didn't know that I can wait for three years. Shelly I'm liking the sound of that. So we've got some explanation of where pineapples do grow as well. So thank you, Melanie.

Gavin: [00:03:12] I think it's a bush. Or is it a berry? I heard it.

Dr. Melissa: [00:03:14] Grow in a bush, yeah.

Hamish: [00:03:14] And seedlings can dance to a beat. So cool. They know rhythm. That's amazing. Some really great additional useless facts have been added into this. I really want to keep these. I wonder if I can copy these into a little private file. That's awesome. Well, onto the next slide. So a little bit about culture. Now, if you haven't actually seen anything on Culture Amp before or heard of us, I'll kind of explain kind of origins and why we're so unique and famous in this wonderful world that we live in as well. Culture Amp is actually an Australian company. We've been around for the last ten years and we pioneered the idea of real time feedback. So that was our original unique selling point into this great planet, offering our amazing service. So our mission is to create a better world of work, and we do this by helping companies focus on their employee experience. So combining science and technology to help improve employee engagement, development and performance. So firstly, you can see here our engagement area and that is a really great area for you as a company to gather real time feedback from your employees and using that real time feedback overall to get an access, a really good way to understand sentiment from your employees and then take meaningful action as well. We also have a huge development area which is all enabled to help your managers and employees reach their full growth potential. And we also have performance management tools as well. So that's basically developing your employees, measuring and improving the work that people do within your business. So Culture Amp is all about connecting the dots, whether they're using engagement or performance or develop. It's all around measuring your teams, your employees, and driving that overall employee experience. And Trump is very proud to be the world leaders in this overall process as well. And I'm Hamish, I'm an account executive. I've been at Culture Amp proudly for over a year. I work in the SMB space, so all across Asia Pacific and I work with companies specifically under 200 employees. We're also joined by Dr. Melissa Melissa Giles and Gavin Morse as well. Dr. Melissa Giles is the VP of Learning and Organisational Development at Culture Amp and Gavin Morse is a senior people, scientists, and they make up part of our quite large people science team, which were very also proud to have a unique people science team compared to other companies in the market, which is really cool as well. So if you've been to a cultural seminar before, you might be familiar with the concept of belonging badges, and we'd like to share these as a way of creating an environment of inclusion, belonging and also connecting at our events. If anyone's actually used a belonging badge before, it's a really cool way to break down the boundary of who you actually are. So embraces one of our core values at culture, the courage to be vulnerable. So by showcasing this as part of ourselves, that may only be reserved for those who really know us. So basically it's about allowing us to become more familiar with you if we've never met you before, which is really cool. Now for me, I had to think really hard about creating a new belonging badge because I feel like I've grown a lot since I've been a culture. The one thing special about me is I grew up in Indonesia. I know someone on the call today is from Bali. My parents actually live there and I'm bilingual. I speak Bahasa Indonesian, not Balinese, but Bahasa Indonesian. I'm also a thrill seeker. My purpose in life is to always climb mountains, go surfing. I haven't been skydiving yet, but I really want to do that as well and I'm fairly optimistic about life as well. So that's me. I'm going to hand it over to Gavin.

Gavin: [00:06:55] Sure. Thank you. Hi, everyone. My name is Gavin Morse. I'm a senior people scientist with Culture Amp. My three belonging badges are gay, a father to a rather Italian greyhound, which I was in two minds about sharing. Last time I shared that on a webinar. My dog did continue to try and bother me throughout the whole webinar. There's coughing running around, so fingers crossed he's isolated today and my other belonging badge is left handed as well. I've been working in air space now for about eight years and as a registered psychologist, industrial organizational psychology for the last six years, across that time, I've worked in a number of different organizations, spent some time in boutique consulting, doing things like leadership development, change management and engagement. And then in my current role at Culture Amp, I support our enterprise customers to design their surveys, making sure we're asking the right questions to elicit the right types of feedback from their employee groups, and also with interpreting results. So unpacking results and making meaning of those and ultimately determining where we take action as well to drive things like engagement in the workplace. So I'll pass across now to Mel so she can introduce herself.

Dr. Melissa: [00:08:02] Thanks Gavin. Yes, Melissa Giles, I am VP of Learning and Organizational Development. My three belonging badges I thought I would mirror. Gavin In some ways I'm right handed. So there we go. Where? Opposites. I am a mom to two rather needy boys, so sometimes I could trade them for dogs. And yeah, I'm a people geek at heart. So in my career I've done both working in consulting and internal HR or fancy teams. And now, yes, I'm back in an internal role working within what we call our people and experience team. And I think for us we really anchor as a team on Culture Amp's mission, which is to create a better world of work. And so for us in the PANAY team, we're thinking about how we do that for campus, what we call our employees. So our mission is around creating a better world of work for our campus.

Gavin: [00:08:57] Okay. Thank you so much. Now, so let's get into it. So our webinar today is going to be focused on just sharing some of the insights from Coach Rams Coach Crunch report. But I think really what we wanted to do first off is just pause and think, what is the culture crunch report? And ultimately, why should I care? Well, the Culture Crunch report for us is our definitive answer to the types of changes that happened across funding stage excuse me, company size and growth trajectory. It exists because we know that organizations, in terms of what it takes to get them to where they are today, is often quite different to what it's going to take to continue reaching your goals and objectives. And so ultimately what we want to be able to do is be able to provide that blueprint, that insight into what are some of the changes that you can typically expect to see happening as a result of change in the organization? And we know all organizations are changing at a pretty rapid rate and this can be as a result of automation. It can also be out of necessity to remain competitive in a changing world of business and also in a drive towards sustainability as well. We hear that around a lot of traditional organizations and what that looks like for their business practices. So we ultimately are looking to make sure that our culture report is able to have you get the insights that you need in regards to the strengths, challenges and opportunities that your organization may experience across the different stages that it may go through. So ultimately, when change is on the horizon, you're prepared to keep people front of mind in the work, in the nature of the work that you do, in the way that the organization sees itself as well. So the first topic we're going to be starting with today is growth trajectory. We're going to start by looking at companies that are either growing, stable or shrinking. But first, to help us to really understand and unpack these insights, I'm going to start off by looking a little bit more closely at our research approach. So all great insights in the people space. First, start with a great sample. Our sample is no different. For our analyses looking at growth trajectory insights, we have 4500 organizations included. We used employee headcount over the year as an indicator of company growth with organizations that have grown more than 15% clusters growing. Those that didn't grow as much as 15% plus are stable, and those that reduce their employee headcount by more than 5% counted is shrinking. So as you listen today, I want you to think about what stage your organization needs, and you can use that metric yourself in terms of employee headcount, how that has shifted throughout the last year or so to determine what are going to be the most important takeaways for you. And also, if you do have growth on the horizon, ultimately what we see is potential challenges and opportunities in that space to. So the first finding we wanted to share with you today is that employees in growing companies are generally more positive across a number of dimensions. To summarize what you can see on screen right now, employees are growing. Organizations tend to be more confident in the long term success of the organization. They're more likely to be motivated by the vision shared by senior leadership, and they're more likely to have confidence in senior leaders. They're also more likely to believe that there are good career opportunities available to them at the organization. Perhaps most importantly, we also know employees in growing organizations using that metric. We shared on a previous page that their motivation to go above and beyond in their role is a lot higher. And really critically, their intention to lead the organization is a lot lower. So there are a lot of protective factors associated with the employee experience when we think about growing organizations. And I think ultimately we're drawn back to the question why is this? What is it about being part of a growing organization that creates such a positive employee experience? There are many potential reasons for this. For instance, we could expect or say that fast growing organizations may have more resources to be able to invest in improving the employee experience. And we know that, after all, to grow your ultimately do you need to be retaining current employees? And to retain current employees, you need to be focused on the employee experience. But I think there's also another factor at play, and it's this idea of the progress principle. For those that are less familiar with the term. The progress principle essentially means that as humans we seek to make progress. And when we are progressing, we feel more accomplished and satisfied in the work that we are doing and we're more willing to put in that work to support that progress overall in growing organizations where we can expect to see progress as this visible, tangible outcome, whether this be by hitting our goals or whether this be by increasing the employee headcount, it means that the rewards mechanisms in place for our hard work are realized much more quickly. It ultimately helps us to foster better sense of creativity and innovation, as well as fostering greater engagement and better and overall better business outcomes, which of course go hand in hand with growth. The takeaway from this slide for me is that across organizations we should be fostering this sense of purpose and progress and ultimately seeing this as a core part of delivering on the employee experience. So even if you are in a shrinking organization or in a stable organization, what does progress mean for your employees and how do you still create the sense of progress and the way that they work? Given the associated benefits we may expect to see. Mel, over your career, what has been your experience working with organizations that are either stable versus growing?

Dr. Melissa: [00:14:26] Thanks Gavin. I've definitely experienced that positivity that comes with being in a growing organization and I think both companies I've worked within and then consulted too. There's an energy in optimism being in a growing organization, and I think your comment there around that progress and achievement and moving forward is really important. So something for us all to think about how we instill that in our culture. But it is it's very exciting being in a growing company and I think it's one of the reasons I joined Culture Amp as well.

Gavin: [00:14:56] Absolutely. And I think people who have been in both organizations really do have that ability to sense what is going on. So if you've been with a growing organization versus a shrinking organization, the energy and the culture can feel a little bit different. So it's really about drawing down what are the core reasons for this and how do we still create that, even if it's not a lever we can pull? As we know, we don't always have influence over organizational growth trajectory. We do have influence over the way that we can help employees to craft their own experience and how they feel at work. I think related to this question is this idea that Culture Amp, our self, which you've already alluded to, is a high growth organization. How do you see some of these things playing out for our employees in your role?

Dr. Melissa: [00:15:35] Yeah, yeah. So we do an engagement survey quarterly with our campus, our employees, and looking over those questions, there are definitely factors that play out for us in a high growth company. So we do score higher than the new tech benchmark on many of these questions. And I think we see that coming through our campus. Our employees are feeling really confident. We've got a great position in the market. We've got some great new products coming to market. So we definitely see that confidence in terms of the next few years for Culture Amp and the amazing things that we're going to achieve as an organization. So I also think in a high growth company we see the career opportunities playing out too. So with that growth, new roles are creative, teams change and shift. And so we definitely see that playing out for us as a high growth company.

Gavin: [00:16:20] Absolutely. That by necessity the nature of work needs to change. It really pulls back to that principle I was talking about earlier, what it takes to get you to where you are now. It's going to be different to what it takes going forward. And in organizations that are growing, there's just is that that sense of agility out of necessity due to those increases in scale of the organization. So we'll continue moving forward. I think it's important to call out that it's not all rainbows and butterflies when we think about organizational growth and we know that with growth there comes change. And at times this can be challenging to manage. However, all the aspects of the employee experience we researched, there were only three areas that stable companies scored higher than growing companies. As it relates to the employee experience. And I think the inverse of the way that I described that is we can think of these three things as the pitfalls associated with growth. So what I want you to do now is to take a moment to review the options that you can see on screen and really think quite critically. What do we think those pitfalls may be of growth in regards to the employee experience, in regards to employees? So you should say the options there. We've got learning and development enablement, work life balance and blend innovation managers and perhaps the interactions with managers as well. Feedback and recognition, alignment, role clarity. And then lastly, collaboration and communication. So I'll give everyone a second to put in their responses there. But I think it's it's interesting that we see these trends so clearly across organizations. So it's almost as if the experience of growth is very telling regardless of the nature of your organization, and that we see these patterns consistently. To the moment. Now, I think we've got our poll results. Excellent. So can everyone see on screen their results there as well? So I think we can see across the board that there's a lot of variance here and which makes for a really interesting topic because we're split as to what it may look like. And of course, there are three here, so they're going to be well represented. What we can see coming through is work life balance is the I believe yeah. Most favourable in in addition to managers in terms of what those pitfalls may be for growth, we can also see sorry alignment coming through quite strongly and royal clarity coming through quite strongly as well. I think royal clarity is maybe the highest there. So really interesting results there and thank you everyone for taking the time. So let's dive into it. What are the pitfalls that we're seeing? In a lot of ways, the pitfalls associated with growth do make a lot of sense. And as you can see, these are role clarity. I know what I need to do to be successful in my role enablement. The information I need to do my job is readily available. And then lastly, work life balance. I'm able to arrange time out from work when I need to. I'll take a moment to walk through each of these to explain the likely reasons why growing organisations struggle in these areas. So in regards to role clarity, I think this makes a lot of sense. We know that the challenges incorporated with fast growing companies is that employees are very busy and what it took once again, I'm going to refer back to this. What it took to get us to where we are now is different to what it takes going forward. And then it's the same all the way down to an individual's role at work. The nature of their work needs to shift and change as the size of their teams increases as the goals become more clearer and as those milestones are ultimately hit. So I think organisations in that period of growth need to be really mindful of what is royal clarity look like, how do we create that clarity even under really fast moving conditions to make sure employees ultimately know what they need to be do to be successful in their role enablement in fast growing companies, we know knowledge management and resources are often an afterthought. And again, this is going to be largely due to the fact that employees just don't have the time to immortalise processes, procedures and instructions. And I think the real challenge associated with this is that it becomes a kind of a blocker for new starters in the organisation. You can imagine that when you start with 50 people in your organisation, someone joins, you don't have those resources in place. You can spend some time coaching and mentoring, but in really fast growing organisations where the mission is critical, it becomes harder to take that time and pause and support new starters with their development. And there's also a lot more information they need to get around and it's just not necessarily immortalized in any one location. So for me, the call out here is if you are in a growing organisation, you're probably going to be aware of this already. But if growth is on the horizon for your organisation, being really clear around where we sit in regards to information, knowledge, resource management because we don't want a leaky boat of new starters joining and ultimately leaving because they haven't been set up for success. Work life balance. And again, I think this makes a lot of sense. We can expect that in growing organizations. There's also going to be a growth in workload. We saw in the previous slide that in growing organizations there's increase of engagement overall. And I think it's important to call out that when employees are really engaged, when they're really busy, they're also at greater risk of burnout. So we don't we want to make sure we're still maintaining a maximizing that work life blend or balance and getting that right. And it's ultimately going to be really critical to retaining the talented employees that have already supported you across that growth trajectory. I think the insight for me when I review all this is that generally employees feel more positive about the culture and their experience in growing organizations. However, growing companies do still need to be careful as high levels of growth can create challenges as it relates to role, clarity, enablement and work life balance. Mel, I know we've spoken about this already. Culture Amp is a growing organization, but how do you think these things will play out for us as we continue to grow?

Dr. Melissa: [00:21:57] Yeah, absolutely. I look down that list with interest in terms of our experience at Culture Amp. And I think maybe if I start with a positive, we do well on work life balance, and I think that's something we're really proud of in terms of making sure our campus have time away from work and have that downtime. And we've similar to other companies. You know, we've thought deeply about this over the last few years with the pandemic because we know people have had greater flexibility through working from home, but equally have been working potentially longer and harder. So we have quarterly refresh days where we all down tools at the same time, which really gives us that chance to to stop and pause and take time away from work. It's quite remarkable how Quiet Slack is at that time. So it really does give everyone a chance to stop. We obviously have other provisions as well, but the refresh day, passion day is those chances to step away from work have been really important for us as an organisation. When I look at role clarity and enablement, there definitely focuses for us as an organisation. I think I often talk about being in a high growth company that your role becomes more complicated every day. So every day we add new staff, we add new products, we grow and develop and change. And so I think that role clarity, having that opportunity to really have regular check ins around what success looks like. So having those conversations with my team and encouraging mentors to have those conversations regularly with their teams as what does success look like? Where are we tracking? What are we focusing on? We have a very structured process for OKRs at Culture Amp, and I think that's made a really big difference in terms of people understanding how their role fits into the broader company strategy as well. Enablement continues to be a focus for us and we've recently appointed a head of internal comms and it's something that her and I speak about on a regular basis in terms of how we make information more accessible as we grow and we scale. So I think definitely for us, a culture, we have a strong focus on two of those and continue to track the bottom one as well, particularly as we continue to work mostly flexibly and remotely. Okay. As is a great question. Yes. So objectives and key results. So our strategy process is we have objectives that we will drive towards and then key results that map to those. So thank you, Anna, for that question.

Gavin: [00:24:10] Thanks, Mel. I think everything you said really resonates in me in creating that sense of clarity as it relates to roles and enablement and information resources. And I think know, another challenge is that information gets outdated a lot more quickly because your processes are designed for one scale and then you need to redesign them for a different scale. So that presents a new challenge. And then I also think, like in a lot of fast growing organisations, out of necessity, the comms channels need to work really quickly. So you have increased things like Slack, instant messaging, whatever it may look like, and the technology you're using in your organization. But that also calls out the need for really clear structure and culture as it relates to when are our off periods, when are our own periods? Because I think we know that those channels can quickly become really loud, really noisy and a lot of messages back and forward. And so being really clear, you know, one thing I love about Culture Amp is that it's a flurry of activity and then it gets to 530, 6:00 and it's stopped. So everyone's really respectful of making sure that we work in timeframes that match the working day and it doesn't draw into our night time, which I really love. What advice would you give to organisations that are really in the same boat from a growth perspective?

Dr. Melissa: [00:25:22] Yeah, my advice is always to listen. I think you can't ever come up with an action plan or put in place initiatives without starting with feedback. So for us in people and experience, you know, as I said, we do quarterly what we call campaign check ins, our engagement surveys, we run focus groups. We also just talk to people and we encourage obviously mentors to be managers to be having those conversations as well. So I think it's really important to dig in. As I said, for us, we're all clarity and enablement are definitely a priority. We're tracking well with work life balance, that means we need to continue that focus. So I think always starting with feedback, listening, understanding what's going on for your employees and then coming up with those value adds in terms of the actions that you can bring about. Unless you know what's going on, you can often put in place initiatives that aren't really tackling the root cause and bringing about the change that you want to see.

Gavin: [00:26:10] Absolutely. And even I mean, even under the conditions where you're able to perfectly guess what employees need, you still haven't asked them. And asking them is an important part of that process. It gets buy in and support the idea that we care about your feedback, ultimately we're going to act on that feedback too. So I love what you shared there. It's that continuous process of listening, taking action and ultimately seeing the results and listening again. So it's pretty simple.

Dr. Melissa: [00:26:35] I think the question I might just Gavin about Refresh Days was a perfect example of that because we're global. We introduced the refresh days, which is just a day where everyone down to it was like a public like almost like public holiday for culture amp. We're originally we're doing them over a weekend. So Friday and Monday for the different time zones. And we had feedback through our camp of checking that that wasn't working for the support team. So we pivoted and now we're doing a different approach. And I think that's a perfect example of we know in essence, refresh days are the right thing to do to give people a chance to have some extra time away from work. We get the feedback, we pivot, we change the way that we're doing it, it lands better. So I just think there's some really practical examples of that for a paid time, how we benefit from that feedback.

Gavin: [00:27:17] I love that. And also I think the idea that just because you've implemented your solution doesn't mean you don't need to finesse it, because they always need that degree of finessing. And you know, it's challenging that you go to so much, put so much effort and resources into creating solutions. So if you don't really finesse it from that point, it can be a little bit of loss dollars spent. So making sure that you do have that continuous almost mindset as it relates to caring about the employee experience and feedback. So we have spoken a lot about companies in high growth categories as well as the pitfalls associated with growth. We also want to know what matters to employees. We also want to know if what matters to employees changes as companies grow. So it's a little bit different to the strengths that we saw in the previous couple of slides, what is high versus low. And instead what we're ultimately asking now is what do employees care about? So to assess this, we use driver analysis. It's a fairly simple statistical technique which is automatically in the culture amp in our platform. Ultimately, what it does is it allows us to measure the relationship between engagement as an outcome measure and all the other parts of the employee experience. The benefit of doing that is that it allows us to determine which parts of the employee experience are ultimately driving engagement today and where we should focus our efforts when it comes to taking action so that we can be confident that we'll see meaningful difference as it relates to your outcome, which is usually engagement. So we're going to focus now on ultimately what matters to employees as they grow, as the organisation grows and whether or not that looks different. So a bit of a build up there for something that is a bit of a letdown in some ways, because actually the things that matters to employees is pretty consistent, whether you're a stable, growing or shrinking organization. In fact, four of the five top drivers of engagement are consistent. These four items, which you can see on screen, are having confidence in leadership leaders, demonstrating that people are important to the company success. Being able to contribute towards your own development within the organization and the organization playing an enabling role in this. And then lastly, being part of an organization that effectively directs their resources towards the company's goals. So across all organizations, whether shrinking, growing or remaining stable, more often than not, these are the key drivers that come out in terms of engagement, and there's always variation at the organization level. So important to still do that measurement yourself to see if it's different. But ultimately we can expect that some of these categories, unless they're done really well, are going to come up as high drivers in engagement. So in short, this just to sum this up, once again, this is all about confidence and leadership recognition from leadership growth and development opportunities and then that resource allocation. And I think what you would have noticed on that page is that four out of the five drivers of engagement remain the same. And it does beg the question, I guess, what is that fifth driver of engagement for growing organizations? What becomes a more important part of the employee experience as organizations grow? So take a moment now to answer the poll that you see on screen. Our options are feedback and recognition, learning and development, role clarity and work life balance. So I'll give you a moment to do that. And I think important to call out that we saw some of these on the previous slides around. What are the pitfalls associated? So be interesting to see if those pitfalls, those areas where maybe growing organizations aren't scoring as well, also come out to be your key drivers of engagement, the things that employees care about the most. Give it a little bit longer. Oh, we've got the results. Fantastic. Okay, so we can see feedback and recognition. Clearly in the lead there. So this idea of giving feedback, recognising others for their contributions, learning and development, role clarity, work life balance are all scoring in about the same area as well. So they're all falling around that 18, 17% there. So thank you so much, everyone, for your responses. We're going to debrief that on the next slide and then look more closely at what it is. And clearly, we have a very sophisticated audience on today because you're 100% right. The areas that organisations that are growing struggle with or sorry, the areas that are most important for employees when the organisation is growing is that recognition component. And before we dive too deeply into that, just want to explain the visualization we see on screen. So at the bottom we separated out shrinking, stable and growing organisations and then we're ultimately looking at their driver rank. So what is most important for these employees in shrinking, stable or growing organisations across the board? And as I've mentioned, recognition is coming out as that unique driver for growing organisations. And I think there are several reasons why recognition and workload are higher for organisations and we don't necessarily see it just with one item. So the pattern of results we're seeing in terms of importance of drivers extends across the following items. So the first is workloads are defined divided fairly among people where I work. So it's this concept of fairness in the organisation as well as workloads which we know is going to be topical in growing organisations. The next item is we acknowledge people who deliver outstanding services, so this very much is that recognition piece. We're taking the time to really recognise and acknowledge the contributions that people that are doing a great job of making in our business. And then the last one, generally the right people are rewarded and recognise that at our company. And again, this is looking at to a degree procedural fairness as it relates to fair distribution of rewards and recognition. But it can also relate to this idea that maybe just no one's getting the rewards and recognition that they ultimately needs for these growing organisations. I think there are a couple of interpretations for why this may be. I think ultimately in growing organisations there is just in general more work that needs to be done and as a result employees that contribute and take part in that work ultimately want to feel like it is divided equally and they also want to feel recognised in order to feel engaged in the work that they are doing. Another factor to consider is that when an individual joins your company, they take into account things like organisational size, ultimately determine how much impact they might have. And I think related to this, even if they don't take that into account, they might be in the role for a year or two years time and they're used to working with a certain size organisation, they're used to knowing who they can go to for questions. And all of a sudden organisation growth has come through massively and now it becomes harder to almost have your voice heard across the number of employees that you have in your organisation. In in essence, almost your distance from senior leadership becomes a lot higher for the average employee. So I think these are really important considerations to think about as it relates to recognition because how do we actively look to prevent that from being a missing element of the employee experience? How do we make sure that we know it's a high driver of engagement for employees, that they're still getting what they need as it relates to recognition? Interestingly, though, for shrinking companies, alignment becomes more important when companies are losing employees or revenue. It's crucial to focus on creating alignment for those people who choose to stay. These employees generally want to understand how their work is going to contribute towards the organisation. They also want to know what part, what part they have to play in helping the organisation get back on track. As it relates to shrinking organisations in particular, this desire for genuine alignment between the company and its people does grow in importance as we see in the with more with sorry, with shrinking organisations and likewise this concept of realigning our organisation. Perhaps the perception or perspective of senior leadership isn't fully aligned. That's why we're not seeing or we're seeing shrinkage potentially. And so front of mind for these employees is what is our goals, what is our direction moving forward? How do I play a role in that? So my takeaway from this information is that regardless of your growth trajectory, employees perceptions of leadership, development, company confidence or have a strong relationship with employees overall engagement, which we saw in the previous slide, and then for companies that are growing, making sure to amp up this concept of recognition, understand what formal recognition approaches that you might want to put in place for those organisations and then for shrinking companies. Thinking quite actively about how you're forging a new way forward and how you're bringing employees on that journey and aligning them across the organisations, goals and objectives. Perhaps my favorite part of the Culture Crunch report are the insights that we have that have allowed us to connect employee engagement and company culture with much more harder business metrics related to business performance. So in this section, what we're going to talk through other relationships that we have found and which are presented in our culture report that connect company culture and business performance. And I think really importantly is that these are the types of insights that you can take to senior stakeholders in your organization, to your executive groups, and use as a case for change, for greater investment in finessing the people experience or your employee experience and your organizations. So jumping into it to look at the relationship between company success and culture, the first thing we looked at was stock price growth. We separated out companies into the top third, which means they outperform the market by at least 35% from the bottom third, who underperformed the market by 10% or more, we found companies with the best stock price growth had employees that were more confident in the organization. They believed in their leaders and felt a deeper connection with those leaders were ultimately more engaged. So already we're starting to see this connection and pattern between business performance and employee experience. We also know that a lot of companies aren't public, so we wanted to look at what this may look like in regards to private organizations. And to do that, we actually looked at organizations that defined themselves as a tech startup and then analyze the funding they have received. To do this, we looked at all venture backed companies identified when they received funding and how much funding they received. And similar to stock price, we found companies that receive funding have employees that are on average more engaged, more confident in the company. They feel a culture of innovation and motivation as it relates to innovation. Their ultimately have greater belief in their leaders as well. And this definitely helps to pull that association between the two. There's a clear relationship between those that receive funding and those that didn't. But this only demonstrates that employees are more positive at the time of fund raising. And this leaves us with the question of what comes first. Do great cultures create more valuable organizations, or do more valuable organizations naturally go on to create better cultures and better experiences for their employees? To answer this question. We actually followed the data for three years to find out which comes first. So we isolated those that didn't receive funding in 2020 from those that didn't, and then look back at their employee experience and culture up to three years before actually receiving the funding. The solid lines that you can see on screen here are favorability scores on those organizations that ultimately went on to receive funding. These dashed lines reflect those that did not go on to receive funding. And as you can see, there is a wide gap between the employee experience of those that receive funding versus those that didn't receive funding. And we can see that experience all the way back to 2017. Given this gap can be a little bit hard to read. We're going to jump to the next slide so we can just pull out all the key takeaways here. The longitudinal research that we just showed on the previous slide tells us that having a culture that emphasizes innovation makes you more likely to receive funding rather than having an injection of cash, makes you more likely to be innovative as a company. It also tells us that leaders that communicate a strong vision and instill confidence in their employees are more likely to secure funding rather than the other way around. Funding increase doesn't necessarily increase employees confidence in leaders. And then lastly, I think a really important data point, employees are capable of recognizing companies that are going to be successful rather than raising funds. Gives employees clear confidence in the company's prospects. And so that ultimately tells us that employees perceptions of company confidence pre-date and can predict in some ways quite a large time our overall likelihood to receive funding. So my takeaway here is that companies that are hoping to raise funds should focus on finding and training strong leaders and creating a culture of innovation. On top of that, trust your people. If employees are not confident in the company or its products or its processes, recognize that their perception is an accurate and validated point. Ultimately, ask what you can do to change it. And I think what's really important here is this is where we as people and experience experts, begin to play an active role in creating that ultimately a better business that achieves business outcomes in more direct and tangible ways that maybe what we have always thought about historically. I'd love to throw back to you and just get your thoughts on whether there are any broader implications for the findings that we have seen here today and what your takeaway is from it.

Dr. Melissa: [00:40:25] Yeah, thanks, Gavin. Just saying Tom's comment there, I'm the same. I've read the report and I've read these slides a number of times, but these last few slides just really hit home in terms of the importance of the employee experience. I mean, I think for those on the call today that work in this space, day in, day out, this is what it's about. So I think it's if you are wanting to raise funds and thinking about that employee experience is so incredibly important. And it comes back to we see the similar themes through these slides about the importance of leadership. So are you building great leaders? Are they leaders that employees have confidence in? Do they communicate that strong vision? Do you have the leaders that you need? And I think the other part around that with this one in particular is that the culture of innovation. So how do you encourage that within the organization that making mistakes is okay and that people are encouraged to try new things out? So yeah, I think all of this just really comes back to that importance of the employee experience and how we proactively manage that and think about that within our organizations.

Gavin: [00:41:25] Absolutely. And I think one of the things that I really jumped out to me when I read it is that we're seeing this trend that organizations, as it relates to funding, as it relates to business growth, are constantly beginning to be more evaluated on a balanced scorecard. So this idea that it's not just about what you do from a profitability perspective, it's also about your corporate social responsibility. And I think for me, employees spend so much time at work. We also know there's this clear relationship between overall business outcomes and the employee experience is that will we begin to evaluate organizations more transparently and more directly when we think about things like funding or investment as it relates to the employee experience, just given that those data points are so closely connected and that can provide a wealth of experience, and hopefully that ultimately builds the business case for organizations to spend more time getting these things right, which has not gone effect more broadly for our society, because how you spend your time at work is a big part of your day. So having a great time in the way that you spend that, spend that and ultimately being rewarded, recognized, feeling like you have that sense of progress in your organization. So important for creating the type of environment society that we ultimately want to see. So that really excites me having that data point there. I'm going to go now to the chat. So what I would love to hear from everyone today is what's one thing you're going to take away from you from the discussion. So I think there's a lot of great insights here, but I just love to hear what resonated most with everyone today. It is a bit of a loaded question because we have gone through a lot of data as well, so don't feel like we need to have fully thought out answers. It can be one word answers as well.

Dr. Melissa: [00:43:15] Why people are adding it into the chat. I think my one thing that I'm taking away from this discussion, just thinking about culture amp from where we're at, where we're at, is just that importance of recognition. And I think how we do that in a meaningful way as you scale, as you said, people know each other less well. So I think my big takeaway today, listening to you, Gavin, and thinking about this session, is just coming back to that that importance of recognition.

Gavin: [00:43:40] Absolutely recognition, you know, in a bigger pool of people as well. With that growth, how do you how do you recognize and reward people in a meaningful way, which is you know, it sounds really basic, but it's really challenging to get right. And we see that is a challenge in development and support can come from leaders. It can also come from structures and processes. And finding that balance is challenging. So a bit more formally, my key takeaways that I wanted to share as well. We can say confidently that perceptions of senior leaders, confidence in the company and product and a culture of innovation ultimately precede monetary success, whether that's either through funding or stock price. And from thousands of companies, we know that what employees want and need as the company grows does change depending on the stage of the company is at. And whether we're looking at things like funding stage, company size or growth. Check out the Culture Crunch report for much more detailed insights on those particular areas and topics that we didn't have time to cover too much today. But really taking that nuanced lens to where does my organization fit? What can I learn from this? And then in absence of being able to start getting that feedback from employees straight away, where can I really begin to have impact and take action based on my assumptions or hypotheses? Now, I know you already shared a key takeaway with us, but was there anything else you did want to share with us before we go on to Q&A as it relates to your takeaways at all?

Dr. Melissa: [00:45:00] Now, I just loving reading those comments in there, that importance of leadership. Every everything comes back to leadership in a lot of instances, doesn't it? But then back to you, Hamish, to close us out.

Hamish: [00:45:11] Yeah, definitely. Thanks so much. So I guess as we wrap up today, I do want to encourage everyone to download the Full Culture Crunch report just so you have a lot of this helpful information as well in the report. Obviously, we will go goes into more detail on key trends that we discussed today. I know we threw out a lot of great information. You know, it's not always easy to retain all of it straight away. So please download this. Yeah. And that's a that's a wrap. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining. And thanks to our wonderful guests, Gavin and Mel. You guys are amazing and hopefully see you soon at our next event.

Gavin: [00:45:45] So thank you all. Thank you, Mel. Thank you, Hamish.

Dr. Melissa: [00:45:48] Thanks, everyone.

Gavin: [00:45:49] Bye.

Hamish: [00:45:50] Bye.