Measuring the metrics of a connected culture

Ever wondered how you measure the impact of 'culture'? Look no further

Measuring the metrics of a connected culture

How do you measure the impact of ‘culture’?

For some HR leaders, the thought of definitively and analytically proving the ROI of authentic engagement is daunting.

But for Laura Salvatore, associate Vice President of Human Capital at Centurion Asset Management and recipient of our HR Award for the Best Talent Management Strategy, it’s all in a day’s work.

“I’ve been with the organization for almost nine years now,” Salvatore told HRD.

“And throughout this time, we've been committed to strengthening our corporate culture, and fostering a real sense of community across the organization.”

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One of Centurion’s core values is respect – respect for both their employees and their customers.

“We know that our people are our greatest asset. As such, we want to ensure they feel valued and engaged in their roles.

“One way we've been able to accomplish this is by giving our employees meaningful work – work which allows them to see how they contribute directly to the organization’s success.”

Salvatore went on to explain that at Centurion, they’re big believers in letting employees take full ownership of their tasks.

“We encourage our teams to share insights, ideas and knowledge between each other – this really helps facilitate collaboration across the whole business,” she told HRD.

“As an organization, we are also really focused on measuring the success of the various HR initiatives that we implement.

“For instance, we asked employees how likely it is that they'll still be working at Centurion in a year – 90% said that it was highly likely. Just compare that to the industry average of 84%.”

What’s more, Salvatore revealed that annual turnover at Centurion fell from 18% to just six percent – an unbelievable feat considering the rise in remote work and all the upheaval this brings.

Working from home has become the norm in Canada, as it has across most of the world, as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

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And while this pivot helped businesses retain staff and stay in the market, it also caused concern amongst senior leaders in regards to productivity, morale and collaboration.

“We made the health and safety of our employees, and their families, our number one priority from early on,” revealed Salvatore.

“We actually made the decision back in January to begin preparing our employees for a full shift to working from home, which was something that we had never ever permitted before, even on an occasional basis.”

Salvatore explained to HRD that this included investing a significant amount into upgrading networks and systems in order to ensure the remote workforce would be supported.

“Employees were provided with all the equipment they needed to be able to successfully transition to working from home,” she added. “Including a $250 non-taxable benefit for each worker in case they needed to buy additional office equipment to be able to work from home effectively.”

With this kind of individualized commitment to forward-planning, it’s little wonder that Centurion was awarded the Best Talent Management Strategy at our recent virtual ceremony.

Salvatore revealed that their success hangs on three key pillars; attract, develop and retain.

“We know that employees want to work for companies that truly care about their personal development,” she told HRD.

“When employees feel that their career trajectory has stalled, that's when they tend to become dissatisfied with their jobs and look for an out.

“As an organization, one way we promote employee development is through cross training and job shadowing. This gives employees the opportunity to further their business knowledge of different roles and departments within the organization - as well as build meaningful connections across the company.”

Salvatore also expressed Centurion’s commitment to mentoring and coaching.

“We have employees meet with their managers regularly,” she continued. “We like to encourage them to speak about their future career path, objectives and individual goals.

“Finally, at Centurion, we promote a collaborative workforce. We like employees to learn new skills from each other, helping them further their existing knowledge. This in turn leads to a lot of in-house promotions – this year alone we promoted 18% of our people to a higher role.”

As for the future? Salvatore believes it all comes down to constant evolution and self-improvement for the organization.

“I think a lot of our focus this year, will be on how we can improve employees’ work from home experience,” she added.

“We need to ask ourselves; ‘What else can we offer our people that we're not already doing? ‘What can we do to better support everyone from a distance and encourage productivity while also ensuring that they continue to feel connected and engaged?’

“COVID-19 taught us was that it's no longer important that our employees live in Downtown Toronto.

“This means we're now able to expand our recruiting efforts to draw from a much larger candidate pool than we've ever had access to before - which obviously allows us to bring in new perspectives and ideas.

“Honestly, I think this will just further enable us to continue thinking innovatively and pushing the business forward.”

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