The quickest way to measure your corporate culture

One of the biggest challenges in corporate culture is finding ways to effectively measure and gauge the strength of your culture. Over the past decade companies have used various survey methodologies in an attempt to uncover the truth about their cultures with the most popular one being an Employee Engagement Survey. The problem is that these surveys are time consuming, difficulty to analyze without outside support, and require a fair investment to implement.

The answer for companies who aren’t ready to take the plunge into instituting a full-blown employee engagement survey actually comes from the world of customer experience. By combining two questions together you can create an easy to use survey that’s fast and efficient, and so simple to complete that your response level will also be considerably higher (important with any type of survey).

First, we need to talk about the Net Promoter Score (NPS).  NPS was designed to measure how likely clients are to recommend a product or service to a friend. Satmetrix Systems, the company behind NPS, researched companies that experienced above average profitable growth and their research showed that customers who answered one simple question with a 9 or 10, are promoters of your business, customers who answer 7 or 8 are passive, and anyone that ranks your company 6 or less is actually a detractor – they are highly likely to actively recommend that people not do business with you. The question, “How likely are you to recommend our product or service to a friend or colleague?”

Here’s how to modify the NPS for a simple corporate culture survey: take the Net Promoter Score question and alter it slightly to focus on your employees’ perception of your business instead of your customers:

1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend to a friend or family member that they come work at our company?

2. If you gave a score of 8 or less, what would need to change in order for your answer to be a 9 or 10?

Using these two questions you can rapidly put a corporate culture survey in place. Although this will not give you the richness of a full Employee Engagement Survey, these two questions will provide you valuable insight into the core areas that you need to pay attention to now.

*If you’re interested in learning more about Net Promoter Score, Harvard Business Review has a fantastic article that summarizes the entire concept entitled, “One Number You Need to Grow” .

This guest post was written by:

Mike Desjardins

Mike Desjardins is the Driver (CEO) at ViRTUS (, an organizational development consulting firm with expertise in strategic planning and implementation, leadership development, change management and succession planning for medium to large organizations. He regularly blogs at


One response to “The quickest way to measure your corporate culture

  1. …And for those of us (most of us) with a Two Minute Attention Span, can I suggest this resource? It’s all about the Net Promoter Score, but in a handy cartoon version!

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