I recently attended Sunrise for Students, an annual breakfast through PRSA Colorado that raises funds to support Colorado State University’s PRSSA chapter. This year, the event focused on company culture and featured Steve Hammack and David Gilles, both communications supervisors at DaVita HealthCare partners. DaVita is a Fortune 500® company that provides a variety of health care services to patient populations throughout the U.S. and abroad.
DaVita is recognized internationally for its strong and inspiring culture. At the Sunrise for Students event, Steve and David shared many of the same lessons my colleague Amanda Meyer highlighted in her blog post earlier this year about a “Creating a Culture of Community” workshop at DaVita.
Steve and David also shared the role measurement plays in DaVita’s culture. Measurement isn’t a concept that’s typically associated with culture, but Steve and David make a very convincing case for why it should be. Put simply, measurement is the only real way to know if something is working, and this is just as true for a company’s culture as it is for its advertising efforts, sales growth and anything else that typically lives and dies by quantifiable metrics.
At DaVita, every single aspect of the company’s culture is measurable and measured, from employee email open rates to event attendance to intranet use. This data is used to re-think things that aren’t working and put more effort behind the things that are working. This type of data gathering and analysis is second nature in business, but not always in corporate culture. However, the fact that this type of measurement can often be done in the form of quick, easy employee surveys and can mean the difference between thinking a company’s culture is one of greatness and actually knowing if that’s the case can be invaluable. After all, performance is directly tied to employee happiness.
Measuring culture will likely mean a mindset shift for many organizations, but it’s one with a potential ROI that shouldn’t be ignored.