“In today’s war for talent, companies need to understand why people choose to join your organisation, or leave it to join a competitor.”
Nick Matthews is a Team Leader for Culture Amp’s EMEA team, based in London, as well as an advisor, consultant and influencer in the HR tech space. We got a chance to have him as a speaker at our Digital HR & Human Connection event in September this year, and interview him a few weeks later. In this interview with Nick, he shared his thoughts and advice on current trends in the industry and how Culture Amp fits into the grand scheme of HR things.
Nick, what is Culture Amp and what’s your role within the team?
Culture Amp is a powerfully simple platform for employee feedback and analytics. Our main focus is on employee engagement and company culture, and how these two correlate together. Our Employee Effectiveness tool collects feedback from managers and employees to help not only the company itself, but also each and every individual within the company to figure where they can improve. In a nutshell, we measure employee perceptions about the workplace. This way we provide real data and genuine insight on the company’s most important asset: people.
We have traditionally been very strong in the New Tech industry where companies have been using data to inform their people strategy and business decisions for some time, however more traditional industries are now catching up. I run the European team based in London, working with our customers and supporting the local People Geek community.
Who do you have in your team and what are their roles?
Culture Amp has 100 people and four offices globally: Melbourne (HQ), San Francisco, New York and London. Our team draws on deep knowledge in psychology, statistics, UX and engineering to help the most innovative organisations in the world to put culture first. In London we have Strategy and Insights, as well as Sales and Customer Success team members.
What are the main HR & engagement challenges of the businesses you meet?
We consistently find in our data across our 750 customer base that Learning and Development and Leadership have the greatest impact on employee engagement scores. Specifically, whether the company supports their employees’ professional development (or not), and whether leaders demonstrate that people are important to the company’s success.
In today’s war for talent, companies need to understand why people choose to join your organisation, or leave it to join a competitor. Defining your People strategy around this data is critical for defining the right attraction and retention initiatives.
From your experience, what is the best way for employers to understand what’s important to their people?
People are the largest global expense for organisations, and a source of advantage that is hard to copy. But today’s solutions are either slow, complex and expensive, or fun tools that don’t get to the heart of what matters. We recommend doing a yearly, or bi-annual engagement survey to get a good baseline of understanding of their overall engagement and areas of focus. Then picking a few of the most impactful areas to focus on that you believe can enact real change. That’s where Culture Amp comes in. The people data and analytics that we provide in our reporting is really accessible and simple to understand. This is key, as our end goal is to allow people to take action on the data. If you spend all your time trying to collect and analyse your data, you miss out on why you collected it in the first place.
Most of our customers also run smaller pulse surveys to understand whether their actions are impacting their areas of focus. Outside of this, use onboarding and exit surveys to understand why people are joining and leaving your organisation.
In your opinion, what will be the main HR trends in upcoming years for SMEs?
Since the dawn of the industrial era, most organisations have relied on quarterly financial metrics to make strategic decisions, with the CFO having a powerful role at the Executive level. Since the turn of the century, the rise of real time data for Marketing and Operations have made the CMO and COO equally as important at the Executive level. However these sets of data only provide real time, or lag indicators of future success. In today’s increasingly digital world, one of the only true leading indicators of your future success is your people data.
User experience is also a must for today’s tech savvy world. HR Tools and processes not only have to be functional, but employees should love to use them.
What’s the most important piece of advice you can give to CEOs, HR managers or anyone else dealing with HR in a company of any size?
Brand is a promise to your customer, and culture is how you deliver on that promise. Once you have great insight from your people data, just focus on one thing.
Read more about Culture Amp here.
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From Marija Butkovic
Marian Bloodworth is a partner at law firm Kemp Little. She advises clients on the employment law implications and challenges of regulatory regime requirements. Marian is an active participant in employment and HR associations outside Kemp Little, and is chair of the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) Training Committee, co-chair of the City HR Consultation, Legislation and Policy Committee, as well as member of ELA’s Management Committee. She has a particular interest in family leave, diversity and equal opportunities and writes and speaks regularly on these topics.