Issue No. 07, brought to you by Culture Amp
This is the seventh issue of
weekly email updating you on all the best #peoplegeek news around.
"Who and how a company hires is the most valuable compounding asset in a company and the greatest contributor to sustainable differentiation." – Susan Wu @sw
At Culture Amp we love getting our hands deep in data. Last year we did an extra deep dive with Box to look at what their key retention drivers were. It was a "moneyball" exercise of sorts and we found "among our Employee Engagement Index questions, the best predictor was whether people could still see themselves at the company in two years." Hmm, no surprise really. More interestingly though, further results suggested that team and cooperation focused questions were the top predictors of retention, followed closely by belief in career opportunities at Box.
One of the common perks about working for a startup in the Valley is having free lunch provided (often breakfast and dinner too). San Francisco-based startup Zendesk decided to buck the trend because it "wanted our people to get out of the office and support the little ground-floor retail businesses that are so important to a neighborhood." It also has a no dinner at the office policy, so people go home and spend time with their families.
Interesting read on why most HR data is bad data, because we often "rate" people on performance. Turns out that "over the last fifteen years a significant body of research has demonstrated that each of us is a disturbingly unreliable rater of other people’s performance." This phenomenon even has a name the "Idiosyncratic Rater Effect". "For those of us who want HR to be known as a purveyor of good data – data on which you can actually run a business – these changes cannot come soon enough," the piece concludes (and we absolutely agree!)
A great insight into Mailchimp's "permission to be creative" culture, one of the keys to its success. Its "loose creative culture has also gone hand-in-hand with a deliberate, profits-first approach to growth, that, last year, paid off for MailChimp's 100 employees in ways that went far beyond job satisfaction." The team, despite its size and success, has created an environment that allows for, and encourages, acting on spontaneous creativity. Its tips for staying creative include avoiding rules and hiring weird people.
The CEO of Clari, Andy Byrne, talks about ROC (Return on Culture) which he says is "every bit as worthy of management attention as traditional Return on Investment (ROI).” He starts with the cost of an initiative in time and money and "evaluates results like team buzz, enthusiasm, participation, and – most important – did the action lead to other actions?” When it comes to expensive monitors and chairs he says they are a “high cost for little long-term excitement." Ultimately the cost benefit of a great culture is the elimination of friction. His top tips for creating a strong culture are making it easy to say “yes”, team building and giving people the opportunity for personal growth.
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