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Managing culture through behavioural science

Updated: May 14, 2021

Culture is a hot topic for boards and executives because of what can happen when culture goes wrong. There are many recent examples of the consequences of a bad organisational culture.

Strategic planning is often undertaken without considering the repercussions of unhealthy culture. Without a solid foundation of culture, strategy can fail to deliver. Culture is what happens when the CEO leaves the room. It is the beliefs and attitudes of your employees. It is how they feel, how they think, their habits, which leads to the outcomes your team produces.

  • When was the last time you evaluated your workplace culture?

  • How do you bring your culture to life?

  • How are culture and values embedded throughout an employee’s every day experience?

Shifting culture One way to look at shifting culture is ‘top-down’, being the thinking that when the culture shifts, so do the behaviours and flow-on effects on performance. This is certainly true and useful.

But another way to look at it is ‘bottom-up’, shifting individual behaviour that then aggregates into cultural change. This behavioural lens of culture reverses the traditional way of thinking about change by placing the emphasis on behaviour. It’s hard to put in a single mechanism to change the amorphous concept of culture. It’s easier to implement a mechanism to change a particular behaviour.

Taking a behavioural view of culture change makes it easier to nudge, shift and measure behaviour.

Measuring culture

Standard measures such as employee Net Promoter Score and workplace satisfaction are useful to measure culture, to a certain extent. But at PentaQuest we go beyond that.

We view, measure and shift culture by:

  • Understanding how culture and organisational outcomes are linked

  • Breaking down outcomes into measurable results

  • Identifying which behaviours lead to those results

  • Nudging those behaviours through gamification

This approach has delivered quantifiable results for clients in as little as 30 days, more here.

If you’d like to learn more about this approach to culture, get in touch here.

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