How do you measure company values?


4In our role as development consultants to organisations we see many different cultures – some highly effective, some not so. The interesting thing about a culture is the way it evolves – a strong leader or leaders, the development of best practice, a strong set of company values, intense promotion of the brand and what it stands for or maybe something else. As Peter Cheese, the chief executive of the CIPD, reported in a recent article –

Culture in the workplace is among the biggest challenges facing organisations and their leaders.

The culture will often attract like-minded people and those that don’t buy into it seek employment elsewhere. When a culture becomes restrictive, or is causing the organisation to lag behind its competitors or has become financially unviable there are attempts to change the culture but how? Even where a culture is healthy and strong it can be difficult to measure individual compliance. It’s not uncommon to take a look around a workplace where values are displayed for all to see yet observe behaviours which bear no relation to them at all. An example of this is a company with a high value around communication. So high was this value that everyone in the organisation was focused on communicating just about everything to everybody, clogging up email inboxes. Often the communication was one way and there was an obvious lack of focus on the results of the communication. As long as communication had taken place, job done!

So how do you measure values?

Behind every value is a set of behavioural traits. If you can determine the behavioural expectations that are linked with the values then measurement can be a simple process. Dan Harrison has spent over 20 years studying what makes people successful in their roles. Besides being eligible in terms of qualifications and experience, success is the result of a number of suitability factors – working preferences, motivations, interpersonal skills, interests, work values and attitudes. Harrison Assessments is designed specifically to assess success in the workplace based on enjoyment theory: the more we enjoy what we do, the more successful we will be and the more we are likely to commit to our role. The online SmartQuestionnaire™ has a consistency rating which ensures a very high degree of accuracy and cross matches 175 traits based on the suitability factors mentioned above.

It’s a simple process!

  • Outline cultural expectations in line with organisational values
  • Work with Quadrant 1 to produce a cultural profile
  • Ask all employees to take the SmartQuestionnaire™
  • Run results for each person against the profile

To fully integrate cultural values consider including the Harrison traits into your appraisal document. This ensures that performance is appraised and behaviour continually aligned with values.


  • Highly motivated staff that know exactly what is expected of them
  • The opportunity to have conversations around attitudes and working preferences which may previously have been avoided
  • Opportunities for development
  • The opportunity to pick up mismatches before engaging staff who may leave due to cultural discomfort thus saving all the associated costs of re-recruitment