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What are the best ways to measure company culture?

Maintaining a healthy company culture is key, but new research shows that CLOs and investors have different opinions on how best to evaluate it.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 06 October 2020 Corporate Counsel
What are the best ways to measure company culture?
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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and global communications firm Edelman have released the first joint Trust in Business Report, a survey of chief legal officers (CLOs) and institutional investors on their perceptions of how to increase public trust in businesses.

The report is the “first collaboration of its kind”, ACC said in a statement, measuring the factors that impact corporate trust from the perspective of chief legal officers (CLOs) and institutional investors. It draws on ACC’s 2020 CLO Survey and Edelman’s 2019 Trust Barometer.

Last week, Lawyers Weekly reported that the report had outlined the vastly different views between CLOs and institutional investors when it comes to the importance of increasing diversity.



When asked what metrics or methods a company uses, or should use, to evaluate corporate culture and the success of a company’s human capital management practices, almost all (91) of CLOs said employee engagement surveys, compared to just 47 per cent of institutional investors. There was also a stark difference in uptake for speaking with current employees at all levels, with 75 per cent of CLOs doing this compared to just 47 per cent of investors.

CLOs were also more likely than investors to speak with senior leadership (67 per cent versus 51 per cent), examine the voluntary employee turnover rate (60 per cent versus 39 per cent) and consider the workforce diversity percentages (55 per cent versus 40 per cent).

Less than half of both CLOs and institutional investors like to monitor employee social media sites, such as Indeed, but 48 per cent of CLOs and 41 per cent of investors adopt this approach to evaluate corporate culture.

However, institutional investors were more likely than CLOs to utilise best places to work rankings (42 per cent versus 37 per cent), or speak with ex-employees (33 per cent versus 30 per cent).


It is hard to surmise, ACC and Edelman mused, whether CLOs or investors have a better gauge on how best to measure company culture.

However, it noted, “CLOs may be closer to the human resources office (or at least to the chief human resources officer) and know what tools are considered reliable – or, shall we say, trustworthy”.

“Another idea: why not use more than one of these methods? Triangulated results may be even more trustworthy,” the report suggested.

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