What we learned about Culture by Design and People Analytics


Illustrations by Franzi Sessler

Words by Tony Gui

“Don’t fuck up the culture” – Peter Thiel

Designing and sustaining culture in the rapidly changing startup environment is the difference between thriving or barely surviving. If money is not the most important value for Millennials, companies are beginning to ask, how might we create culture? How might we understand the values of the company and the values of the employees? How might we use data and analytics to inform our culture strategy?

As part of the Culture Design Series, Culture Labx hosted another impressive workshop at General Assembly San Francisco. Steven Huang and Chloe Hamman from Culture Amp led an evening workshop about designing the right personal and company culture, the latest trends in surveys, and storytelling with People Data.

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1)   Dealing with people is not linear, it requires an exercise of creativity. You can’t solve people problems with just using logic.

2)   Defining your own person values can help inform the work values you want to create. Don’t just hire a marketing team to come up with values such as integrity or teamwork, they are great but are really hard to implement. How will you anchor the values into your company?

3)   If you can measure your culture, you can manage your culture. You can learn fast by getting feedback through surveys.

4)   Have the courage to show vulnerability.

5)   Design values that are aligned to your mission, are owned by everyone, and can be seen in active behavior.

6)   Internal mobility can motivate people to know they are learning new things and making progression.

7)   A strong driver for retention is empowering staff to make bold decisions and to give the opportunity to develop skills relevant to their interest.

8)   Monetary compensation is rarely a factor for retention.

“Culture is strategic – it is built for purpose” – Culture Amp