AI Can Measure and Improve Corporate Culture

AI Can Measure and Improve Corporate Culture

March 28, 2024
"The workforce is stressed, but using readily available data companies can change that," says Tim Glowa , CEO of HRbrain.ai.

A company’s DNA, or better known as corporate culture, can be the determining factor in how employees experience their workplace. Employee experience is a newer term and covers a broad range including how employees are trained, their physical workspace, as well as the technology and services they receive to support their work. 

How is the workforce currently doing?

A survey released by HRbrain.ai, “State of Work Today,” reported some startling statistics. When asked about foundational culture issues such as trust, workforce environment and the value of their input, the results are as follows:

  • 38% of employees trust the decisions made by their company's senior leadership.
  • 37% of employees would describe their corporate culture as toxic.
  • 58% of employees do not feel their voice is heard at work. 

“These surprising numbers show a workforce that is under stress,’ explains Tim Glowa, founder and CEO of HRbrain.ai. “Given the emphasis on psychological safety, if an employee doesn’t feel confident and comfortable at work and is unable to be their authentic self, they will be less engaged and not able to perform at their optimal levels.”

Glowa notes that employee engagement is a behavioral metric that shows the level of commitment an employee has toward the company. “It revolves around 1) saying good things about your company to other people 2) going above and beyond in daily work activities and 3) an intense desire to stay with the company,” explains Glowa.

Figuring out how to achieve that level of employee involvement was what interested Glowa. His entire career, which included leadership roles at large consulting firms, has specialized in human capital and talent management. So, when technology in the form of AI, became more accessible Glowa knew it could provide insights to help companies determine where they were in terms of their culture and then figure out how to improve. 

How AI Can Help

“Companies have an untapped, vast source of information in their HRIS systems,” says Glowa. “A company has demographic, salary, career advancement and turnover information which are factors that directly determine an employee’s level of engagement. We can analyze that data and provide what we call a flight risk probability for employees. That will help a company to proactively look at retention strategies.”  

And that flight risk translates to real costs. Glowa notes there is an average 35% turnover rate and the cost replacing an employee amounts to anywhere from 50-200% of their salary. With the average salary being $75,000, every point reduction in the turnover rate can save $375,000. 

In addition to the HRIS system, AI can help analyze employee surveys and other forms of feedback, both internal and external. While companies might not think external data is important, they might need to think again. The State of Work survey found that 75% of job candidates reported researching a company on Glassdoor at some point during the recruitment process.  And 30% of those who did this research stopped considering a job because of it.  "There is a lot more transparency into companies with sites such as these. And with a long-term talent shortage, it’s extremely important to be an employer of choice,” says Glowa. 

The advantage of far-reaching technology like AI is that it is able to analyze a great deal of data in a short period of time. Taking advantage of this capability, Glowa notes that his solution can assess a variety of sources against 15 different corporate culture dimensions, including leadership, ethics, DE&I and come up with an overall metric which classifies a company on the spectrum between toxic and high performing. 

Once a company has a baseline it can review if there are any biases that are contributing to a less than ideal culture. “Looking across all forms of communication such as training documents as well as job descriptions, we can identify words that unconsciously make employees feel uncomfortable. There might be unconscious gender, ethnic or cultural biases in particular word choices.”

Discovering those biases might not seem to be a business imperative, in today’s world it is. HRBrain’s State of Work study found that when asked if a company’s commitment to DE&I strategies influences their decision on who to work for 51% agreed that it did. Other studies, such as one from McKinsey, found that organizations that are more gender diverse are more profitable.  And a Morningstar survey found that companies with equal number of men and women on boards achieve higher stock returns.

Future Workforce Management

 Using the data brought in through AI can help companies not only improve current conditions, but also help create a roadmap for the future. “As a society, our workforce is aging,” notes Glowa. “The average worker today is 42, and even higher in some industries, so each company needs to take a close look at its demographics and plan accordingly. While right now we might be in a business cycle where layoffs are high, that is not the case in the long-term as we will face worker shortages.”

Glowa sees AI as a key tool for future talent management. "Technological advancements, particularly in AI, will play a pivotal role in leadership strategies. While there are always risks with AI, such as the issues of data privacy and breaches, as well as misinformation, generally speaking  AI-driven transformation teams will be essential in maintaining organizational agility, while AI tools in employee training and development promise substantial efficiency gains.”Using this technology to improve a corporate culture, which in turn creates a favorable environment for employees, seems to be the best use case, says Glowa. 

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