It takes data, technique, and effort to change the game. Let us help you in your efforts to make a positive change in your workplace culture.
- Be a game-changer!
- Be a workforce expert.
- Expand your team to expand your impact.
- Are your organizational values an asset or a liability?
- Brief Up! #1 - Don’t Bury the Lead
- Brief Up! #2 - Structuring Your Argument
Be a game-changer!
Use data and insights to drive positive change in your organization.
Every group, team, community and organization has a culture - the written and (mostly) unwritten rules and norms that govern the way people interact, communicate and resolve conflict. Culture is a powerful force that can be impacted by individuals with a vision for how things can work better for everyone. We call those people game-changers.
You don’t have to have official power or authority to be a game-changer. You’ve likely worked with people who have an infectious positive outlook or commitment to quality that rubs off on everyone around them. That’s one example of how culture is created. But bigger changes in culture can be harder, and even small changes can take a team approach, multiple game-changers and their allies working together towards a shared vision.
One of the tough things about getting people to work together is getting them to agree on what change looks like and what it will take. The business maxim “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” comes to mind. If you are going to organize people to improve customer service, you’re going to have to define what customer service is and how well you are doing it, or not doing it today.
That’s what Emtrain Analytics is here for. To give game-changers and aspiring game-changers the tools to define what a good culture looks like, to measure how we’re doing today, and to create a vision of where you want to go.
We’ve organized our measurement of healthy culture around the prosocial behaviors that create healthy, respectful, inclusive organizations. It’s a research-based framework that measures the prevalence of 16 behavioral indicators and recommends the skills to improve them.
You’re welcome to adopt the whole framework as your own, or to pick and choose the indicators and skill-building content that support your vision for a healthy, prosocial workplace. Either way, there are powerful insights for game-changers available here, as well as helpful advice and techniques you’ll find in the other game-changer articles.
Become a workforce expert.
Everybody has an opinion about what the workforce thinks. Be the person with the facts.
You know what they say about opinions. Everyone has one. When trying to drive change across an organization, opinions can be the death of progress. If we can’t agree on the current state of the workplace experience, it’s hard to agree on the actions we need to take to improve it. Even worse, if we all have the same opinion (groupthink) and it’s wrong, our action plan may make the situation worse instead of better.
Emtrain Analytics is a resource that can provide a fact base to any conversation about the health of your culture and how your people experience it.
Sometimes data has the most impact when it adds clarity to a conversation in-progress. Spending time understanding the workplace social indicator scores and their behaviors can help you see in real-time when a discussion about your workforce is related to the attitudes, behaviors and skills that are measured by your indicator scores. That can allow you to provide a data-informed perspective to what might have been another opinion-based discussion.
Cultures are constantly evolving. New joiners bring new experience and perspectives. Outside events put pressure on cultural norms. Changes in the larger economy require changes in business plans. If you’re delivering ongoing training from the Emtrain library, as part of new hire programs, ongoing talent development or a rolling approach to compliance training, you can use Emtrain Analytics indicator and question scores to track changes over time. Keeping an eye on those changes can help you provide data to inform others about how your workforce is responding to change
Do your research
The social health of your organization impacts any goal or plan that requires the coordinated action of your people - which is pretty much everything! We use factor analysis to combine the responses to individual questions for indicator scores. But the data from individual questions provides a wealth of insight on specific workplace attitudes and behaviors. If you or someone you work with has a question about the employee experience, try browsing the individual question reports for insight.
Developing a reputation as a person who speaks with a data-informed perspective is a great way to grow your impact as a game-changer. Emtrain Analytics can be a powerful tool in making you a go-to resource on the attitudes and behaviors of your workforce.
Expand your team to expand your impact.
Whose job is workplace culture? Is it yours?
In some organizations culture is in the title or job description of a few people. Maybe it’s in yours. But there may be some key people in your workplace who could get real value from the data about workforce attitudes and behaviors that’s captured in Emtrain Analytics. You might work closely with them today, or you might be operating in parallel but disconnected paths. By reaching out to share what you’ve learned and what’s available, you can amplify your impact and grow your game-changer team.
You may already fill one or more of these seats, but have you connected with…
The DEI team
These folks have a big stake in building a better workplace experience, but often lack robust data that goes beyond measuring diversity to quantify the experience of inclusion for different demographic groups.
HR Businesses Partners are at the leading edge of culture, helping functional leaders build and retain talent and create productive, energized teams. Give them a predictive view into the health of their function and how it compares to others and they can act more strategically.
The Legal Team
The data in Emtrain Analytics can provide valuable insight to the team who is responsible for managing organizational risk. Data-driven recommendations can identify skill-building actions that reduce the risk of antisocial behavior crossing the line to illegal behavior.
The prosocial skills measured in indicator scores are foundational for management and leadership development and an important part of onboarding new employees to your organizational culture. Make sure your friends in L&D have access to scores and content recommendations..
Analytics have valuable insights on group and social dynamics for leaders of ERGs and are great partners in identifying solutions for areas where scores show that specific demographic groups are experiencing less respect or inclusion in the workplace.
Every business function has goals that are only achievable with coordinated action. Help them identify behaviors that may be blocking their team’s top performance with preventable social friction.
A healthy culture benefits everyone. Make sure your organization gets the full value of the data and insights collected in Emtrain analytics and level-up your game-changer status!
Are your organizational values an asset or a liability?
Emtrain Analytics can help you measure, monitor and strengthen your organization’s values.
Values statements are a common way that organizations set expectations for the behavior they expect of their members. When stated values are lived by members and leaders, they can be a powerful tool for creating belonging and guiding ethical behavior. When values only exist as talking points, they can do the opposite - inspiring cynicism and distrust. Emtrain Analytics can help you measure behaviors that align with your organization's values so you can determine if your values are working for or against you.
Here’s a list of some of the most common organizational values.
If your company values include Respect, Diversity, Accountability or Integrity, you can find direct measures of these behaviors in Emtrain Analytics.
Competency - Respect
Indicator - Valuing Diversity
Indicator - Instilling Accountability
Indicator - Demonstrating Integrity
For other values, you might have to look a little deeper to find relevant measures. Here’s a couple of other places to look.
Look horizontally across the indicator matrix for dimension. The indicators on each of these rows are designed to measure skills and behaviors at different levels of social complexity: Individual, Interpersonal, Team and Organization. If Teamwork is one of your company values, look at how you’re doing on the indicators in the Enabling Teams dimension.
You may also find indicators that are a part of, or are related to one of your values. Looking at how your org defines those values may help you make the connection. For example, Curiosity and Empathy are two of the key skills that power innovation, so you might look at your scores in those areas to gain insight into how you’re living the innovation value.
You may also find specific questions that ask about one of your values. The questions powering your indicator scores will vary based on the content you have deployed, but there is a wealth of data available on specific issues and perusing the question report may turn up data that directly relates to a relevant organizational behavior, including longitudinal data about how that score is changing over time.
It is not uncommon for leaders to have a skewed perspective on whether the team. is living, and living up to its stated values. Bringing data to the table is a great way to spark a conversation that can lead to positive organizational growth.
Brief Up! #1 - Don’t Bury the Lead
Expert advice on creating game-changing executive briefing with Emtrain Analytics.
Being an executive in even a small organization is an exercise in attention management. There are so many things you can, could, should, might, need-to or have-to pay attention to that focus is a survival skill. Executives value anyone who can help them synthesize a bunch of details into relevant and actionable conclusions. Your challenge (and opportunity) is to be one of those valuable people.
There are many great books, talks and presentations on creating great executive communications. Probably the best and maybe the hardest principle to follow is to not bury the lead, to start with your conclusion and then go to the supporting detail. It’s not the way most of us think, and it means you have to know your conclusion before you start writing, not discover it along the way, but I promise you it will make you a sought after thought partner and a more effective influencer.
Your headline might be in the form of
- A finding: “Black employees are having a much worse experience at Acme co. than any other group.”
- Or a recommendation: “We should launch these three efforts to improve the workplace experience for black employees.”
- Or a request: “We are here to ask for a budget increase of 125% to improve the work experience for black employees.”
Starting with the headline let’s everyone know what we’re here to talk about, and sets the context for (and a reason to care about) any supporting details that follow.
To get the headline right, you need to know your audience. What do they care about? What authority do they have to make a change? Are they a potential ally or are they the ultimate decision-maker. Asking for a budget increase from someone who doesn’t control or influence the budget is a waste of time (duh).
It is an absolute success if you spend time preparing a compelling presentation with a logical case for change and fantastic supporting data and never move past page one because everyone is so engaged discussing your headline. If you do move past you will want to make sure that the information supporting the headline is logically organized. The way you structure supporting information is almost as important as the facts themselves.
Methods of structuring data and information is a topic for another article, but as a start, think of organizing everything under your headline into three mini-headlines that fit together in a logical way: three steps in a process, three parts of a whole, situation>complication>resolution, yesterday>today>tomorrow. It may sound artificial, but all structure is made up, even if it seems like it comes straight from the data. And groups of three help people process, understand and remember.
Starting with the headline, knowing your audience and deliberately structuring supporting detail will get you a long way in helping executives focus, process and make good decisions. You also need to know your data. We’ll tackle that in another Brief Up! article.
Brief Up! #2 - Structuring Your Argument
Expert advice on creating game-changing executive briefings with Emtrain Analytics.
Data is a powerful tool for changing minds and galvanizing people to take action. Studies have shown that data is even more powerful than stories at changing beliefs in a lasting way. If you’re clear on the headline for your data story the next step is to structure the information you want to present!
Structure helps people process complex information. Structure can do some seriously heavy lifting - helping people follow your logic, and remember your message. For example, let’s say your headline is “The culture in our Phoenix transportation hub is underperforming significantly compared to all other company locations.” You may be looking at a host of charts and scores that support your headline, but bombarding people with chart after chart or percentile after percentile is likely to lose the attention you grabbed with your clear headline. To keep the focus, use the rule of three.
Simply put, the rule of three means organizing the supporting information under your headline into three clear, comprehensive and parallel parts. That may seem like a pretty simplistic idea, but it’s surprisingly powerful, and sometimes surprisingly difficult! The three parts need to be comprehensive because they need to be containers for all the important data you need to present. They need to be parallel because, that’s how you leverage the power of three! You’ll need to decide on the best structure for your data by looking at the data itself, but let’s look at some examples.
Three parts of a whole.
Can you look across the entirety of your data and organize it into three parallel buckets? Respect, Inclusion and Belonging? Trust, Empathy and Bias? Data about Peers, Managers and Leadership? You may be worth throwing out some minor data points if everything else fits neatly into three parts of roughly equal scope.
Three items in a sequence.
Past, present and future is a powerful threesome. Our scores in Phoenix were X, now they are Y, here’s what we need to do to get them to Z by the end of the year. Or perhaps you’re telling the story of some significant events: Our acquisition by AcmeCorp, the pandemic, the return to work.
Three steps in a process.
If you’re suggesting a recovery plan, you may want to organize the data to support your plan around the three steps you’ll take to improve those scores. What if it’s going to take more than three steps? Well, you either group your steps into three groups or, boom! You go to the next level of organization, because if you have supporting detail for your three main points, you will want to organize that detail in (I know there is zero suspense here) groups of three!
The same rules apply for the next level of supporting detail - organize the information supporting each of your three major points into three clear, comprehensive and parallel chunks. That third level of detail is likely as deep as you’ll ever go in something like a powerpoint, unless you’re a professional consultant and charge by the slide ;-). More likely, the supporting detail may actually go in an appendix.
Simplifying with structure rubs some people the wrong way. It feels like taking out all the nuance. It feels like oversimplification. But remember your audience. They will have a fraction of the time and attention you have to process the information you have available. They need your help. Two levels of supporting detail under your clear and directive headline will give you a well-structured pyramid of data. It will help people process and remember your message and make you a more persuasive game-changer.