A great deal of my work revolves around organizational culture: the values, practices, and behaviors that people manifest in the workplace and in their interactions with one another and their external contacts. It has been said that a company’s culture determines the success of the business. As a result, more managers are taking an active stance around culture instead of treating it like a byproduct of other, more tangible management practices.
One of my forthcoming Gigaom Research notes focuses on culture management — a term I use for tools that help determine employee engagement and morale — and surfaces issues that could negatively impact the business as soon as possible so that preventative actions can be taken.
One culture management tool I discovered recently is VoloMetrix (via Larry Hawes), which analyzes company email and calendars to determine interactions between employees and how often those interactions happen. This information is presented to individuals so they can track their engagement goals or those used by managers to assess what’s going on at the individual level, in groups, or across the entire company.
VoloMetrix recently raised $12 million in a Series B round led by Split Rock Partners and with existing investor Shasta Ventures participating.
Here’s a screenshot showing what an individual user might see for personal metrics:
Note the topmost metric, Time with my Manager, which strongly correlates with employee engagement. In the benchmarks the user can see how he or she compares with others in time spent in email, meetings, and other tasks. A manager uses these metrics as a way to ensure that meetings aren’t consuming too much of an employee’s time, and to determine how much time direct reports are spending collaborating with others.
VoloMetrix offers some fascinating visualizations, like the one below, which represents the interactions between a given company’s executives and other stakeholders over a 30-day period. Again, note that this information is ferreted out from company email and calendar data.
This sort of visualization is extremely helpful as it provides management insight into the tempo and shape of business activities across company social networks. For example, the CEO might have a strategic goal of creating closer interactions between sales and channel partners. This representation — especially when compared to previous periods — might be a great means of getting the gestalt snapshot of that initiative’s progress.
I plan to include VoloMetrix in my culture-management report, so stay tuned.