Voop.Global Cultural Index: Proof of Concept

Voop.Global was created to solve the problem that CEOs and Boards don’t know what activities are driving their organisation to a healthy culture and when their organisations culture is at risk.  Employee Feedback tools have a well-established place in the suite of data that Leaders use to drive Employee Engagement, but a Lead measure of Culture still evades us.

Artificial Intelligence(AI), or more specifically sentiment scanning and natural language processing, can read and summarise large volumes of written communication.  To date, the main application of this has been to understand potential customers via their social media profiles and then to adjust ones selling style in response.  Voop.Global has recently completed a Proof of Concept (POC) that demonstrates that this technology can also be used to determine organisational culture.

The POC was done using AI to scan a series of publicly available documents either written for, or about four separate companies that participated in the experiment.  Voop.Global measured the alignment of each  company’s espoused Values with the values evidenced in these documents, using the measure to create a cultural index. The results have been validated with a Senior Executive from each of the organisations to test the accuracy of the tools findings. 

All four companies that received a report using the Voop prototype validated its accuracy and usefulness.  In each of these companies the Senior Executive consulted confirmed that the Voop findings matched the organisations internal assessment of the current state of company Culture.

Organisational Culture has recently moved into the spotlight in Australia due to the Royal Commission into misconduct in Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services that is currently underway.  Culture has been discussed as a key contributor to the incidents that have damaged the reputation and public standing of the banks.   This has shown us that there is an urgent need for a lead measure of Culture that is available in real time as a predictive measure rather than as a rear-view indicator (lag) measure. 

Organisational Culture Lead vs Lag Indicators

Organisational Culture Lead vs Lag Indicators

All the Executives interviewed as part of the POC anticipated resistance from employees about using AI to read employee’s emails that they send and receive from their work email address. Each company that participated in the experiment already had a policy in place to ensure employees knew and agreed to their company accessing, monitoring or examining any data held in the company’s possession.  This would include email, messenger and any other form of written communication. 

The consensus from the sample of companies in this experiment was that some employees would feel discomfort about a tool that used AI to read their written communication and implementation of such a tool would require careful Change Management highlighting the benefits not only to the organisation, but also to employees.

The initial experiment has shown value in further testing of Voop Global.  Next steps will be to automate the parts of the POC that were done manually. Rather than a person manually seeking publicly available information for Voop to use, this feature will be built in so Voop can process thousands of articles at a time, thus increasing the granularity of the data and the potential for insights.

Alongside this, Voop Global plans to test the tool on internal written communication that is the every-day written ‘voice’ of a company’s workforce.  Voop is seeking partner organisations who would like to work with us conduct a more detailed Proof of Concept.

The next stage of testing will also involve using a time line of data to show how key events such as ‘all company’ communications, ‘town hall’ meetings, company re-organisations and re-structures impact organisational Culture.  Tracking the Cultural index over time will enable machine learning to inform Voop what positively impacts the desired Culture and make recommendations relating to this.  It is anticipated that their will be unlikely correlations between organisational activity and culture that have not been recognised before.  Does one campus lift being out of operation for a day have more impact on company Culture than we realise?

Voop Global is a real time longitudinal study of Culture

Voop Global is a real time longitudinal study of Culture

During this POC, in summary, Voop Global reached the conclusion that creating a Culture Index that operates separately to an employee feedback tool will:

  • provide a lead measure of Culture;
  • alert the organisation to a Culture at risk;
  • provide transparency to Boards and CEOs; and
  • create a feedback loop to Leaders where recommendations can be made based on passed activity. 

Initial testing of the prototype has shown that generating a Cultural Index is possible without surveying employees.  Further testing is required to obtain more granular data and to validate the usefulness of this tool using internal data.  Voop is seeking 3-5 partner organisations to work with as we build and test the next iteration of this prototype.  We are seeking organisations of 100-1000 employees, or a business unit of this size within a larger organisation.

For more information or to contact us, please visit voop.global or email Kristin@voop.global

For more detail of the Voop.Global proof of concept, please read our white paper.

Kristin O'Brien