- MIT Sloan Management Review and Glassdoor introduced what they call a "groundbreaking and first-ever online interactive tool" for comparing and ranking company cultures in some of the most high-profile U.S. companies. The tool, dubbed the Culture 500, applies artificial intelligence (AI) and insights from current research to Glassdoor's data to rank companies on nine "culture dimensions," including "collaboration, integrity, agility, diversity, customer orientation, execution, innovation, performance, and respect."
- Culture 500's creator, Donald Sull, an MIT Sloan School of Management senior lecturer, and his team evaluated text responses from 1.2 million online Glassdoor reviews from current and former employees. The team used a natural language processing methodology that categorizes text into more than 90 culture-related subjects, combining experts' insight with machine learning tools to build a library of 20,000 culture-related terms. Companies are given a numeric value based on a percentile and ranked on the nine dimensions. In a four-company comparison on "customer centricity" between Amazon, Disney, Four Seasons and Nordstrom, Disney scored the highest at the 92th percentile, followed closely by Nordstrom at the 91st percentile.
- According to MIT, culture had been difficult to measure and define until now and a growing amount of research is showing a correlation between a positive corporate culture and greater financial performance, innovation and customer satisfaction. Sull also said the Culture 500 has the capability of comparing corporate cultures from different industries.
The push toward data analytics to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of HR initiatives has wrought a number of innovations, now including the Culture 500. While culture remains individual to each company, various experts have defined culture as how a company enables its people to do their best work — meaning patterns beyond perks likely apply, as noted in this new tool.
That the data came from Glassdoor is notable, as well. Job seekers routinely visit company rating sites like Glassdoor and kununu, ruling out employers with subpar rankings. These assessments come from current and former employees, which often makes them seem reliable to job seekers. Employers can't underestimate the power of such sites; a poor rating, even if the employer feels it is wrong, could damage the brand. Experts have recommended reviewing these sites periodically and making the cultural changes that are necessary to attract and retain talent and protect their brand.
The Culture 500 is also another reminder of the importance of data analytics and machine learning in all parts of the business. Data analytics and machine learning should be a focus of staff training and development, as organizations make a digital transformation into the future.