The People Science practice at Culture Amp is substantial and growing with expertise. We have People Scientist across the world – from Melbourne to San Francisco to London and New York. The team is also diverse in terms of experience and backgrounds from PhDs and Masters degrees in Psychology, internal People Analytics practitioners, and management consulting. We’re all united in what we’re aiming to achieve. In the words of our former VP of People Science, Jennifer Cullen
“People Science is the practice of collecting feedback on employee’s experiences at work and using that data to inform and understand how to make the workplace better for everyone.”
Our People Science team listens to our customer’s goals and helps them apply principles from Industrial and Organizational (I/O) psychology, Organizational Development, and Data Science to improve their business.
People Scientists help create People Geeks
Part of Culture Amp’s vision since the beginning has been to empower and educate people. When our People Science team leave the room, they want everyone to have a deeper understanding of People Science. In line with our own internal values, we’re here to amplify others. We firmly believe our customers are best positioned for action and making decisions within their organizations. We’re there to help empower them to tackle their problems.
As Jennifer puts it, “Our vision is to create more People Geeks within companies. We want people to be able to collect, understand, and act on employee feedback and optimize their business goals. We write articles and educate through experiences to level up the whole community as well.”
People Scientists internally, in the field, and in the product
Our team supports our community in three different areas – internally, in the field, and through our product.
Internal People Science
Our internal People Science team, coordinated by David Ostberg, looks at Culture Amp’s learning and development initiatives as well as our culture first actions. For example, this team analyzes our own survey and feedback results on a regular cadence. They provide training on how we interview people across the company to understand biases in hiring. They also develop new programs to ensure our efforts around diversity and inclusion across the company are always progressing.
Field People Science
Field People Scientists work closely with our customers. They help companies identify the best way to ask survey questions, formulate strategies for collecting feedback, and sift through their data and make decisions. They also educate on the principles of telling stories with data, and linking employee feedback data to business metrics. Our People Scientists help build confidence in selling the ‘people agenda’ to executives and making a strong case for people analytics in their organization as a way to make decisions.
We also challenge customers to question long-held assumptions about collecting employee feedback and employee engagement. We help them dig deep to find new and innovative methods of responding to their problems. And over the years we’ve worked with organizations who have wanted to do some really novel things.
For example, one of our clients wanted to measure the impact of their engineering processes on their engineering culture. However, they couldn’t find any questions that had been validated. Our People Scientists did some agile research and developed a survey measurement tool for this customer. The process was much faster than traditional research methods so the organization could start collecting and validating data straight away.
Product People Science
Finally, our field team listens to and learns about the pain points companies are experiencing. Working closely with the People Scientists in our Collective Intelligence product team, they feed that information back to help inform our product philosophy and roadmap.
People Scientists bring diverse experiences
I’m incredibly proud of the diversity we have in our People Science team. Diverse teams challenge ideas. Not everyone in our People Science team comes from a traditional I/O psychology background. We have actuaries, people with business, organizational development, and data science backgrounds, as well as I/O psychologists. This brings deep knowledge in a range of areas including occupational health, statistics, diversity & inclusion, business analytics, and change management.
The great thing about diversity is that everyone challenges each other and we challenge our clients as well. We’re not bound by traditional ideas or what we learned at university. This allows us to forge new paths together. We challenge long-standing methods that a team of pure I/O psychology practitioners may not. For example, there can be a tendency for I/O psychs to create long surveys or stick to off-the-shelf measurement tools. We’ve gone against the grain, thanks in part to the diversity of our team. We challenge those principles and choose to do things differently, dynamically.
We also have a more robust understanding our customer’s problems. Some members of our team have strong business backgrounds, which means they readily understand what organizations are trying to achieve. They have empathy and understanding about the problems a customer (and their leadership) is facing, beyond what one can gather from a theoretical or data-driven perspective alone.
Jennifer puts it better than I can: “Even our I/O psychology hires are diverse. They have diverse specialties in health, gender diversity, wellbeing, personnel selection, and employee recognition and benefits. We’re rethinking what’s already been done and figuring out how to do it better with our collective experience.”
This diversity gives our team breadth and strength and helps us help our customers get the best results. I’m really proud of our People Science team and the way we work with each other and our customers.
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