Learning & Development
17 min read

The 46 top People Geekly articles of 2018


Alexis Croswell

Senior Content Marketing Manager, Culture Amp

Reading Time: 17 minutes

It’s a privilege that we get to share stories about HR and culture with thousands of people every year through our beloved newsletter, The People Geekly. In 2018 I had the pleasure (and challenge) of creating a printed People Geekly for our first-ever Culture First conference.

We also gave the People Geekly a facelift in 2018, introducing our featured article section and highlighting stories from our CEO and Chief Scientist. As we’ve done in 2016 and 2017, we’re excited to bring you 2018’s top People Geekly articles. Some of my personal favorites are What hiring language says about culture from Textio and 24 great one-on-one meeting questions from our very own Director of People Science, Chloe Hamman. Read on to revisit some of your old favorites or find a new one.

January

4 innovative ways to use employee feedback
Culture Amp | 9 min read

Employee feedback data forms the backbone of a company’s employee engagement and culture strategy. However, as Culture Amp People Scientist, Fresia Jackson, explains, there are more ways to use employee feedback to enhance other people process. She shares how to use feedback data for improving annual planning, team offsites, evaluating programs, and the hiring process.

What hiring language says about culture
Textio | 3 min read

The language used in job descriptions sends a message from your company to your candidate. Is your workplace, “fast-paced”? Is it, “innovative”? The team at Textio looked at the unique language used in public job postings of ten well-known tech companies. See their research, and learn how, as they say, “the truth of your cultural environment shows up in the language that your team uses to communicate.”

How to bring company values to life
Culture Amp | 8 min read

People Scientist Chloe Hamman brings us parts two and three of our series on company values. First, she shares how we created Values in Action workshops to bring our company values to life. Next, she reveals the process we used to uncover our missing company value – amplify others. Both articles include practical advice for you, based on our experiences.

February

Four HR trends to watch in 2018
Culture Amp | 9 min read

Hear from four expert People Geeks: Kelly Kirby of Atlassian, Megan Bromley of HotelsCombined, Jennifer Mumford of SafetyCulture, and Jason McPherson of Culture Amp, on the HR trends on their mind in 2018. What’s on their list? Diversity and inclusion, supporting remote workers, creating a culture of feedback and bringing people analytics in-house.

What meetings say about company culture
Culture Amp | 4 min read

People spend a lot of time in meetings, but despite this, we often don’t think about how our meeting culture reflects our company’s culture. Tai Tsao, Change Management and Customer Success Lead at Meeteor, teaches how to use meetings to reinforce the culture you want to build.

90+ Jokes to share with coworkers
Culture Amp | 13 min read

At Culture Amp, one of our company values is, “Have the courage to be vulnerable.” We put this into practice in lots of ways, but one of the most fun is having new hires share a joke at their first all-hands meeting. From the good to the bad, to the so-bad-they’re-good, we’ve heard it all. Get all of the 90+ jokes from Campers who joined us in 2017 and share a laugh with us.

March

Why company culture is like an ice cream sundae
Culture Amp | 4.5 min read

Beth Clutterbuck, VP Global Head of People at Deliveroo, uses a tasty metaphor to explore the different components of company culture and why they matter. Taking an ice cream cone as your strategy, company behavior as the ice cream and employee experience as the cherry on top – Beth gives insight into the power of all these components together.

3 ways to build an effective team
Culture Amp | 3 min read

“An effective team is one that’s performing well and contributing to the overall success of the company. Teams should also provide people with an environment where they can do their best work, develop, and feel a sense of belonging and pride,” says Culture Amp Lead People Scientist Chloe Hamman. Learn how you can establish trust, build dependability, and strengthen communication to build effective teams.

Pros and cons of salary transparency
Culture Amp | 8 min read

Imagine your CEO sends an email saying they want to make everyone’s salary visible – internally and publicly. That’s what happened to Belle Beth Cooper when she worked at Buffer, a company committed to transparency. “Buffer’s founders wanted to avoid the common office politics that grow around salaries by making everyone’s pay common knowledge,” she shares. Belle tells her story and provides arguments for both sides of the table when it comes to pay transparency.

Predicting Glassdoor scores with engagement data
Culture Amp | 3 min read

Using aggregated anonymous data from Culture Amp and publicly available data from Glassdoor, Culture Amp Chief Scientist, Jason McPherson, set out to understand the correlation between Glassdoor scores and engagement data. “Our findings point to some important big data trends, like the ability to use internal employee engagement data to predict how your company is perceived externally,” he says.

April

The biological reason you’re bored at work
Quartz at Work | 6 min read

Daniel M. Cable, Professor of Organizational Behavior at the London Business School says there’s a deeper reason some people are bored or disengaged at work. He argues that their “seeking system” is being deactivated. “Our seeking systems create the natural impulse to explore our worlds, learn about our environments, and extract meaning from our circumstances,” explains Professor Daniel.

How to prepare your workplace for Generation Z
Culture Amp | 10 min read

Every generation in the workplace comes in with a unique collection of experiences. Learn how to prepare your culture for the newest generation – Gen Z – from Culture Amp Lead People Scientist, Dr. Kenneth Matos. He explains what sets different generations apart, and dives into how economic insecurity, coaching/managing, mental health and wellness, and workplace design affect Gen Z at work.

Employee feedback strategy: Your guide to success
Culture Amp | 8 min read

Gathering employee feedback is the best way to take positive action when it comes to developing your people and your company culture. However, a comprehensive employee feedback strategy is multi-faceted, involving different types of employee surveys and different action plans. Culture Amp People Scientist, Fresia Jackson, breaks down an employee feedback strategy into six steps in this simple guide.

10 employee engagement initiatives
Culture Amp | 7 min read

It’s important to understand what’s driving employee engagement at your company in order to take targeted action for improvement. However, there are some common factors that relate to employee engagement that are generally useful to monitor and improve over time. We’ve put together a list of 10 employee engagement initiatives used by top companies. Check it out for inspiration on how to take action in your organization.

May

3 ways to improve your onboarding experience
Culture Amp | 6 min read

At Culture Amp’s recent Seattle People Geekup, leaders from Microsoft, Starbucks, and Chef came together to discuss the importance of data in shaping the employee onboarding experience. Read how they use data to demonstrate the power of onboarding, why they incorporate company values into this process, and how they better meet the needs of new hires.

24 great one-on-one meeting questions
Culture Amp | 4.5 min read

Whether you’re a new manager or have been leading people for years, one-on-one meetings are an important communication tool. Knowing how to structure your meeting and having the right questions to ask ensures that you get the most out of each interaction. Culture Amp People Scientist, Chloe Hamman, shares 24 great one-on-one meeting questions you can start using right away.

Four tips on scaling culture regardless of company size
Culture Amp | 5 min read

What do the people leaders at MailChimp, ChooseATL, Turner Studios, SalesLoft, and Atlanta Hawks have in common? They’ve all had to scale their culture as they grow. At our recent People Geekup in Atlanta, they shared practical tips on scaling culture from their experience. From finding common ground to embracing the power of storytelling, there’s a tip for companies of every size.

What makes remote work, work?
Culture Amp | 5 min read

Looking for a way to ensure that remote employees feel included? Megan Wheeler, Leadership Trainer at LifeLabs and Culture First conference speaker, has the research you need. She conducted interviews with key employees at companies ranging in size from 150-30,000 on their experience with remote work. This, along with a meta-analysis of existing research led her to three insights. Based on these insights, she created a remote work experience checklist free to use.

June

Employees hide who they really are in ad
Mumbrella | 3 min read

In an advertisement for SBS, employees hide who they really are at work. You see a man praying turn into pretending to practice yoga, a woman hiding her pregnancy, and another woman shredding wedding invites after a coworker sees she’s marrying a woman. The ad ends with this sentiment, “No one should have to hide who they are. We believe the real you matters.”

The link between workplace design and culture
Culture Amp | 5 min read

“Physical space shapes our behavior, and when we’re at work those patterns of behavior have a direct impact on the resulting organizational culture,” says Chris Good, Creative Director at One Workplace. In this interview-based article, he shares his philosophy on how workplaces can tell a story, and how to connect culture with your physical working environment.

What was it like to attend Culture First?
Culture Amp | 10 min read

At Culture Amp’s first-ever global conference, over 800 People Geeks came together to join a movement towards a better workplace. In this article, we share what it was like to attend through the eyes of our attendees. From keynotes to breakout sessions, sponsor booths, and taco trucks, there was learning, connecting, and fun to be had for everyone.

Four practices for being an equality ally
Culture Amp | 4 min read

“When we’re able to be better allies, we can make people’s experiences at work, and outside of work, better,” says Craig Forman, Senior People Scientist at Culture Amp. In an interview with Molly Q Ford, Sr. Director of Global Equality Programs at Salesforce, they discuss what it takes to be an equality ally. As Molly says, “Ask people about their journey…You’ll find your differences, but you’ll be surprised by how many similarities you’re going to find.”

July

Three research-backed ways to improve employee engagement
Culture Amp | 6.5 min read

In Culture Amp’s 2018 benchmark data we found that learning and development, leadership, and service and quality focus were the top three factors driving employee engagement across industries. Josh Sloan and Chloe Hamman, People Scientists at Culture Amp, share how companies are taking action to improve employee engagement by focusing on these drivers.

What does a more agile HR look like?
Culture Amp | 6 min read

The Agile methodology gained popularity among software developers, but the core tenets of agile are being adopted by forward-thinking HR teams. We explore how agile HR teams use responsiveness, experimentation, validated learning and trust and collaboration to approach employee feedback.

Inspire action through storytelling with data
Culture Amp | 4.5 min read

“Despite the challenges of numerical shorthand, it’s oftentimes how we communicate in the workplace,” says Culture Amp People Scientist, Myra Cannon. In this article, she explains how to inspire action through storytelling with data. Simple changes like saying, “50% of people here are engaged” rather than, “Our engagement score is 50%” can make a difference in the way employee survey results are perceived. Get all of Myra’s tips and a downloadable template in the article.

Personal development is career development
LinkedIn | 4 min read

“Deepening one’s self-knowledge is an important aspect of taking ownership of one’s career,” says Mike Normant, leadership trainer and author. However, he says that the idea that personal development is career development hasn’t yet caught on. He presents a simplified approach to career development that includes identifying career goals, developing technical skills, and working on behaviors and thought patterns.

What is culture hacking?
Culture Amp | 3.5 min read

Culture hacking is about focusing on small things more frequently rather than only trying to tackle and change the big things. Get simple ideas you can incorporate into daily routines that will help you build a more positive workplace, where culture is co-created by everyone.

August

How to involve managers in taking action on survey results
Culture Amp | 4 min read

“Driving change for the whole company isn’t a one-person job. You have to get people on board,” says Casey Ashenhurst, Senior People Ops Manager at Stack Overflow. They’ve been using Culture Amp for three years, and getting managers involved in taking action on survey results has helped their employee feedback strategy thrive. Get tips from Casey and other leaders at Stack Overflow on how to get managers involved at your company.

5 inspiring books to help you improve employee engagement
Culture Amp | 3 min read

Customer Success Coach, Josh Berman, provides recommended reading that aligns with the top five questions that drive employee engagement. For example, for the question, “The leaders at [Company] have communicated a vision that motivates me,” Josh recommends Start with Why, by Simon Sinek. Tips are provided for additional reading, Ted talks, and more.

How to build a high performing culture: Understanding Tomo
Culture Amp | 3 min read

Lindsay McGregor’s keynote at the Culture First conference answered three questions: What do we mean by high performance? What drives it? How do you build a culture that leads to high performance? Get the answers to these questions and more from Lindsay’s full keynote video.

How to improve the gender diversity of work teams
Culture Amp | 5.5 min read

Companies are striving for gender diversity for many reasons, but the overall goal is to reach a place where our workplaces reflect the ideal state of our world, where equal treatment and opportunities are provided for all. Learn what Culture Amp’s data tells us about gender diversity in the workplace.

September

The business outcome of putting culture first
Culture Amp | 4.5 min read

What do HR leaders from Casper, Warby Parker, Patreon, and WeWork have in common? The need to demonstrate the business outcome of putting culture first. It was this topic that was discussed during the closing panel at the inaugural Culture First conference. Get their answers to questions like – How much of putting culture first is a moral imperative vs. a business imperative? Do diverse perspectives help make better business decisions? And more.

Culture Amp’s Diversity and Inclusion survey
Culture Amp | 2 min read

In 2015 we launched the Diversity and Inclusion survey in partnership with Paradigm. We’re happy to announce the next step in that journey. Check out the updates we’ve brought to this powerful survey, like access to industry benchmarks on inclusion, and see how you can use data to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Diversity, Inclusion and Intersectionality Report 2018
Culture Amp | 2 min read

To date, over a hundred companies in North America, Asia, and Europe have gathered diversity and inclusion feedback through Culture Amp. Our data now represents a wide range of industries from real estate, healthcare, finance, advertising, and more. We’re excited to share our findings on the state of diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality as they affect the way we work.

Use this inclusive exercise to go beyond small talk at events
Culture Amp | 7 min read

At Culture Amp’s inaugural Culture First conference, there was a simple exercise that got people talking, and not about the weather. Attendees were greeted with a selection of pins that represented different aspects of a person’s identity. While the exercise was well received at the event, it wasn’t put into motion without thought internally. Learn what it took to bring this exercise to life.

October

21 diversity and inclusion influencers
Culture Amp | 14 min read

“As the Culture Amp team worked to put together our Diversity, Inclusion and Intersectionality report this year, we reflected upon the work of great people who have come before us,” says Steven Huang, Culture Amp’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion. Meet some of the visionaries in the field of diversity and inclusion and what we can learn from them.

What to do when your team is struggling
Quartz at Work | 5 min read

Cate Huston shares the two key questions to ask yourself when you step into a leadership role. Instead of being overwhelmed by inherited tensions take the time to ask yourself, “How do I create clarity?” and “How do I create capacity?” This will help you take stock of your team’s needs and what you’re actually shipping.

How to write employee wellbeing survey questions
Culture Amp | 3 min read

Wellbeing at work is a topic that’s beginning to get more attention, as it should. However, understanding workplace wellbeing is still a challenge. Culture Amp Director of People Scientist, Chloe Hamman, shares the five components you should be measuring when it comes to workplace wellbeing, and what questions to ask.

What drives engagement and retention at healthcare companies?
Culture Amp | 1.5 min read

In our most recent eBook, Healthcare industry insights for driving engagement and retention, we combine data from our healthcare benchmark with academic research and advice from two leading medical companies – One Medical, and Mercy Health – to give HR and people leaders in healthcare the insights they need to make data-driven decisions.

Culture manual creation tips from Wealthsimple
Culture Amp | 4.5 min read

When Netflix’s culture deck was released it received attention from People and Culture Leaders worldwide. Since then, the commotion around culture decks has died down. Wealthsimple is here to bring culture decks back to life. Hear from Mallory Greene, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Wealthsimple about how they created a culture manual and why it’s a cornerstone of their company.

November

How to answer “What is your greatest weakness?”
Forbes | 6 min read

It’s still a common interview question and one that people have answered to varying degrees of success. Author Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic says that there are psychological factors that can help you decide how to answer this question. For example, talking about a unique personality trait rather than falling back into a cliche like, “I’m too honest.”

The employee experience essentials
Greenhouse | 4 min read

People leaders from Namely, Culture Amp, and Greenhouse recently joined together for a webinar on the employee experience. 71% of live webinar attendees said they do not have an employee experience strategy in place at the moment. In this recap, get the speaker’s advice on how to craft a meaningful employee experience from scratch.

Continuous listening strategy: what it means and why it matters
Culture Amp | 5 min read

A continuous listening strategy is gathering feedback more often across the employee lifecycle. This doesn’t necessarily mean more pulse surveys. This article explores what it truly means to build a continuous listening strategy, with examples from companies who have successfully implemented their own.

December

Understanding employee survey comments
Culture Amp | 4 min read
Did you know that people are 6 times more likely to leave a comment on an employee survey if they disagree with the question? Negative comments are also typically twice as long as positive ones. We share more statistics on employee survey comments, along with how to interpret them and use them to tell a story with your data.

3 great company wellbeing guide examples
Culture Amp | 9.5 min read

What do Bench Accounting, Silver Chef, and Collective Health have in common? They’ve created internal wellbeing guides to empower employee wellness. There are many paths to workplace wellbeing, and these standout companies weigh in on their experience defining wellbeing, creating their guides, and putting them into practice.

What is Driver Analysis for employee survey results?
Culture Amp | 7 min read

By definition, driver analysis is a statistical method used to assess the relationship between different variables. It’s an integral part of the Culture Amp platform, making employee engagement survey results as actionable as possible. Check out this guide to learn more about how it works, including a delicious analogy – Engagement Driver Analysis as a Burrito.