Skip to main content
The Employee Experience Platform | Culture Amp
Case study

How NASCAR took the lead on employee experience with Culture Amp

Nascar company photo


  • 10% increase in feedback collection efficiency

  • 7% rise in survey participation

  • 4-point increase in favorability, above Culture Amp’s industry benchmark

  • 10+% increase in leadership buy-in for engagement survey reports

NASCAR, the world's premier sanctioning body for stock car racing, orchestrates the heart-pounding excitement of the NASCAR Cup Series™, the NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series™. It also oversees several regional series in the U.S., along with four international racing series.

Rooted in a rich history of competitive motorsports, NASCAR sanctions over 1,200 races across more than 30 U.S. states and 11 countries, captivating millions of fans worldwide. Additionally, NASCAR also owns 14 major motorsport facilities.

Before a strategic merger in 2020, NASCAR, the sanctioning body, operated independently of a publicly traded sister company called International Speedway Corp. (ISC), which owned numerous racetracks across the country. While externally, NASCAR represented a world of motorsport fun, off the track, the merger presented a significant challenge for the organization: unifying its workforce across teams and regions by enhancing employee engagement and experience.

Challenge: Bridging two cultures into one cohesive workforce

To solve this challenge, John Ferguson, Chief Human Resources Officer at NASCAR, along with team members Laura Jackson, VP of Human Resources, and Tyrese Manigault, Manager of Employee Engagement, turned to Culture Amp. Tasked with steering NASCAR's employee engagement strategy, John recognized the urgent need for a single, comprehensive platform to first understand and then improve the employee experience across the newly merged company.

"We realized we had two legacy organizations, each rich in its culture. When we became one, it was an opportunity for us to ask, 'How do we want to bring all of this together now in a cohesive, data-driven, and succinct way?' That's when Culture Amp came to mind." – John Ferguson, Chief Human Resources Officer, NASCAR

Having previously worked with Culture Amp, John knew the platform could help NASCAR on its journey to build a stronger workplace where feedback is valued, psychological safety is prioritized, and every employee feels engaged and connected to NASCAR and its goals.

Solution: A three-pronged approach to drive cultural change

John and his team started by leveraging Culture Amp to gather essential employee feedback through engagement surveys, which helped them identify areas within the organization that needed attention.

Given NASCAR's extensive traveling workforce, survey accessibility was crucial. Thanks to Culture Amp’s user-friendly platform, all employees, regardless of location, could easily participate and make their voices heard. Meanwhile, Culture Amp also provided visibility into real-time participation data, which John and his team leveraged to generate excitement among department heads and incentivize survey completion among their teams.

In turn, NASCAR was able to gather rich and informative data, which equipped John and his team to secure leadership buy-in for the employee experience initiatives and involve leadership in action planning. Meanwhile, they were able to build trust with the larger workforce by openly sharing survey results and the subsequent action plans they informed. In effect, employees were able to see how their feedback directly led to change.

"We make sure that we communicate our actions in a very intentional way and showcase exactly how they’re a direct extension of feedback from the engagement survey,” said Tyrese Manigault, Manager of Employee Engagement, NASCAR

Specifically, insights from the employee engagement surveys inspired NASCAR to roll out targeted initiatives across three pillars: Learning and development (L&D) opportunities, employee recognition initiatives, and benefits and wellness offerings. Through these efforts, NASCAR addressed immediate priorities and set the stage for a lasting cultural transformation at NASCAR.

Fostering employee growth with personalized L&D programs

In response to employee feedback data indicating a desire for growth and development opportunities, NASCAR relaunched NASCAR University, the cornerstone of the organization's L&D initiative.

Tailored to meet employees' diverse needs and career goals, NASCAR University offers a broad range of skills development opportunities and inclusion training through the organization’s internal learning management system. This way, every employee has easy access to the resources they need to grow professionally within the organization.

The initiative has proven to be a success:

NASCAR has seen a 15% increase in L&D program enrollment and a 107% increase in overall completions, primarily due to the organization’s amplified ability to provide relevant, engaging learnings that meet employees where they are. In particular, NASCAR’s leadership development category saw remarkable improvements, with a 90% increase in participation.

Culture Amp also boosted NASCAR's L&D planning efficiency. Notably, NASCAR's overall L&D cycle time has been shortened by 30%, and feedback collection has become 10% more efficient as Culture Amp automated and simplified the reporting process.

Creating space to recognize employee achievements, boost engagement, and strengthen relationships

To build a culture of appreciation where employees feel seen for their achievements, NASCAR launched the virtual High Five initiative. This no-barrier recognition program celebrates employees who contribute to the organization’s success by embodying values such as integrity, excellence, teamwork, and dedication. Highly nominated employees earn a place in NASCAR’s High-Five Wall of Fame.

Additionally, NASCAR held regular coffee talks and employee spotlights. All these efforts celebrated exceptional contributions and lifted workforce morale.

The organization also introduced NASCAR Impact Week, a week-long volunteerism effort that set up community volunteer activities for employees at all office locations. This initiative also included family days at races in Charlotte, NC, and Daytona Beach, FL, strengthening social connections and community engagement among employees.

In tandem, NASCAR significantly increased its investment in Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to create opportunities and initiatives that fostered diversity and inclusion across the organization. Specifically, the survey data from Culture Amp helped NASCAR understand where employee groups experienced gaps in organizational support, resources for growth, or opportunities to make an impact.

Based on these insights, NASCAR offered tailored training and resources to employees to bridge these gaps, ultimately strengthening its partnership with ERGs. Additionally, NASCAR assigned HR liaisons to support ERGs and ensure their work aligned with broader organizational goals.

Tying all of the company’s efforts together was the company’s internal #OneNASCAR campaign, which inspired employees across locations and teams to think and operate like a single, cohesive unit. Combined, all these efforts created a more positive workplace—with more transparency, trust, and open communication—where all employees feel a sense of belonging.

Enhancing employee benefits through wellness offerings

With insights from the engagement surveys, NASCAR also recognized the importance of addressing employees' well-being and financial security. So, John and his team improved the organization’s wellness benefits, such as making healthcare more accessible and affordable, offering more paid time off, increasing parental leave, providing enhanced Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), and enhancing wellness rooms. These changes reflect NASCAR's commitment to its workforce's health and wellness based on direct employee feedback.

Results: A united, engaged, and thriving workplace

The experience NASCAR provides, both on the tracks and off, is central to its success as an organization. A stronger, more united workforce directly influences the quality of experience NASCAR is able to create for fans and guests, which makes employee experience a key business priority.

Through the strategic use of Culture Amp, data-driven insights, and purposeful actions, NASCAR made tangible, significant progress toward its goals in this regard:

  • Survey participation went from 89% to 96% between 2022 and 2023, exceeding the standard rate for the top 25% of companies, and highlighting the growing trust and engagement among NASCAR employees.
  • 4-point increase in favorability, above Culture Amp's industry benchmark, which represents a significant uptick in employee perception.
  • A 10+% increase in leadership buy-in for engagement survey reports, indicating deeper interest and involvement from NASCAR's leadership in understanding and acting on employee feedback.
  • 10% increase in the efficiency of feedback collection, and a 30% reduction in L&D cycle time, as NASCAR was able to spot and address gaps in training and resources for employees more effectively.
  • Sports Business Journal's Best Places to Work in 2023 award, underscoring NASCAR’s commitment to its employees and the positive impact of these initiatives on its organizational culture.
"I want to emphasize the boost in credibility we've seen. For us, data is vital, particularly when we're pushing for policy changes. Being able to point to specific feedback and scores from the engagement survey strengthens our case. From that perspective, the insights we gathered through Culture Amp have absolutely been key in shaping our decisions and actions." – John Ferguson, Chief Human Resources Officer, NASCAR
Nascar CFG on demand

Want to learn more about NASCAR’s approach to employee experience? Check out John Ferguson’s Culture First 2024 session, Beyond the finish line: How NASCAR champions employee experience.

Transform your organization with Culture Amp

Drive employee engagement and foster a united workplace culture.

Learn more


Daytona Beach, FL


Bridging two cultures into one cohesive workforce


Three-pronged approach to drive cultural change


A united, engaged, and thriving workplace

Recent case studies

Build a world-class employee experience today

Your browser is out of date. Our website is built to provide a faster, more engaging experience. Your browser may not support all of our features. Please update to the latest version of Microsoft Edge or contact your network administrator.

Close browser update banner