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Contrary to press-propagated blames on rapid industry changes, unforeseen circumstances and uncontrollable crises, most business failures boil down to poor corporate culture. Interestingly, how corporate culture is perceived has changed just as rapidly as industries have evolved in recent times.
In the 20th and early 21st centuries, assessment of corporate culture focused almost entirely on how businesses treated their customers. For instance, the dent in Blackberry’s culture was caused by the company prioritizing its smartphone technology over customers’ needs. Meanwhile, how customers interact with technology was changing.
More recently, corporate culture has more to do with how companies manage communication internally than with their public relations. This is even more critical to a company’s survival because employees’ access to mainstream media has loudened behind-the-scene activities.
Top management has awakened to this reality. Now, appropriate internal measures are taken to enhance external outlooks. Some of these measures include DEI and ESG programs.
Amazing enough, the effect of these efforts goes beyond an enhanced outlook. The attraction of stellar candidates for employment, public reputation and the eventual survival of companies are loosely hanging on this “corporate culture” thread.
Uber is one of the recent major culprits of a poorly managed workplace culture. Its internal affairs, characterized by unhealthy competition, inappropriate communications and streams of sexual harassment have escaped the lid of its workplace like vapors from a heated kettle. The results?
A stock price that remains below its listing price even almost three years after its IPO. The loss of over 200,000 users and a 27% negative perception of the brand are also troubling repercussions of the company’s unmanaged corporate culture.
It’s hard to entirely blame these tech-based businesses, however, for their poor corporate ways of life. Before now, it was almost impossible to accurately measure the cultural wellbeing of a workplace. Remember, “what is not measured, cannot be improved.”
With the advancements in AI and the development of automated feedback software, companies can now quantify and measure various elements of their corporate culture, including emotions, sentiments, trust, care and others.
But, how is that even possible?
Quantifying and tracking emotions
For propitious businesses, the workplace culture is imbued by the expression of appropriate emotions. Positive emotions (e.g. excitement, enthusiasm, hope, care, etc.) are encouraged while negative ones (e.g. anger, contempt, greed, etc.) are reproved.
However, overexpression of positive emotions could be as detrimental as the complete absence of those positive emotions. So, ensuring that the atmosphere within your organization is measured and well regulated is essential for success.
Quantifying these emotions will make it ten-fold easier to regulate. Sadly, studies show that measuring emotions has been one of the most disturbing problems for both scientists and entrepreneurs. But it doesn’t have to be.
Research published in the MIT Sloan Management Review explained that AI-powered facial recognition software can improve emotional measurement in the workplace. As remote working becomes a vital part of our professional lives, these facial recognition capabilities are being integrated into intelligent meeting assistants to track and analyze the sentiments of meeting participants.
Currently, these technologies promise to do more than recognize, quantify and measure facial expressions. What happens when the videos in Zoom meetings are turned off or the interoperability for the new hybrid world is in full force?
Analyzing word usage and tones of communication
More than 30 million people use Grammarly daily. I can bet you a tenner that someone in your company uses it. With the Tone Detector feature, businesses are using the writing assistant to maintain their brand tone. The same could happen with AI-powered meeting assistants.
Alongside facial recognition technology, bluecap and a handful of intelligent assistants use voice recognition and natural language processing to measure people’s emotions through their word usage and tone of communication.
These intelligent assistants can stay on top of company wide communication both physically and virtually. Through web-based integrations, you can keep track of the sentiments across your company’s workforce during virtual meetings.
Alternatively, voice-recognizing hardware similar to Amazon Echo can be mounted at the corners of your local offices to measure the emotional intensity of the workplace atmosphere.
Synchronizing employee and office behaviors in real-time
Right now, many companies are having a hard time figuring out a way to maintain favorable corporate cultures as the hybrid structure poses to be the future of work. Entrepreneurs are terrified; rightfully so. The world has never seen change happen this rapidly.
To survive this era of breakneck changes, managers and entrepreneurs must accept intelligent machines as trusted colleagues. This means allowing these machines to handle tasks that could throw humans off balance. Synchronizing employee behaviors across various physical offices and virtual workspaces is one of those tasks.
With these AI-powered assistants, each employee is recognized and their word usages, sentiments, and emotions are synced with their IDs. This way, you can recognize behavioral patterns, facilitate investigation of behavioral misconducts and avoid HR bottlenecks that could dent your corporate reputation.
Providing personalized feedback and recommendations to individual employees
According to a McKinsey article, personalization is transforming businesses. However, this proposed “future of personalization” has to be bidirectional. Acquiring new customers through personalized marketing campaigns is cool. However, elevating your employee retention rate by delivering personalized feedback is fascinating.
Intelligent office assistants will sync individual employee behaviors with their corporate IDs, assess them against the company’s cultural standards and deliver objective feedback to each employee. This could be more effective than feedback provided by managers or corporate coaches. Typically, humans are less offended by feedback from machines. When other humans share feedback with us, we show a high propensity to be reactively defensive.
Nevertheless, these AI tools are not a perfect substitute for these coaches and managers.
Finally, a comprehensive overview of cultural journeys
It’s natural for businesses to grow, expand and/or merge with other businesses as time progresses. When businesses expand or merge, clashing corporate cultures can make integration a nightmare. However, with a measurable bird’s-eye view of the merging cultures, integration can become surprisingly smooth.
Although culture-tracking intelligent office assistants may seem pretty basic at the moment, they have the capability to summarize the communications within and around small, medium, and big companies into visual dashboards. These dashboards will provide an undeniable representation of those companies’ corporate culture, therefore, providing the basis for better planning and decision making.