8 Culture Markers that Define How Employees Experience The Workplace

Our culture model is called the Workplace Genome, and it consists of 8 Culture Markers that reveal the key behavior patterns inside organizations that impact success (learn more about the Workplace Genome here). If you want to make your culture stronger, it's going to involve adjustments in some or all of these 8 areas. 

So instead of organizing our review site around a particular type of software or solution, we invited participation from a wide variety of tools/services--as long as they could have an impact on one of the 8 Markers.

Culture Marker Definitions: Getting Past the Buzzwords

We know terms like transparency, inclusion, and innovation are tossed about casually (and inconsistently) in the business world. We have specific meaning behind ours, and note that they are all defined partly in terms of how "traditionalist" or "futurist" an organization is within each area:


How easily an organization can change and shift, as well as its ability to move quickly when needed. Agility is driven by the breadth and depth of the distribution of power internally in the organization. Traditionalist organizations are more fixed and consistent, and futurist organizations are more nimble and fluid. Tools for this marker are about change management, decision making, staff empowerment, and quality.

> See Agility Tools


The expectations, norms, and practices related to how individuals and groups work together inside an organization, including communication and information flow, structural boundaries, and problem solving. Traditionalist organizations are more proprietary and controlled in their approach to collaboration, and futurist organizations are more networked and open. Tools for this marker are about internal communication and information sharing, managing silos, relationship building, and improving facilitation.

> See Collaboration Tools


How the organizational environment supports the growth, development and effectiveness of employees and the stakeholders and communities they serve. Traditionalist organizations emphasize practicality and organizational needs, and futurist organizations focus on deeper meaning and individual agency. Tools for this Marker focus on performance management, training & development, health and welfare, CSR, feedback, and core values.

> See Growth Tools



How an organization values difference and supports authenticity and autonomy within the boundaries of a clear group identity. Traditionalist organizations are more exclusive and futurist organizations are more open. Tools for this marker focus on diversity/inclusion, work/life balance, authenticity, planning, and strategic clarity.

> See Inclusion Tools


How organizations are able to unlock new value based on how they embrace change, manage risk, and encourage experimentation. Traditionalist organizations value established approaches with proven track records, and futurist organizations are more generative and dynamic. Tools for this Marker focus on experimentation, prototyping, idea management, creativity, and innovation management.

> See Innovation Tools


How an organization balances both external and internal needs when generating work-related solutions, as well as a balance between customization and standardization. Traditionalist organizations value standardization and prioritizing organizational needs, and futurist organizations value customization and the needs of employees and users. Tools for this Marker focus on customer experience, employee benefits, environmental scanning, and decision making.

> See Solutions Tools


How an organization employs and maintains technologies (digital and otherwise) to achieve objectives, including issues of modernity, reliability, and effectiveness. Traditionalist organizations rely more heavily on existing technologies and strategies, and futurist organizations are early adopters with a more digital mindset. Tools for this Marker focus on software/hardware selection, customer experience, outsourced IT, and policies.

> See Technology Tools


How both vertical and horizontal information flow within an organization impacts decision making, as well as looking at internal enabling capacities for transparency like trust and conflict management. Traditionalist organizations are more private, emphasizing control of information and release on a need-to-know basis, and futurist organizations make information as visible as possible, trusting the system to manage the risk. Tools for this marker focus on information sharing, trust, conflict, and strategy.

> See Transparency Tools