Softway is a digital transformation agency based in Houston, Texas. Their mission is to bring humanity to the workplace. They have a sub-brand called Culture Plus, which they use to help companies achieve high-performance and high-reliability cultures that win in the marketplace.
They have 4 products in their product suite to help them achieve this mission: Seneca Leaders, Seneca Go, Culture+ Bridge and Culture+ Counter.
My role was to work on Culture+ Counter, and build the user experience for it from scratch.
In 2020, the COVID-19 lockdowns took a toll on companies' culture. Remote work disrupted traditional workplace dynamics, hindering social connections and spontaneous interactions. The absence of physical proximity made it challenging to foster team spirit and a sense of belonging among employees.
Softway launched 4 products in 2020 that played a pivotal role in building a strong team culture and fostering overall success. These products were designed to address the challenges posed by remote work, declining work culture and lacking leadership, and to enhance inclusivity, resilience, and success. Here’s how:
Seneca Leaders: Training experiences that help individuals and leaders become more self-aware and effective for their teams, departments, and company.
Seneca Go: A digital coaching app aimed at helping leaders grow good intentions into high-performing habits—and eventually, a better culture for all.
Culture+ Bridge: A self-paced DEI (diversity, equity, inclusivity) learning platform that aimed to build high-performing teams and inclusive workplace cultures.
Culture+ Counter: An NPS-based measurement tool to track cultural impact of the above tools in the org and help drive business outcomes. For the first time, you could tangibly attribute culture to business performance.
I was tasked with designing the Culture+ Counter experience from scratch, and because I was the sole designer and our design team was small, we worked on this product in smaller phases. This case study aims to cover Phase 1 of the product, where I had to kick off the research and build the foundations of the product. For brevity reasons, future phases are not covered in this case study.
We wanted to enable leaders:
To tangibly measure how successful culture-related changes in their org are.
To see actionable insights into their org’s culture.
To maximise their efforts in culture change using key behaviour metrics.
“Okay, Softway is helping us better our culture, but how do know or measure the ROI of our efforts?” was a frequent question from leaders of other orgs that we spoke to. Any culture efforts that leaders made in their org to better their culture needed to be measured. This was a big reason we decided to start Culture+ Counter. We had the chance to strengthen our Culture+ product suite by building Culture+ Counter and establish ourselves as a leading Culture-as-a-Service agency.
We had the opportunity to utilise the NPS model, a widely-accepted standard, to show results to leaders that they could utilise for actionable insights.
We also took this product as an opportunity to see how Culture+ Counter would enhance our existing product suite of Seneca Leaders, Seneca Go and Culture+ Bridge.
Houston, TX, USA
Phase 1: 2 months
SKILLS & TOOLS
Culture+ Counter was a tool that we wanted to use internally as well as provide it to clients. Our primary user was an executive-level HR member and our secondary user was a C-level executive. These folks would use Culture+ Counter to see and measure the impact and ROI of the culture changes that were made in the org as a result of the other Culture+ products we offered. The good news for us was that we had our target users right in our very org—and they provided great inputs for Culture+ Counter.
We couldn’t venture out just yet and interview folks in these positions from other companies, so we held internal user interviews to answer these questions:
What aspects of work culture do we want to measure?
What metrics are most important to measure ROI of cultural changes?
How do we currently measure or get a pulse of our work culture?
Over the course of 7 user interviews with leaders and HR executives in our company, I learned a lot about the user and the problem. Here’s the affinity map I came up with:
Here are the findings from the above affinity map:
Given the nature of the problem that the Culture+ Counter product was solving, it was destined to have a dashboard. I took a look at some research papers from ResearchGate to understand the general usage, nature and types of dashboards better.
Our dashboard for Culture+ Counter had to be a strategic dashboard, since we were targeting executives at the top level.
From the research paper, I also learned about visual and functional features of a dashboard:
This was helpful to know as it would inform our initial wireframes for our Culture+ Counter dashboard when we got to that step of the process.
Since we already had people in the roles of our ideal user, it was easy to draw up a user persona:
USER JOURNEY MAP
We asked ourselves, “What would our ideal user journey look like?”
Here’s what I drew up:
We knew that the initial set up for data collection would be time-consuming, but this would only be needed the first time Culture+ Counter is set up.
While the data analysis may produce negative aspects of the work culture that the org needs to change, it provides it in the form of actionable insights so that it is constructive.
With the ideal user being in HR, it was important to focus on exporting reports so that they could be shared with C-level executives for bigger impact.
So finally, we zeroed in on the challenge at hand: