How do you prioritize and budget for culture? The answer is simple. Measure it and set goals that clearly demonstrate value. At Rubicon Project, we manage culture just like a product. As we continue to expand globally (currently operating in 6 countries), scaling our culture will be challenging. Today, we are working on a prototype of a new measurement metric that we call ROP (Return on Productivity). Similar to ROI (Return on Investment), ROP is meant to measure the business performance improvements that we gain from making investments in our culture. This metric will help us determine what works, what doesn’t, and why. At the end of the day, everything we do is designed to make our most important (and most expensive) assets as productive as possible.
The first step is starting a conversation with your team. Get a baseline for where you stand today and ask specifically, what you need to do to move the needle forward. Create a roadmap based on results and assign ROP goals to every initiative on the roadmap. The Return on Productivity metrics will be directly tied to business value (e.g. cost savings from recruiting, time savings from communication, revenue goals that may have been achieved because of faster on-boarding of new team members, etc.)
For example, our Culture Roadmap theme for Q3/Q4 is “Excellence in Innovation.” An initiative on this roadmap was to improve meeting effectiveness – starting and stopping meetings on time was a big part of that. Assuming our team members attend 15 meetings per week, if we’re able to improve our meeting performance where we save 5 minutes from each meeting, that’s 1,365,000 minutes saved per year for 350 people. That’s a lot of productivity gain! That’s potentially $500K – $1M of annual value in productivity if you apply an average per minute cost of a team member.
So, a $5,000 investment in our time, resources and systems to improve meeting performance could potentially yield $500,000 in cost savings, a 100X return on our investment – that’s a needed Culture expense with a very high ROP.
“Measure Everything” is one of our Cultural Values. It works.