How Much Does Culture Consulting Cost in 2024?

May 6, 2024
May 6, 2024 Jamie Notter

[This is an update on a 2021 post.] There are many factors that go into the pricing of consulting projects that are aimed at improving your workplace culture, and the range is fairly large since the approach of the different consulting firms varies widely. In our shop, options start at $12,000 and can extend out to over $100,000 over multiple years.

Our core methodology is called Culture Design, and it includes three core components:

1. Culture Assessment. For our comprehensive projects, this includes a full WorkXO culture assessment, surveying all of your staff, though we also have a more limited “Culture Pattern Assessment” that can be delivered to a much smaller sample while still providing valuable insights on your existing culture. Both show you your underlying culture patterns, which is key. Seeing the “what is” of your culture is a critical first step of the rest of your culture change work is going to be effective.

2. Culture Playbook. Knowing “what is” is useless unless you have a set of action items that will make what you’ve got better than it is now. In this step, we help you develop and prioritize a concrete list of things you will change or introduce into your operations that will drive the culture in the direction it needs to go.

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3. Culture Roadmap. Then you move into implementation of your culture change, and we support you by helping you build out a roadmap that will keep you focused on the change and measuring the impact of your work. This will prevent the culture work from sliding into the background (and then disappearing).

To accomplish these core components, we offer three different options, each with different timelines and costs.

Total Culture Design (~$48,000): In our year-long total culture design project, we’ll run our full culture assessment, and by the end of the project, you will have made concrete changes to your workplace culture that will improve organizational performance and increase employee engagement. You’ll be able to describe your culture clearly, both internally and in your recruiting, and you’ll have a system in place for adjusting your culture as needed, to ensure it continuously drives success. At $48,000 (for organizations with less than 100 employees), your investment will pay dividends both immediately and in the long-term.

Targeted Culture Change ($24,000): In the six-month targeted culture change project, we’ll work directly with the management team to fast-track some culture change action items to address a specific need (e.g., preparing your culture for AI). We start with our abbreviated culture pattern assessment (rather than surveying the whole staff), and you’ll get the same clear priorities and prioritized action items, along with a framework for managing the implementation. At $24,000 this is a more affordable option for getting started right away with a tighter focus (and you can extend the work with ongoing coaching for $12,000 every six months).

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Team Culture Development ($12,000): In the three-month team culture project, we’ll work with an in-tact team to zero in on changes to the team’s operations that will contribute to a culture that makes them (and other teams they work with) more successful. At $12,000 this fits into most team’s professional development budgets.

For all of these options, you can add on additional implementation coaching ($12,000 for six months) or specific training and consulting interventions to support the culture work (e.g., conflict resolution training for staff, or retreats for senior management teams). When you add it all up, it can easily move above six figures, particularly when you include the staff time that is devoted to doing the culture design work, but remember: your largest expense is payroll, and when your culture is out of alignment with what makes your people successful, then they are performing below potential and probably looking for another job. I think that justifies having an annual culture budget, don’t you?

Jamie Notter

Jamie is a co-founder and culture strategist at PROPEL, where he helps leaders create amazing workplace cultures that drive greater performance and impact. He brings thirty years of experience to his work designing and managing culture, and has specialized along the way in areas like conflict resolution and generations. Jamie is the co-author of four popular business books, including the award-winning Non-Obvious Guide to Employee Engagement, and his fall 2023 release, Culture Change Made Easy. He holds a Master’s in conflict resolution from George Mason and a certificate in Organization Development from Georgetown, where he serves as adjunct faculty.