We’ve Updated Our Aggregate Culture Dataset

May 5, 2023 Jamie Notter


We added thousands of data points to the aggregate data set from our culture assessment, and the new numbers confirm our original conclusions about the existence of 8 primary culture patterns inside organizations. Overall, areas like collaboration, growth, and inclusion score more futurist, but agility and transparency are more traditional, and within each of those areas, the patterns are now even clearer. Companies that take our culture assessment can compare their results to the overall averages as part of their analysis, which often adds an additional layer of insights. Here’s the link to schedule a call with me if you’d like to learn more about the assessment.


We have been running the WorkXO culture assessment since 2016, and when the pandemic hit, we used some of our forced downtime to analyze our aggregate data set. One of the biggest outcomes of that research was the identification of the eight primary culture patterns, one for each culture marker in the assessment.

But that was three years ago, and we’ve run a bunch of assessments post-pandemic as well, so we recently incorporated the newer data into the aggregate set and re-ran the numbers. We were happy to see that they really hadn’t changed much, despite increasing the overall number of datapoints from 1.1 million to 1.23 million. In other words, we think these culture patterns are pretty well established. Here’s a quick overview of the aggregate data as it stands now.

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The data are made up of over 18,000 completed culture assessments across 70 organizations from a variety of industries and sizes (though the company size does skew small). On a five-point scale, the overall average is a 3.69. We consider between 3 and 4 to be “contemporary,” and that’s where most fall. Above a 4.1 is “futurist,” and there aren’t as many up there, though since the average is about 3.7, we’re making progress.

Of the 8 culture markers, Inclusion, Collaboration and Growth score above the average, meaning organizations are slightly more futurist in those areas—they are more present in the cultures. Agility, transparency, and technologies are a bit more traditional. Agility and transparency, by the way, also have the strongest correlation among all the markers, which we think makes sense: it’s hard to be agile in the dark.

Of the 64 individual questions in the survey, “Sharing the Workload” scores the highest at 4.38. Most organizations have created cultures where people are willing to help each other generally speaking. The lowest scoring question is “people centric solutions” at 3.16. That one is about designing the organization around the needs of employees, which apparently is not a common practice.

Companies that take our assessment will get a benchmarking report that compares their scores to these overall averages. We don’t over-emphasize the comparisons, because how your culture compares to other organizations tends not to be too relevant to your culture change decisions. But spotting the nuances of where your culture varies from the aggregate can often be illuminating when you’re doing your analysis.

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For example, one of our clients recently ran the assessment for the second time, and they saw their scores move more futurist by 0.20 since their last assessment. The real value, however, was in exploring their patterns. They had a pattern that we see all the time called “idealized growth,” where aspirational growth (passion, purpose, community) is valued more than developmental growth (feedback, training, development). But when they compared their scores to the aggregate, they realized the range between top and bottom for them was much narrower. While “training and development” was the lowest scoring question in the category of growth, it scored a 3.60 which was 0.30 higher than the aggregate average. This confirmed that their efforts over the last few years to provide training opportunities to staff were not going unnoticed by employees.

If you’d like to get on a quick zoom call with me to learn more about the assessment or the aggregate data, you can schedule that here.

Jamie Notter

Jamie is an author and growth strategist at PROPEL, where he helps leaders integrate culture, strategy, and execution to achieve breakthrough performance and impact. He brings twenty-five years of experience to his work designing culture-driven businesses, and has specialized along the way in areas like conflict resolution and generations. Jamie is also the co-author of three books—Humanize, When Millennials Take Over, and The Non-Obvious Guide to Employee Engagement—and holds a Master’s in conflict resolution from George Mason and a certificate in Organization Development from Georgetown, where he serves as adjunct faculty.