Building Great Corporate Culture: Interview with Damon Klotz
Companies are starting to recognize the importance of corporate culture and how it has an affect on company performance. Many people know the importance of corporate culture, but how is it done well? What are the factors and trends that influence how corporate culture is built? In our interview with Damon Klotz, he shares his best practices and insights on the topic.
We had the honour of interviewing Damon Klotz. He is the Head of Community at Culture Amp and is responsible for growing their community and corporate culture. Damon has been recognized as one of the top 10 most engaged marketers on LinkedIn in Australia. He is also the winner of the Deloitte innovation pitch, an award winning social entrepreneur and guest lecturer at Queens Lion University of Technology.
Please introduce yourself. Tell us a fun fact that many people don’t know about you?
I started my career in Human Resources in Australia, became the president of the club at school and was involved in the national association. From there, I got interested in the use of technology, social media marketing and eventually built a brand for myself.
Rewind to when I was still a student, I had very long hair that looked like Russell Brand. To justify keeping the long hair and wearing black skinny jeans, I built a brand called the "HR Rockstar". The idea was naive and silly at the time but it helped build my future career.
What’s on your bucketlist?
My name spelled backwards is Nomad. We like to get out there and explore. On my bucket list is to travel to 100 different countries, possibly in the span of 12 months with an HR Rockstar style kind of tour.
What are some of the HR trends that you are predicting for 2017?
We’ve come to a moment in time where the HR professionals are becoming more and more tech savvy. I can also foresee HR professionals making more database decisions compared to previously.
Rewind back 10 years, we walk into an executive meeting. The finance department presents their numbers, sales department presents their numbers, marketing presents their numbers, and HR says, “I think everything is going alright.” Due to the constant changes in today's world, HR can show the data analytics and share their insights.
I am looking forward to be apart of a movement called "HR Movement Source." It’s a group of practitioners that open source the amazing stories within the HR community. There is more transparency and better analytics that become available to make better decisions.
I am a huge advocate of technology and information but at the end of the day, it's a person making decisions that affect and influence other people. Having access to information and technology is great and super helpful, which will help make us better HR professionals which is a function within that industry. Instead of an automated system that repeats same processes over and over again.
What’s one of your favourite corporate culture examples? And why?
If you take a look at a list of brands, a big contributor to their success is fuelled from their culture and people. Brand is a promise to the customer but culture is a delivery of that promise. So, the best brands in the world are driven by the people they have with them.
Read about examples like Pixar, Reddit and Culture Amp. They all go through crazy work and amazing stories for what they do for the company. It just comes to show the people are what makes the brand so great and valuable.
Do you have any stories that are examples of the corporate culture thats being built at Culture Amp?
We are conscious in every way about how Culture Amp grows their business and the business they want to be. Therefore, we shy away from the perk war that many other cultures invest huge dollars into. The employees at Culture Amp are highly driven individuals who come to the office to do some of the best work they've ever done. We do our best to get to know the people in our office and also give them opportunities to grow.
When I was interviewing for a job at Culture Amp, one of the interview questions they asked was, "How do I help you get your next job?"
I didn’t even have the job offer yet and they’re trying to understand how they can better prepare me for the future. They were trying to understand my purpose for applying at Culture Amp and my vision for the rest of my life. Asking that question shows that the managers genuinely care. Most of all, they are seeing how they can make sure the role I'm applying for is going to help with my development for the future.
We don’t have the mindset that applicants and employees are going to retire and work with us for the rest of their lives. It shows what kind of company Culture Amp is, the morale and wanting the best for their employees.
What and how frequently should companies measure employee engagement?
There’s a few key points we focus on:
Survey design & action
Questions are very important because it sends a message to your employees
Address the questions and concerns so that managers build a level of trust with the employees
Measure, Act, Repeat
Utilizing larger engagement surveys once/twice a year. Picking one core aspect of the survey and pulsing against that so they can include it within the employee experience module.
Tell us a little about Culture Amp and how you help organizations?
We are the world’s most powerful and simplest analytics platform. Huge amounts of data base all analyzed for you. In addition, great user experience with a great dashboard. Powerful that users have access to a lot important and useful information.