phoenix™ and the Components of Culture

Workplace culture plays a prominent role in our everyday lives. Whether it’s a remote meeting, internal communications, or standard operating procedures, how your culture feels directly impacts employee retention and the organization’s bottom line. 

But how do you measure culture? And if you can measure it, what key factors matter most to employees and companies?

Enter phoenix™ – a culture matrix created with the insurance industry in mind. Insure Equality worked with psychologists, social workers, and other key experts to distill culture into seven core components to tackle these questions. 

Using data from commonly cited company values, feedback from current employees, opinions from younger generations, and research from educators across the country, IE chose these seven components to measure and report on company culture: accountability, communication, inclusion, integrity, recognition, support, and transparency. 

Let’s break these down better to understand the why and the methodology behind each.


Definition – an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility.

Accountability determines whether or not employees feel that a company has their back and will take action on their behalf. Employees trust that they will not face retaliation when speaking up about issues or incidents in the workplace.

Questions to consider:

  • Will the company take ownership of a situation, even when it negatively impacts them?
  • Is the employee placed in a worse position after speaking up about an issue or concern?


Definition – the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium. It is successfully conveying or sharing ideas and feelings.

Communication is more than how often a company sends emails and what they say. It’s also about what the company chooses to communicate and, more importantly, what they decide not to. 

Questions to consider:

  • How does a company keep employees updated and knowledgeable about events, products, projects, etc.? 
  • Does communication take more than one form?


Definition – company members feel respected, have a sense of belonging, and can participate and achieve their highest potential.

Inclusion is more than an invitation to a company outing; the company understands that “the way things have always been done” should be consistently up for debate. It is the regular reassessment of how employees fit into the larger conversation and the acknowledgment that different perspectives create more potential for growth and opportunity than they do for demise. 

Questions to consider:

  • Does the company know and understand the levels of intersectionality at the company? 
  • Do they make space for all voices and opinions?


Definition – the practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. 

Integrity is more than keeping your word; it is also about equitable treatment (See Definitions Blog for Equality vs. Equity). It is also how people and groups are talked about when they are not present. 

Questions to consider:

  • Does the company talk behind the backs of others? 
  • Does the company keep its word to its constituents (employees, customers, vendors, etc.)?


Definition – the act of helping employees see that their company values them; and that their work contributes to the success of their team and company.

Recognition is more than a catalog of items that employees can pick from for a job well done; sometimes, even a quick kind word goes a long way with the morale and sense of belonging employees experience. 

Questions to consider:

  • How does the company recognize employees? Does the company recognize them
  • Does that acknowledgment reflect the way those employees want to be recognized?


Definition – knowing that employees need information or items to do the job and morale to keep their spirits or courage up under trial or affliction.

Support can go beyond the necessities to do the job; it can also mean understanding where an employee wants to go and helping them find the path to get to that destination. 

Questions to consider: 

  • Do employees see themselves at your company long-term? Do they see themselves advancing? 
  • What tools do they have to communicate their needs and have them met?


Definition – being honest and open when communicating with stakeholders about matters related to the business.

Transparency is the basis for trust between a firm and its investors, customers, partners, and employees. It means ensuring that employees understand why they get a directive; it does not necessarily mean telling your employees everything.

Questions to consider:

  • Are you clear with the parts of the employees’ jobs that help them understand their impact? 
  • If something is not clear, do you explain it?

Start your journey

Each component measures an aspect of culture that may be important to your employee and their sense of belonging at their company. phoenix™ is a reflection of that sense. Not every employee will value every component we’ve described, nor will every company score highly in every area. The goal of the journey to improve your company culture is to understand who your company wants to be, how they want employees to feel working there, and how those two elements can best align.

Check out phoenix™ on June 7, 2022, to weigh in on the transformation of the insurance industry.

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