Culture Index - A Detailed Review with prices
Review | HR

Culture Index – A Detailed Review

Maximizing the resources of any organization is a complicated and ever-changing process. You people are your most important resource. So, how do you ensure the best for all your staff?

What is Culture Index? Culture Index™ (CI) is a strategic advisory firm that uses analytical traits to optimize your most precious resource — people. Culture Index does this through four primary functions: Traits Assessments (Culture Index Survey), C-Job, C-Filter, and strategic advisory consultants. 

This Culture Index review provides you with an opinion based upon our experience with the tools and services provided. Let’s share with you what is behind the curtain.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. These links, if used and purchases made, we may earn a small commission. We use these funds to help support NPCrowd.

What is the Culture Index?

While employees may know Culture Index as a survey they take, it is much more. 

Culture Index™ is a strategic advisory firm that uses analytical traits to optimize your most precious resource — people. Culture Index does this through four primary functions: Traits Assessments (Culture Index Survey), C-Job, C-Filter, and strategic advisory consultants. 

Through these tools, Culture Index can help align individual employee traits with roles that fit them well. This alignment starts with the Culture Index Survey, which is the traits assessment tool. In concert with the C-Job tools, you get a quantifiable review of individuals against a role evaluated by traits and patterns.

Beyond the traits assessment, Culture Index offers services including:

  • Recruiting Strategy
  • Candidate Filtering
  • Organizational Design
  • Talent Optimization
  • Employee Engagement
  • Employee Retention
  • Executive Team Building
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Change Management
  • Management Training

What is the Culture Index survey?

The Culture Index Survey is the survey instrument sent to individuals as part of the Traits Assessment service.

Unfortunately, the Culture Index traits assessment has been incorrectly compared to the Enneagram, D.I.S.C, Meyers Briggs, and other personality tests. Culture Index is very different. 

The Culture Index Survey consists of two pages. The first page contains 172 descriptive adjectives that the candidate or employee selects that describe themselves the best. 

The second page is another set of adjectives selected to match the candidate’s/employee’s perception of what is required by their job.

A key difference in the Culture Index survey is that all selections are free-choice. Pick as many or as few as you wish. There are no multiple-choice or split-decision questions. This free choice selection is a critical difference in the viability of the results.

Here is a Culture Index Survey report example for an individual with personal information hidden.

Sample Culture Index Report Page 1 – The Socializer Pattern

The survey measures seven traits:

  • Autonomy: How self-directed is an individual (A)
  • Social Ability: How much a person needs, wants, seeks social affirmation (B)
  • Patience: How fast or slow is a person’s pace (C)
  • Conformity: How rule-following and detail-oriented is an individual (D)
  • Mental Stamina: How long an individual can go without taking a mental break (EU)
  • Logic: How much a person is guided by emotion as opposed to logic (L)
  • Ingenuity: How inventive is an individual (I)

Before we go any further, I want to say that the survey is not pitting one person against another. It doesn’t mean that since I have an EU of 7 and my peer has an EU of 47, that they are a better employee than I am. 

Instead, it means that I need to recharge my “batteries” more often than the 47. That’s it. No better or worse. Just uniqueness to each of us.

In a Culture Index survey report, the Survey Traits indicate the individual’s natural, life-long traits. The second chart is the Job Behaviors chart, which suggests the individual’s perception of traits required in their current job. 

Widely varying patterns between the two charts may indicate some differences between an individual’s natural traits and what is needed in a role. This could suggest that the match is not sustainable long-term.

The red arrow indicates the center (50%) of the bell curve for these charts’ population. Each number left or right of the arrow is an order of magnitude different from the center respondent values.

The further from the red arrow a dot is, the more obvious the trait behaviors are. The closer to the arrow, the more subtle traits may be. 

Culture Index Job Behaviors Chart – Hand Drawn Bell Curve Example

Sending the Culture Index Survey request

When you send an invitation to a team member, they will receive an invitation email from a email address that contains something like this:

“We are asking you to complete the Culture Index Survey to:

  • Better identify your strengths
  • Assist us in better management and development processes

First and foremost, please be informed that Culture Index is:

  • A survey, not a test. There is no passing or failing.
  • There is no such thing as a perfect result.
  • We only measure work related behaviors.
  • We do not measure intelligence.
  • We do not measure a person’s learning curve.
  • We cannot determine race, gender or religion.
  • We cannot determine your age.
  • We cannot determine your ambition.
  • We do not measure anything abnormal or clinical.

Take your time, read the instructions and complete the survey by yourself. We thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Please click the following link to complete the survey:

Your Organization Name.”

What did the Culture Index Survey results do for us?

We have benefitted from Culture Index in four ways:

  • Strategic Consultant helped address leadership challenges
  • Confirmed Wrong Person Right Seat issues
  • Provided hiring tool for every position
  • Identified potential Right Person Wrong Seat issues

Strategic Consultant – Leadership Challenges

Part of the Culture Index service is unlimited access to your strategic consultant. Our consultant spent time with a couple of key executives, 1-on-1, and their teams to call out challenges and force courageous conversations. 

The consultant actively engaged in helping address challenges related to traits and role-specific needed traits.

Confirmed Wrong Person Right Seat Issues

We knew we had some individuals that just were not right for their roles. Culture Index confirmed this with precision around why there was a likely mismatch. 

In these cases, we had individuals exit the organization of their own volition. Culture Index did not cause the exit; it predicted their exit. 

Hiring Tool For Role Fit

Culture Index has given us a toolset to identify traits needed for a role and then see how candidates align with what is needed. 

We have used this for both external candidates, but also with internal staff. 

When we have a vacant position, our first step is to review our current staff survey’s in the Culture Index portal to see if we already have anyone that matches the traits pattern well. If not, we know the candidate will likely need to come from the outside.

What are the Culture Index personality types?

We get this question from people we talk to about our experience. Remember, Culture Index is not about personality types. Instead, there are typified patterns based on the seven traits assessed. 

There are eighteen typified patterns. We classify these patterns into four categories, visionary, research, social, and organizational.

Visionary Patterns

Visionary patterns typically have a high A – autonomy dot while most are low on C – pace and D – conformity. This means they are more “me” focused, have strong opinions, and are big picture thinkers who are not detailed, task-oriented, rule followers. 

These named Visionary patterns are:

  • The Daredevil
  • The Enterpriser
  • The Philosopher
  • The Trailblazer
  • The Architect

Research Patterns

All Research patterns have high D – conformity and low B – social ability. This means they are focused and detailed oriented while likely being a bit more introverted.

The named Research patterns are:

  • The Technical Expert
  • The Scholar
  • The Specialist
  • The Craftsman

Social Patterns

All Research patterns have high B – social ability and low D – conformity. This means they are more extroverted, dealing with feelings more than facts, and like making their own rules. 

The named Research patterns are:

  • The Persuader
  • The Rainmaker
  • The Debater
  • The Socializer

Organizational Patterns

All Organizational patterns have high D – conformity dots, and most have a low A – autonomy dot. This means they are naturally unselfish and cooperative while focusing on details and the completion of tasks.

The named Organizational patterns are:

  • The Administrator
  • The Coordinator
  • The Facilitator
  • The Operator
  • The Traditionalist

How accurate is the Culture Index Survey?

There is so much detail described in the survey reports that the traits assessments are typically very accurate. 

Nobody on our teams indicated that their results were way off base in describing them. While a few of our staff stated a particular sentence in the full report didn’t fully describe them, they agreed with the report’s overall description.

Our consultant met with each team and described each person’s results during the meetings. Many meetings ended with side conversations about how we couldn’t believe how on point the assessments were. 

What is a C-Job and Why use it?

A C-Job is used to create a traits pattern profile for a specific role in your organization. 

You can have a C-Job survey sent to any number of people who interact with the person in a specific role to get their feedback about traits required. 

Upon completion of the surveys, a C-Job is created. We receive a pattern profile for the role. This pattern describes the ideal candidate pattern. 

We can then look for candidates that most closely resemble the ideal pattern.

What is the C-Filter service?

Now that we have a C-Job pattern profile, the C-Filter service helps with candidate screening. 

This service allows candidates to take the Culture Index Survey. The system then filters to our team only the most we aligned individuals. This saves time and energy. 

How much does Culture Index cost?

Culture Index is not inexpensive at first look. We understand that pricing varies based on the size of the organization. For a nonprofit with 30-40 FTEs, the Culture Index cost was $7,200 per year. 

Someone on your team may need training on the tools and interpretation of the results. This training is a one-time additional expense of around $2,500.

You might say, “Whoa! Deal breaker, that’s too much for a survey tool.”

And you would be right if it was a survey tool. It is not. Instead, you get a suite of tools along with unlimited strategic consulting to maximize your workforce for a year. 

According to the Center for American Progress, it costs 20% of a position’s annual salary to fill a vacancy for roles paying under $50,000 per year. 

The Society for Human Resource Management indicates the cost of replacing a mid-level employee can reach 90% – 200% of the position’s salary to fill vacant roles.

Be sure you don’t ignore a turnover problem.

When you consider that getting the right people in the right seats helps reduce voluntary and involuntary turnover, Culture Index could bring significant ROI. 

Of course, this annual cost doesn’t make sense for the smallest organizations. We anticipate that you can achieve a 100+% ROI for organizations that are larger than 12 employees. 

Culture Index provides a tool to help calculate your organization’s cost of turnover.

Culture Index Cost of Turnover Worksheet

Culture Index Pros and Cons

Culture Index is not for everyone. If you are not willing to commit to using the tool for all hiring and promotions, don’t spend the money. 

On the other hand, if your organization has the financial means, Culture Index can improve your organization and teams. 


  • Unbiased candidate to role fit assessment tool
  • High potential to reduce turnover
  • Conflict resolution assistance
  • Executive Team building
  • Organization design help with strategic planning


  • Culture Index is an investment in time and dollars
  • Requires training of a point person on staff at an additional cost during the first year
  • It will not solve toxic cultures on its own
  • Culture Index can be not easy to understand fully

See what others think about Culture Index.

The Bottom Line – Is Culture Index worth the expense?

Yes, but only for organizations that will fully utilize the tools and consulting services. The proven and expected impact of Culture Index means it makes it on my recommended list.

For organizations that will commit to using the tool for hiring and analyzing current and new positions, the Culture Index is a powerful tool. You will likely see reduced turnover, in time, and higher employee engagement. 

It was hard for me to remember that we have unlimited access to our strategic consultant as part of our annual fixed price. I love that we can leverage their C-level experience for needs like organizational development, conflict resolution, and recruiting strategy.

In my 20+ years of professional leadership, this is the first tool I would recommend in this price category. 

Special Free Trial

Thanks to Mark Connelly of Culture Index, you can request a free trial of Culture Index by completing the form below. 

The free trial will allow you to survey team members and receive a free one-hour consultation on the results from a licensed Culture Index Advisor.

Note: We do not receive any affiliate commission by your requesting a free trial. We have not been paid to write this review. As a customer, we simply believe in the results and want you to be able to decide if it may be helpful for your organization. Culture Index may cancel the free trial offer at any time. As such, we do not guarantee or warrant anything related to this offer.

Additional Reading

Tom Lucas - Principal
Author: Tom Lucas - Principal

Tom is a multi-disciplined leader with over a decade of experience in nonprofit operations, technology leadership in government, and over two decades of servant leadership. It is the process of growing others in confidence that drives Tom. "We get to help shape the leaders of tomorrow. I want that future to be bright."

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