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American Express Global Business Travel


Danielle McMahan, Vice President, Talent Management


American Express Global Business Travel



Business Challenge

In 2014, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) formed a new corporate entity after branching out from its parent company American Express. With this change, the company’s culture needed to evolve to meet the demands of its new business strategy. GBT’s goal was to build a culture that retained the superior American Express service legacy while empowering employees to make decisions quickly and encouraging everyone to take ownership of their work.

Analytics Solution

After defining the company’s new strategy and the culture that would help achieve it, GBT needed to identify any gaps between the company’s current and target culture. To assess the current culture and its evolution over time, GBT selected a people-analytics vendor, CultureIQ. CultureIQ’s technology platform measures corporate culture across 10 qualities common to high-performance cultures to provide an in-depth view of the organization as a whole and within various employee segments using modern survey technology. In the past two years, CultureIQ has launched an annual survey and conducted demographic and benchmark comparisons, comment analyses, and regression driver analyses. The results revealed the culture’s strengths, opportunities, and cultural drivers for engagement.


GBT leveraged the findings to initiate global action planning, refine the company’s mission statement, and establish a few key areas of focus to drive culture change. A major success from the findings includes the introduction of new corporate values via “Culture Week” to build employee excitement and purpose around the company’s mission and values. A survey launched prior to Culture Week revealed that only 63 percent of employees knew GBT’s culture values, and 45 percent believed in company values. Following Culture Week, a second survey revealed that 88 percent of employees knew the values and 81 percent believed in them. GBT continues to assess progress by regularly collecting employee feedback about their areas of focus.