How to Conduct an Organizational Culture Assessment
When was the last time you gave your organization a health check-up? An organization can look like the picture of health to the outside, with high numbers and ticked boxes. But inside can tell a different story…
Signs of a poorly culture can be subtle. It’s why organizational culture assessments should be conducted regularly, to keep a finger constantly on culture’s pulse.
92% of employees surveyed ― across all workplace generations ― said that culture has an impact on their decision to remain with an employer. And 29% of millennials are planning to leave their company within a year because it doesn’t match their values (EY).
If you want to keep your best people, learning how to assess organizational culture properly is an essential skill to learn.
Defining Organizational Culture and Its Importance
Culture: A Mirror of Leadership and Values
Culture is an echo of how leaders behave, what they celebrate, ignore, how they react to errors, and how they relate to others. Employees learn by observation what is rewarded and what is punished; what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.
So, if you have employees who are underperforming or behaving in a troubling way – look at leadership first and conduct an organizational culture assessment. Has your environment become competitive or unsupportive? Is there a culture of blame? Are leaders setting unrealistic or unclear expectations? Maybe they have a ‘my way or the highway’ approach that’s dragging down team morale?
Ask yourself: is it really fair to expect employees to care about the mission or bring their best self every day to a culture like that?
Why Assessing Culture Matters in Every Organization
Assessing organizational culture stops negativity and workplace stress from turning nightmares into toxic realities. If you don’t know how to assess organizational culture, your workplace can quickly become a toxic environment, and you’ll soon see employee-shaped holes in the doors!
Before they escape, you’ll be looking at issues flying under the radar and snowballing, poor communication and friction between teams, and poor decision-making – inevitably leading to decreased productivity, poor employee wellbeing, and lower profits (SHRM).
Healthy cultures, on the other hand, create a 3x return to shareholders (McKinsey & Co.), and increase employee engagement, productivity, and retention (Columbia University). Empowered, happy employees help their co-workers 33% more often, achieve goals 31% more often, and are 36% more motivated in their work (Workhuman). But building high-performing cultures is impossible if you’re not regularly conducting organizational culture assessments.
Practical Steps to Conduct an Effective Culture Assessment
Utilizing Tools and Surveys for Comprehensive Assessment
What motivates employees? How is failure addressed? Do leaders walk the talk? Are there any organizational subcultures? Do employees feel respected and heard? What exactly needs to change?
The only way to answer these is to ask people! Workplace culture assessments look beyond absenteeism and productivity metrics. Assessing organizational culture is to facilitate a two-way discussion, keeping track of feedback to create an environment of transparency and trust.
Helpful culture assessment tools include:
- Values assessments are not a pop quiz on values; they
- Culture walks do what it says on the tin. Embrace your inner Attenborough and walk around to observe signs of culture. Are people interacting with each other? How are they talking to each other? How are they using workspace?
- It’s a chance to gain deeper awareness of team challenges, gather data on cultural norms, and isolate leadership challenges to track and measure change.
At DX Learning, we have a series of pre and post culture assessment tools to ensure that our signature CARE to Win platform is a permanent part of your leadership and culture. Including: CARE Engagement Survey, CARE Cultural Diagnostic Survey, CARE 360 Behavior Tracker, ProHabits Reinforcement Technology, and CARE Coaching. And no, not the cuddly kind of care – clarity, autonomy, relationships, and equity®, the human skills to get the hard stuff done.
Analyzing Results and Implementing Change
The Role of Every Employee in Culture Assessment
Cultivating Culture Champions Across the Organization
Encouraging Participation and Feedback in Assessments
The CARE Playbook: A Framework for Cultural Health
Understanding CARE: Clarity, Autonomy, Relationships, Equity®
Implementing the CARE Playbook in Organizational Assessments
What are the key components of an organizational culture assessment?
How does the CARE playbook aid in assessing and improving culture?
Why is it important for every employee to be involved in culture assessment?
It’s better on top!
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