Evaluating Organizational Culture

February 19, 2020

Business has a variety of elements some pertaining to profits, some to infrastructure. An organizations culture contributes to both realms. To ensure the success of a company, all aspects must be monitored for efficiency and effectiveness. There are options available in measuring an organizational culture. They all involve types of surveys often influenced, written, and/or administered by consulting businesses.

Professional consultants offer five-steps here, four-steps there, but they are all variations of a theme. The biggest questions leaders should answer are, “Do I know what questions to ask? What delivery method do I want to use to disseminate my survey? Do I already employ a team member qualified to construct, disseminate and then evaluate the results of the survey? If I don’t already have a team member, can I afford to hire this out? Can I afford not to hire this out?” Measuring an organization’s culture is a small-scale project, projected across a large realm of departments and the (many) people working in each department. Done well, this will be time-consuming.

The simplest most relevant aspects of a business’ infrastructure to survey are: evaluating the hiring process, the availability of leadership and it’s flexibility, evaluating the effectiveness of any present incentive programs, observing team interactions, and recognizing member attitudes revealed in their answers.

Remember, an organization’s culture is the cornerstone of its infrastructure. It must be checked regularly for cracks and maintained appropriately. The above aspects of infrastructure are fundamental. Carolyn Taylor, an expert in organizational culture change and the CEO of Walking the Talk, suggests to measure behavior and values, not feelings; accept that you’ll need to do qualitative research, measure your organizations’ cultural goals, rather than, or as well as, generic culture goals. This is important information to keep in mind if you decide to create your own survey.

Finally, 29 Powerful Questions to Ask in the New Year offers these questions to go deeper into the company’s infrastructure. Here are some of the 29…

Reflection is a powerful tool in facilitating growth. But to be effective, it must be specific and measurable. The guidelines shared here are merely suggestions. They are not exhaustive. The leaders of each organization must decide what questions truly need to be answered and avoid a one-size fits all mentality. Company leaders are instrumental in creating the company culture. Measuring the impact and effectiveness of that culture sends the message that leadership cares about all aspects of the company’s success and not only profit and loss statements. A broader indication of success is reflected by the statements of the company’s team members and clients. Here’s hoping your company’s culture truly measures up!

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