Culture is what people do when no one is looking

2016.03.24_monitoring culture
For decades, organizations have conducted formal employee surveys and, until recently, these have been geared to measure employee satisfaction and opinions. These types of surveys have helped organizations gauge a number of elements within their organization, however, they were rarely tied back to the organization’s culture. In other words, the questions on these surveys measured the parts, and never the whole.

Today, with increasing appreciation of the importance of culture (and the concept of organizational DNA), the time is right to shift the focus of employee surveys to the health and fitness of the organization. With a tested value set as the foundation, coupled with a desire to develop a strong culture, these sophisticated tools allow leaders to measure trends across a number of key areas affecting their employees, and ultimately, the organization itself.

Here are Some Tips to Getting your Measurement Tool Right:

The survey, and its administration, must be created with purpose, or the results will not be useful.

Content. There are indeed right and wrong questions that can be asked on Organizational Culture surveys. To effectively measure their culture, organizations must spend an extensive period of time crafting their values, and then developing appropriate questions to assess them. Further still, it is important to understand that employees at different levels have different vantage points on the organization, and it is wise to create subsets of questions to be delivered to these targeted groups. This ensures that the survey process gathers as much relevant information as possible from the employee population.

Get the right feedback from the right places.

Third-party administration. It is basic human nature to be reluctant to deliver harsh news directly. Therefore, it is particularly important for organizations to consider the use of a third-party organization to administer the survey, collect the data, and present the comprehensive results. This will not only reassure employees that their views will be kept anonymous, and confidential, but it will allow them to provide truthful, unfiltered feedback.

Maximize the likelihood of full disclosure.

Delivery. The goal of any survey is to get honest and candid feedback from employees. Therefore, ensure your organization embraces technology in any way possible to distribute and collect the surveys in as short a timeframe as possible. Be sure to seek out third-parties who can distribute and collect information from your employee population in a secure and protected manner. And reassure employees, at every step of the process, that their “candid” feedback is what is desired to help grow the organization.

Corporate culture is a powerful force. If an organization is fortunate enough to get it right, and has a culture that promotes effectiveness, and growth, it can move at pace through the challenges of the business world. If, on the other hand, its culture hinders progress and holds the organization back from reaching its true potential, it is critical to be able to turn this around.

Either way, being able to identify where your organization’s culture is, and where you want it to go is an important factor for achieving long term success.

If you would like to know more about The Beacon Group’s approach to Organizational Culture surveys, please contact us and we’d be happy to talk with you, or visit our website to learn more: Read More Here