Company Culture Part 2

Part 2 How to Assess Your Own Company Culture – Check It!

If your company shows a lack of leadership, high turnover, disengaged employees, and a hard time adapting to changes, it may be cultural issues that need attention.

A company’s culture is set by its leaders. Those leaders set the bar for performance through their own behaviors and actions. If managers set unrealistic expectations, blame others or display poor attitude it can negatively affect the entire team’s morale and reduce performance. Providing training and support to these managers will give them the skills they need to inspire others or may be the telltale sign that this person is not in the right position.

So how do I assess my company’s culture? The answer is not a one size fits all. It depends on the time and resources you have available, but here are a few ways to develop a snapshot of where you are.

1.   Check your values. Some common values include things like outcome orientation, people orientation, attention to detail, and competitiveness. If yours are not currently in writing, just going through the exercise of writing them down can help you figure them out and fine tune them. Leadership should model those values through both words and actions.

2.   Check your hiring practices. Hiring typically focuses on a person’s skills. Does yours also look at the way a person’s personality will fit with your current team and culture? If so, the new hire will be more likely to perform better.

3.   Check your employee’s programs. Look at your reward and performance management programs. Are the rewards aligned with the values? If teamwork is a core value, do you reward team success over individual success? Are expectations clear and attainable? If expectations are not clear and rewards attainable, employees may feel it is a show rather than a real reward potential. This can have a huge negative effect on morale.

4.   Check with your people. Ask open ended questions so that employees can share their thoughts and ideas. Making it anonymous will provide a higher likelihood of getting honest answers. This can be one of the most effective ways to evaluate what is truly going on in the company. There are many survey programs available that can help you come up with the right set of questions for your organization. Some starter questions may be:

a.            Do our policies and procedures help us provide the service our customers want and need? Why or why not?

b.            Are people or teams expected to reach goals that are unattainable? Why do you think they are or are not attainable?

c.            Do employees have the skill and knowledge needed to work effectively? What would you like to see change?

d.            Are the expectations clear and concise? Are you encouraged to ask questions if something is not clear?

e.            Do you feel the company constantly looks for new and better ways to serve its clients more effectively? Why?

f.        Do you feel management listens to your concerns and work effectively to address them?

5.   Check external indicators. Is your company evaluated on Indeed or Glassdoor? Look at Yelp and other customer-based review platforms as well. Do you receive rewards and accolades for service and performance or are the reviews less than glowing? Any negative public reviews can affect recruitment.

When a business takes the time to understand its culture, it can make the necessary investments to nurture and grow a culture that supports its employees as well as its purpose.

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