How does your Company’s Culture Measure Up?

How well does your current company culture support desired performance as well as maintain consistent employee passion?

Are your customers pleased – maybe even thrilled – with the products and services you provide and how they are treated by your staff?

Do current and potential employees believe your company is a great place to work? Are your customers positive “word of mouth” marketers of your company and your products and services?

All of these are indicators of a healthy corporate culture. Most senior leaders are unaware of the powerful impact that culture has on their organization’s performance and on employee satisfaction/engagement/passion. Blanchard‘s award-winning, proven culture change process helps educate senior leaders about their responsibilities to proactively manage their company’s culture. Those activities include role modeling and reinforcing performance and values expectations, holding all staff accountable for those expectations, and refining those expectations over time as your market and opportunities evolve.

The creation of a valid, reliable culture assessment is no small task. When we first built our culture assessment, process co-authors Bob Glaser, Garry Demarest, and I did an extensive literature review and meta-analysis of culture change research and of best practices around the globe. We continue that study regularly to ensure that our profile assesses the right cultural elements today. Our culture change clients tell us we’ve got it right.

The items on our culture change assessment describe the best practices of high performance, values-aligned cultures. We use a six point rating scale (an even numbered scale prevents respondents from select a neutral, mid-point answer, which doesn’t provide you with actionable data):

  1. Strongly Disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Slightly Disagree
  4. Slightly Agree
  5. Agree
  6. Strongly Agree

We do provide a response category titled “don’t know/doesn’t apply.” However, we’d prefer to see no responses here – as you’ll see from the sample items below, all of these statements apply in a high performing, values-aligned culture!

Here are a few sample items from our culture assessment for your consideration:

  • Team members understand what it takes for our organization to be successful today.
  • Individual team members’ personal purpose and values are aligned with our organization’s purpose and values.
  • Team member performance plans include both ends goals (results) and means goals (valued behaviors).
  • Declared team values are the foundation of team decisions and actions.
  • Our work environment fosters trust among team members.
  • At work, team members actively praise and encourage each other.

What is a “good” response to these items? We want to see scores at the 5-6 level for every item, across the organization, from frontline employees to senior leaders. That kind of alignment to these cultural best practices does not happen casually – it happens only with consistent focus by the senior leadership team and leaders across the organization.

As part of the two-day process kickoff workshop for the organization’s senior leadership team, we typically complete two different culture assessments as prework and analyze the results together during the session:

  • The first context is of the senior leader and his/her direct reports ranking their executive team. In previous posts here I’ve stated the vital importance of an aligned senior leadership team that proactively manages their company culture with “one heart, one mind, one voice.” This data helps the senior leadership team understand what gaps exist today and enables action planning to close those gaps across this team.
  • The second context is from the “frontline,” assessing how employees rank the organization on these key questionnaire items. This “overall” perspective is important as it helps the senior leadership team understand culture gaps perceived by their “first customers” – their employees – and begin action planning to address those gaps.

By using our assessment you’ll discover what gaps exist between the best practices of high performance, values-aligned cultures and your organization’s culture. We stand by to help you address those gaps and build an amazing work environment for employees, customers, and stakeholders.

How well does your team or department do on the sample culture items above? What do YOU look for in an aligned corporate culture? Share your comments below.


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