Having the right culture in your workplace can help you increase your productivity and improve your employee’s job satisfaction. Suppose you are an HR Executive or a Business Owner seeking methods to understand the culture and evaluate how it operates within your workplace. In that case, you may consider conducting a cultural assessment.
What Is Cultural Assessment?
Cultural Assessment stands for analyzing an organization’s expectations, philosophy and values that guide the people working in an organization. It is usually based on unwritten rules and attitudes that develop in a company over some time. Culture is a living organism that individuals continuously influence. It is not defined, owned, or controlled by one person or group. The HR Department does not create or own culture. Instead, company culture is the collective behaviour of all the organization members. It’s formed by vision, norms, beliefs, environment, symbols, and traditions. It includes mission, articulated company values, and, perhaps most importantly, the practices. Culture is impacted and affected by organizational structure, processes, and controls. It’s what people do. It’s how people act.
Why Is Cultural Assessment Important?
When the people working at your company enjoy the environment and the team they are working with, they are more engaged with your company and work. Companies that have a sustainable work culture get a competitive advantage. On the other hand, companies where the work is mind-numbing or leaders who tolerate bad behaviour are unlikely to survive long. A 2019 report by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) reported that toxic work cultures could result in:
- Drops in productivity
- Deterioration of employee well-being
- Loss of profits
Having a reputable company culture can also help you with the company’s employer branding. The employees who work at your place may share their experience outside, attracting more people who want to work at your business.
Cultural Assessment Framework: 4C’s
When it comes to Cultural Assessment, the Competing Values Framework is known to be the most competent. It is popularly known as CVF, and it is divided into four quadrants. Many factors differentiate organizations, and the Cultural Assessment Framework makes it easy to determine those differences. Let’s look at the four quadrants of the Cultural Assessment Framework.
The Collaborate Quadrant
- As the name suggests, the collaborative quadrant represents the people and process that helps to boost teamwork in a company. The organizations that fall in this quadrant believe in working together and growing together as a team.
- The work culture in such organizations is focused on involvement. Usually, companies that fall into the Collaborate Quadrant are an employee’s choice. People in such organizations believe that relationships are built on trust.
- Customers find it easy to trust such organizations, and hence getting business for the company gets easy.
The Create Quadrant
- When the work culture of an organization is focused on creativity and innovation, that organization represents the create quadrant. These organizations are focused on learning, and they constantly keep changing their work environment.
- Such organizations are focused on the future and are usually led by people who enjoy entrepreneurial activities.
- Generating new ideas for the company’s development is the main focus of such organizations.
The Compete Quadrant
- As its name suggests, the compete quadrant focuses on organizations where the work culture revolves around aggressive competition.
- Organizations that fall in this quadrant focus on results, profits, revenue, etc.
- Since these organizations believe in a competition culture, people are divided into winners and losers. Hence, many people don’t like staying in such organizations long.
The Control Quadrant
- The control quadrant represents the organizations that focus more on reliable performance.
- The organizations that fall in this quadrant focus on planning to function better.
- Following strict policies, cutting costs, and optimization drive these organizations forward.
How to Assess Organizational Culture?
Know Current Company Culture
Multiple ways allow you to understand the company culture better. To understand the company culture, you can follow the following tips:
Become a Part of the Culture Walk
One of the easiest ways to know an organization’s culture is by taking a building tour. Doing a culture walk can help you to answer questions like:
- How big is the company? Where do employees spend their time when they take a break?
- Where are the people located? Is there a different section for team leaders, or does everyone sit together to work as a team?
- What is displayed on the walls and boards in the office?
- How often do people communicate with each other? How do they talk? Is the communication casual and verbal? Is it done via email marketing software or any other software that allows texting?
- Are the computers monitored? Does the company keep a check on what you search on the internet?
- Is everyone assigned a locker to keep their personal belongings?
- How much emotion is involved when the employees interact? Is it formal, or is it casual and friendly?
Once you take a cultural walk, you can get started with cultural interviews. You can conduct a culture interview by interacting with the employees working in the company and asking them questions about their experience. Have a look at the questions you should consider asking while conducting a cultural interview.
- What’s the one thing that you want to change about your organization?
- Does your organization force you to work overtime without paying for it?
- What would you say to a relative or a friend who wanted to start working at your organization?
- Who is the hero in this company? Who is the most fun person to chill with? Why?
- What is your favourite thing about working in this organization?
- What is the question you usually ask to anyone new who joins your organization?
If you are done taking a tour and conducting a culture interview, you should be familiar with the work culture in your company. However, when you are still looking for more information, a written culture survey might help you solve all your problems. Many employees won’t like taking this since it involves a lot of work; hence, you should keep your survey short.
It is essential to ask your employees some questions to set your preferences right as a business professional. Do you like working in a casual and friendly environment without a dress code? Do you enjoy working in a team, or do you prefer to work alone? Are you okay when your boss puts pressure on you, or do you like to take your own time while completing a task? Creating a workplace culture can be more manageable once you have set your preferences and know your answers. To make this easy, you can take the help of a SWOT Analysis that summarizes the organisation’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. It helps leaders identify where the organization needs to improve and where it is doing its best.
Compare Candidates’ Preferences to Your Culture
While taking an interview, you can ask your candidates to answer some questions so you can compare your culture with your candidates’ preferences. To do this job better, you can take the help of the International Personality Item Pool test that allows you to measure how well the candidate matches your organization’s culture. For example, suppose all the work in your organization is divided into multiple teams. In that case, you’ll be looking for an employee who quickly gets comfortable with new people and finds pleasure when working in a group.
Observe the Work Environment
When you are working in a company, it becomes essential to step out and observe the work environment around you. Checkout if the office is divided into cubicles or if people are working together. Have a look at what the employees are wearing. Check if they are in business attire or are they rocking tees with shorts.
External Indicators can also play a huge role when you want to determine your workplace culture. Websites like Glassdoor and Indeed, where you can look up the reviews for your company, can easily give you an idea of your culture. There are also anonymous forums where employees can leave their honest thoughts about the company without the fear of getting judged.
Once you are done with your research, it’s time to sit down and combine your data to understand your workplace culture better. Start by dividing the information into different parts to picture your work environment better. If something is wrong, try to match your wants and needs and see if the company can offer the same to its employees. Write down new rules and make changes to improve your workplace culture.
Jobsoid’s Applicant tracking system (ATS) is an HR tool that helps with the cultural assessment by organizing, standardizing, and reporting on a company’s entire hiring process by streamlining it. As a part of assessing culture and improving it, use this for interviewing, selecting, hiring, and onboarding employees while the employees join your company!