The Ten Best Questions for Assessing Your Organizational Culture
In this podcast I am going to share with you my ten best questions for assessing your organizational culture. In order to assess your organizational culture to make changes its important to develop questions that will point you in the right direction and I know these ten questions for assessing your organizational culture will put you on the right path.
What’s difficult sometimes is defining your organizational culture, putting a finger on what makes it distinct. With that said, I think this quick questionnaire can be vital for just getting you started in thinking critically about what your organizational culture is and how it might be improved.
What is Organizational Culture?
Before we can assess our organizational culture it’s important that we understand what is organizational culture, generally speaking?
The way I explain organizational culture is that it’s a summary of how people at your business interact with each other… and, how they interact with clients and customers. More formally, you might say that organizational culture is the mixture of beliefs, assumptions, values, and habits that comprise the psychological environment of your workplace.
Organizational culture comes in different varieties, and some are healthier than others. So, how do you assess your company’s culture? That’s what we’ll address next.
Assessing Your Organizational Culture
Here are my Ten Best Questions for Assessing Your Organizational Culture
- What is the mission/purpose of the organization? Is this mission statement written or codified in some way for people to view? Would you say that most team members can articulate the mission? Or, if you asked 10 different employees what the mission is, would you get 10 different answers?
- What motivates your employees? Are team members motivated into action by a sense of mission or by promise of a reward, or the threat of corrective action? What’s the motivating force at your company?
- What’s the organizational structure? Would you say that the structure of your company is hierarchical? Or is it more of a flat structure, where team members all feel like they’re on pretty much the same footing? How does this structure impact your daily productivity and employee relationships?
- Is your company overall collaborative? How often do different departments work together with one another? On a typical project, is one employee holed up in their office, or do you see a lot of instances of teamwork and cross-disciplinary unity?
- Do people in your company feel respected and appreciated? Actually, start with yourself: Do you feel respected, both by people who work under you and by the people to whom you report? Do colleagues appreciate your particular skills and subject matter expertise? Do you feel like you have opportunities to add value, and is that value welcomed and appreciated by the rest of the team?
- Is there freedom to fail with new initiatives? What happens if a team member tries something innovative and new and it doesn’t quite work as intended? Is punitive action taken? Is that employee scolded by the boss? Or do you have a work environment where effort and experimentation are rewarded and encouraged, even when things don’t quite pan out?
- How does employee morale impact the end client/customer experience? This is a tough one to assess, maybe, but think about the general mood of your employees. Does it seem like their disposition carries over into friendly, attentive, courteous customer service? Or do you notice that lackluster attitudes lead to a chilly demeanor with customers?
- How would you characterize leadership at your company? Leadership and organizational culture go hand in hand. I’d encourage you to ask whether the managers/bosses/supervisors/executives at your company lead by example; do they micromanage; are they good at delegation? ; whether they ultimately trust employees with some real autonomy and freedom.
- Can you name three specific areas where your organizational culture could be improved? Simple question… simple but crucial! No company culture is ever perfect. It’s always going to be a work in progress and thinking critically about specific areas for improvement can be a really helpful exercise. What are a few things that immediately spring to mind? And do you think other team members would share your assessment?
- On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your organizational culture? Would you recommend it to a friend? Again, this may sound simple, maybe even simplistic. But I think there’s real value in just doing a quick gut check: How much do you like your organizational culture, really? Your instincts here may be more revealing than you can imagine.
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