Cultural Assessment Tool
Uncover the cultural values, behaviors, and beliefs that help and hinder your company’s efforts to grow, innovate and lead change.
- How effectively does your organizational culture drive performance metrics such as profit, sales/market growth, employee engagement, and innovation?
- What does senior leadership want to change, to support an organizational culture change?
- Which culture habits support your strategic objectives and which habits hinder them?
Answer these essential culture questions to align people, purpose, and process in your organization. Gain actionable insights into which specific culture-focused habits and activities will visibly improve business results within 12 months.
In 2013, Booz-Allen released a study of 2,200 global participants, on their perspectives about corporate culture:
- 84 percent of respondents and 86 percent of C-Suite respondents believe that their organization’s culture is critical to business success.
- 96 percent said some form of culture change is needed within their organization.
- 51 percent believe their organization is in need of a major culture overhaul.
- 48 percent do not think they have the capabilities required to deliver lasting change.
Savvy leaders know a modern workplace today must be collaborative, nimble, and responsive to change while cultivating a reasonable amount of risk needed to innovate. Culture is the most important controllable way to achieve this and cultural change is a must for any organization to thrive in the coming decade.
Yet, despite billions of dollars being spent on meetings, tools, and training, most organizational transformation efforts and the culture changes that accompany them fail to take hold and sustain.
Why is this?
Most often it is due to the fact that the initial groundwork was not laid properly. Assessment is the groundwork and the foundation on which change is built. It is the starting point you need to fully understand the territory, clarify the expectations, create alignment among leaders and clearly define what success looks like.
What Can You Expect To Gain From A Cultural Assessment?
Many leaders are still unclear about what culture is and how to change it to foster high performance.
Think of the following analogy. Imagine that one day after putting new tires on your car you’re driving down the highway and take a quick 5 seconds to pull off your coat. Suddenly, your car veers on its own into the next lane. Even though you were heading straight down the road, without the steering wheel firmly in hand the car went off in its own direction.
This is exactly the process that happens in an organization during change. Leaders often declare that a change is going to take place, set the organization in motion towards it, and move their attention to something else. Meanwhile, people on the ground level and lower level management feel out of alignment.
This is when the organization veers off-course.
Just as tires require alignment after being changed, organizations require cultural alignment after initiating change. This is where assessment comes in.
Since 1998, we have worked with hundreds of leaders and companies across multiple industries, geographies and sizes to pinpoint the cultural pressure points slowing down or derailing their business goals, strategies, and organizational change plans.
Effective Cultural Assessment Will Help Your Organization
- Base people decisions on data
- Retain and engage great employees
- Drive high-performance teamwork
- Grow better leaders by understanding their role in shaping culture
- Provide an internally owned, ongoing measurement strategy for your organizational culture work
Discover What Behaviors And Perceptions
- Hinder achievement of your company’s goals
- Senior leadership believes are most important, based on data
- Strengthen the connection between culture and high performance
- Align with your strategic objectives
Would Your Organization Profit From A Culture Assessment?
Only 35% of U.S. managers are engaged at work, while 14% are actively disengaged. Gallup estimates this costs the American economy approximately $350 billion in lost productivity, healthcare costs, and turnover. – Gallup, 2015
Are You Experiencing Any Of The Following?
- Increasing attrition
- Exit interview data showing declining morale
- Leadership tension or conflicts among important players
- A merger, new technology adoption, or strategy shift
- Increasing resistance during change programs
- A new CEO who understands that culture is their biggest competitive advantage
Culture assessment helps restore alignment, performance, and productivity by creating a conscious and essential conversation among leaders, managers, and employees, to re-align ways of working with the changes.
When done right, assessment builds trust, re-energizes people, and diminishes stress. It also makes employees feel that you care about more than just the bottom line, which is a significant theme among today’s younger generations.
Assessing Organizational Culture Addresses
- Untrained managers and supervisors who don’t understand the basics of motivating and engaging people (unfair, frustrating, demeaning)
- Over-use of policies and politics that restricts creativity in a mountain of meaningless activity and paperwork
- Lack of team focus
- Missing venues for employees to voice their ideas – “My ideas go to waste” or “They don’t care what I think”
- No exciting direction people can feel part of: “I don’t feel I’m contributing to something, it’s just a paycheck”
Is Your Culture A Source Of Competitive Advantage?
Strong, adaptable culture results in ROI. John Kotter and James Heskett in Corporate Culture and Performance, linked adaptive cultures to 900% higher stock price and 756% rise in net income, compared to competitors over an 11 period.
Who Is Involved And How Many People Does It Take To Assess An Organization’s Culture?
One of the most common questions asked by clients undertaking culture assessment is who to survey. Should a company survey specific teams, everyone in the organization, or a few people from every department?
The answer to who to survey depends entirely on your goals. If you are leading a sweeping transformational change across an entire organization, it must begin at the top because as a result of not being on the ground and working in it everyday senior executives tend to have the least accurate view of culture. It is important to collect multiple data points at every level and function, especially on the front lines. Doing so makes the approach believable and credible to employees.
There are times when it is appropriate to survey just a team or department. However, I rarely suggest leaving out employees within a level or function (i.e. taking a partial sample). If you cannot afford the time or the resources to include all employees, you need to provide training and support for your mid-level managers to lead discussions about cultural change.
I recommend forming a small committee or team to design, execute, and guide the culture assessment and subsequent change process. Depending on size and scope, this team can be anywhere from 1 to 10 people.
What Areas Of The Business Or Culture Will You Discover With A Cultural Assessment?
Meaningful change begins with a clear understanding of the vision, strategy, and definition of success for the next 2-3 years. If you are looking to increase performance and productivity it is essential that culture is viewed as the vehicle – ie, what cultural changes are needed to successfully achieve these goals?
We then work with internal teams in the organization to design a cultural assessment approach that will reveal the barriers and pressure points that derail these desired outcomes. In doing so we link culture to performance.
Cultural assessment should pinpoint specific pain points that keep teams or organizations from achieving their goals. Examples we’ve seen include confusion, customer complaints, or individual leaders who foster unproductive, toxic, or high burnout work environments.
What Business Decisions Will An Assessment Help To Inform?
- What culture do we want?
- How will that culture support our goals and performance?
- What behaviors define that culture?
- How will we measure progress?
- What will executives change or do to demonstrate they are serious about cultural changes?
- What leadership changes must be addressed?
- What support do we need? How will we ensure that support enables us to lead the cultural change journey as an organization?
- Who is the Executive Sponsor of the cultural change? The sponsor should not be HR and while the CEO must champion the culture, ideally an executive who is trusted and credible within the business will oversee the culture process. In our experience, it has been the COO, CFO, CMO, CTO, or CIO. You need a leader who is both passionate about cultural change, and who lives the core values.
Why Choose Corporate Culture Pros?
Declaring “we need culture change” or “culture is important” raises people’s expectations of positive meaningful improvements. Are you fully prepared to deliver those changes?
If you need support in your cultural assessment process, we’d love to help.
We make it easy, personalized, confidential and professional.
We only provide the support that you need – nothing more or less.
We offer several advantages for you:
We have spent 2 decades honing our radar to cultural dynamics that both promote and prevent high performance.
With great respect to the multitude of survey companies in the culture space, many are tech companies with capability in software and statistics, more than human behavior and performance. We are seasoned experts in the intersection of psychology, anthropology (social dynamics), high performance, and business strategy.
We provide truthful, relevant, straight-from-the-hip feedback your CEO and executives can understand. We don’t sugarcoat the truth, bury it in a fancy 500 slide PowerPoint, or position it to get more billable time.
Personalized service that makes it easy for you to complete your culture project quickly and to your satisfaction.
Most cultural analyses of this depth and quality will cost two to three times our price. Because we keep our operation lean we can focus on serving you while keeping costs to a minimum.
In Our Cultural Assessment You Receive:
- Proven, objective advice on how to properly assess your culture properly.
- Clarity on the trouble spots in your organization’s health, including its leadership.
- Barriers/alignment issues that dilute growth and high performance.
- Actionable changes based on your performance goals and change journey.
- Recommendations for your unique cultural personality and business goals.
We can support these outcomes with our free Organizational Culture Assessment Tool, downloadable here on the website as well as with expert coaching or consulting. The Assessment Tool Kit provides a comprehensive, step-by-step process with activities and tools to define, shape and manage your organizational culture. It is an enabler of ongoing change, innovation, and growth. Whether you choose to do it yourself or engage our consulting services, you receive the benefit of over 2 decades of expertise in understanding and diagnosing company cultures.
Our Free Culture Assessment Tool Details The Following Steps:
1.Assessing Change Readiness
2.Assessing Organizational Culture
– including 30 sample questions you can use as is or tailor to your own needs. High scores on these questions are powerful predictors of organizational performance. This section also includes sample focus group questionnaires and interview questions.
3.Sharing Assessment Results with the Senior Team.
Make the culture conversation with the Senior Team one that clearly shows how the culture impacts business performance. If you are unsure how contact us to schedule a complimentary strategy call.
4.Sharing Results with Participants.
The key to successfully engaging people in a “culture conversation” is a commitment to implementing several ideas that come from employees. If it’s all talk and no action, there’s likely to be an increase in people’s cynicism and frustration.
5.Defining Your New Culture.
Key Behaviors & Culture Habits (Includes Culture Habits every company needs and a section on Creating a Culture Manifesto, with examples from Netflix, Hubspot, and other great cultures.)
6. Defining Challenges in Culture Work and Frequency of Change Monitoring
1. Section A: “Planning the Program” contains facilitator materials including definitions, program cycle, implementation steps, tools, sample interview, focus group, and survey questions to guide the person leading the program.
2. Section B: “Conducting the Program” includes activities and tools to use with employees to define and shape your organizational culture, audit it for alignment with workplace practices, and create and execute a plan to live the Core Culture principles to generate success. Facilitator Notes are embedded throughout the section to guide your implementation.
Get the Culture Assessment Toolkit
Contact Us For Support To Ensure You Are Implementing Best Practices
Inside you’ll find two empirically-based cultural assessment surveys to assess your organizational culture on its ability to drive change and financial performance. These include scoring instructions, two sample culture questionnaires, as well as instructions for interpreting and sharing cultural assessment results, identifying performance-enhancing culture variables, creating a culture manifesto and measuring change.
1. Culture Change Readiness Assessment
2. 30 Question Organizational Culture Assessment
3. Sample Focus Group Questionnaire
4. Sample Interview Questionnaire
5. Guide To Interpreting And Sharing Culture Assessment Results
6. Blueprint For Pinpointing Performance Enhancing Culture Habits
7. Instructions For Creating Your Culture Manifesto
8. Standards For Measuring And Monitoring Change
Why Use Corporate Culture Pros Culture Assessment Tool Kit?
- You get a comprehensive, detailed, proven process on how to design and assess a company or team culture as well as understand how to interpret and communicate the results.
- Based on 20 years of experience working with Presidents and internal consultants to define, measure, and shape culture as a driver of high performance.
- Conversation-focused approach (versus another survey that nobody sees except HR)
- Provides detailed, step-by-step “how-to” instructions, including executive team role and support
- Comes with a 30-question self-assessment PDF – you can use our questions (which provide sound culture feedback) or tailor them to your own needs
“We needed a home-grown approach. We wanted to create an ongoing, effective conversation about our culture. We just needed to know HOW. We did not want a fancy technology approach. We wanted a simple human approach – an organized way to talk to our people more effectively. Thanks, Corporate Culture Pros, for a thorough and effective process!” -SK, CEO, Construction Company
Get the Culture Assessment Toolkit