Welcome to 2019! It’s hard to know where to begin on your journey toward improving organizational culture if you don’t know where you are currently. There are a number of different ways to measure culture……… satisfaction surveys, pulse surveys, MBWA, but it is sometimes helpful to have a framework in which to fit your feedback results. Do you know what your end goal looks like and the steps needed to get from here…. to there?
The journey toward assessing and improving your organizational culture can be roughly broken down into the below five stages.
Learning and talent are often separate processes. Both are regarded as necessary for HR operations, but they are distinct from how business is done. Most employees do not regard the culture as engaging. Culture is frequently hierarchical. HR may conduct an engagement survey periodically but the inertia behind addressing some of the engagement challenges is low.
Executive support for learning and talent is more evident but the culture is still principally characterized as a top/down command and control philosophy. The organizational structure is fairly hierarchical, but employees see opportunity for career advancement and mobility. Senior leaders are not purposefully driving efforts to enhance the culture or the level of execution and engagement among employees.
Learning and talent begin to converge based on an awakening of how they can be leveraged to achieve better business outcomes. It is frequently at this stage that the organization becomes focused on quarterly or annual goals. Employees recognize a shift toward more people-centric strategies as executives support more initiatives that strengthen the culture. Key to success in this phase is the degree of middle management support. Information flow becomes more organic.
An inspired, growth-minded organization is recognized as a true learning culture with a people-first philosophy. The organization is innovating and responds quickly to market changes, often seizing first-mover advantage and outstanding talent. Execution and engagement studies are regularly conducted to measure the tempo of the employee culture and there is wide-spread support for adjusting tactics when signs of engagement begin to drop. Goals and a goal-based philosophy are adopted across the organization and embedded into the culture.
A self-developing ecosystem drives change at individual and organizational levels. Collaboration and transparency in career and development abound. Employee ideas are valued and encouraged regardless of level. The organization is agile and consistently at the front of its field. The people culture is at the heart of the organizational philosophy. As such, multiple measures of employee engagement are used and there may be a dedicated function aligned to the candidate and employee experience. Highly sought after employer.
Not every organization will achieve the optimized state, but it is, nevertheless, a worthy goal. The closer you can get, the better your organization will be from both an employee and investor perspective!