Is your desired culture becoming a reality at your company? You started out with an ideal company culture in mind, but for many companies, culture is one of the toughest things to implement. It needs a strong foundation, thorough communications and organic growth through employee champions at every level.
The effect of culture is even tougher to measure. A strong culture is incredibly important in supporting your vision, employee retention and overall engagement. But it’s a challenge to know exactly how your company culture is working for you. Through Tribe’s client work, we’ve found a few ways to see if your company culture is spreading and making the desired impact on your employees.
Here are the three stages Tribe recommends for the Cultural Discovery process:
1) Leadership Interviews
Start at the top, by sitting down with members of the leadership team to discuss where they would like their culture to be. Ask about their vision for the organization, as well as their mission and values. Get them to talk about their one-year or five-year goals for the business. You can’t develop a communications plan to align employees with the vision if you don’t understand what that vision looks like.
2) Employee Interviews or Focus Groups
This can be done one on one, either in person or by phone, or in group sessions, although like any focus group, one strong personality can dominate the discussion without a skilled moderator to foster more inclusion. For a representative sample, make sure you’re including employees of different business units, geography, seniority, gender, ethnicity and from functions that cover the gamut from sales to enterprise services to manufacturing or the frontline. This is a time consuming stage, but will provide some of the most critical insights for strategic development.
3) Employee Survey
Surveys allow you to quantify the themes and issues you’ve uncovered in the qualitative stages of Discovery and to gather more general cultural statistics about the employee population. The most useful surveys are structured in ways that allow for a close look at the cultural differences between business units and other silos, geography and demographics. An effective cadence for a comprehensive survey is once or twice a year. Including a number of open-ended questions helps ferret out the intention behind the responses. But keep in mind that it’s important to build in an appropriate level of anonymity so that employees feel safe in answering openly. For a couple of reasons, employee surveys should be fielded regularly. First, these are important tools that measure changes or improvements and allow leaders to understand what’s going on inside the company. Second, if surveys only occur in the midst of major change, lots of angst and negative energy can become associated with an otherwise helpful tool.
Need more tips? Call Tribe. We’d love to help.