At Walking the Talk, we often get asked, ‘what’s the best way to measure culture?’
Our response usually takes the form of another question: For what purpose do you want to measure culture? The best measurement approach depends on the goal you are trying to achieve. There are three common reasons to measure culture.
Understanding. If you think you need to change the culture of your organisation, it's essential to first understand what the existing culture looks like. This means taking snapshot of the behaviours and mind-sets that are the norm in the organisation. By recognising the current culture, you can then determine the extent to which it is an asset or a liability, given the business imperatives ahead. This work is descriptive in nature.
Root cause analysis. If you can describe your culture, but don’t know what drives it, your interventions will be generic and scattered. The more detail you have on the ‘why’ of your culture, the better you will be able to plan for and implement interventions to build the culture you want. This work is diagnostic in nature.
Tracking. If you want to compare results from one year to the next, or between different demographic groups, then you’ll need to measure your culture on an ongoing basis. This work is comparative in nature.
A common mistake we find is that organisations are using a methodology that is not aligned to what they are trying to achieve, and so some of the benefits they are seeking are lost. When working with clients, we try to help avoid that risk by matching the most appropriate style of measurement to the goal of the organisation.
Here are some guidelines to consider when selecting the measurement approach that’s right for you:
At Walking the Talk, we have a range of tried-and-tested tools that provide clients with the most appropriate form of culture assessment.
For further insights view our selection of case studies, ebooks, reports and white papers or contact us to learn how we can transform your culture.