The culture of an organization is often the focus of many blogs, articles and white papers. What’s the right culture? What should be included in our culture? Who has the best company culture?
Trying to change your culture to fit one of these molds is not only hard to do, but it’s the wrong thing to do. Companies shouldn’t change their culture to fit someone else’s idea of the perfect organization. Instead, they should reflect on what their culture is, how it got there, and whether or not it’s the culture best for their company right now.
Don’t get me wrong. There can be bad culture in organizations. You see it in companies with a revolving door for employees, low morale and declining engagement. But just because your company’s culture doesn’t look like another company’s culture doesn’t make it bad. Just different.
So what do you need to do to evaluate your company’s culture and figure out if it is the right one for right now?
First you need to determine where you are. Employee surveys, stay interviews and exit interviews are reliable ways to determine what the employees believe is the current culture. However, it’s just as important to understand what your customers think of the organization. This strategy gives not only the insider’s perspective from employees, but also a view from the outside.
Once you see where you are now, you need to determine where you want to be. If you're already there, great job! However, if you find that changes need to be made in the company, you need to determine what needs to change, and just as important, why they need to change. This is the beginning of your gap analysis between where you are now and where you want to be.
Once you figure out what changes need to be made, then you need to figure out how to get there. Is it a new strategy in recruiting? Is it leadership development for the management team? Or are there minor tweaks that need to happen with employee engagement. The key in any successful change in company culture this to be intentional about the steps the company needs to take and getting buy-in from all parts of the organization.
Evaluation, strategy, and execution of the plan. Follow these three steps in any program you develop, whether it is a new employee benefit or a wholesale change in company culture, and you are already ahead of the game.