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Start Getting Your Business Culture Right

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Thu, May 31, 2012

The last three Strategic Discipline blogs emphasize the importance of getting your culture right. The reward? Businesses that have great cultures grow at an unprecedented pace compared to their competition and the market itself.  

Are you asking yourself how do I get this culture thing right?  company culture (Hands together) resized 600How can I find out if my culture is good or bad, and how do I start improving it?

If you wonder what your culture is right now consider taking the Organizational Health Survey that is available at the Tablegroup’s The Advantage website. While your answers to the questions are largely subjective and based on upon your awareness, any alarm should be detected when you receive the results. Have reservations on your own opinion?  Get your leadership group to take the survey so you get their “collective intelligence” viewpoint.  

One of my clients, who has and continues to build a great culture, completed the survey. I completed it as well answering questions on his company from my judgments from having worked with them for more than a year. Our results turned out to be very similar. I found the survey to be very credible and accurate.  

Perhaps the best thing to do when you wonder how you are doing is to ask.  To determine how your culture ranks a good place to start is with what your employees think.  Conduct a survey with your employees using the Gallup Q12 as your benchmark.  Give your staff the opportunity to score your business on a scale of 0-10 answering the following questions:

  1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

  2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

  3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

  4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?

  5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

  6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

  7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?

  8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?

  9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?

  10. Do I have a best friend at work?

  11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?

  12. This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

Getting your staff to answer these questions should not only give you a pulse on how good your culture is, it will help you to understand how well they are engaged, how much performance can improve to give you a benchmark to measure future progress.

If you’re looking for a template to use for this send me an email and I’ll send you a Word document that you can send to your staff to complete this survey.

One of my clients is having his staff complete this for the second time.  In our discussion in collective intelligence today we discussed having new employees complete this after 30 days.  In not only can be a benchmark on how they’ve acclimated, it may provide an early warning insight into whether or not you’re hiring process made the right choice. By collecting the data and using pattern recognition it may also help to determine which employees are long term or short term.   

Your Business Culture requires a great deal of awareness and a disciplined structure like the weekly meetings to ensure you capture employee feedbackCore Values, Core Purpose are elements that initiate this culture.  Implementing it is a much larger task that includes your hiring process and how ultimately you’ve selected to lead and work on your team.

If your business isn't currently producing the results you expect, learn a lesson from growth leaders.  Improve your culture and Brand Ideal

Topics: employee engagement, weekly meetings, Organizational Health, The Advantage, Business Culture

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Doug Wick, President

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

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