Cultural Assessments: Revealing the Real Deal

Cultural assessments reveal the real deal about a workplace environment and how the people working there feel about being there each and every day. If an assessment is going to be done, it is best done by an outside party such as a consultant or a coach. The outside party would ask about subject matter such as: What is it really like to work at this organization? What are the opportunities for advancement? How is feedback received in this company? All this information is collected in a final report and given to top management. The report gives management a real look at how their employees view their experiences with the company. Click here to watch a brief clip about cultural assessment.

A company’s culture includes the deeply rooted beliefs, values, and norms shared by the people who are connected in various ways with the company. While these beliefs and values generally may not be visible, they do drive and reflect the actions taken by an organization. Northwest Connecticut Arts Council is one of many companies that have benefited from doing a culture assessment. With 254 responses from the assessment, the Art Council was able to bring critical issues to the surface and make the necessary changes to foster a better work environment not only for their employees, but also for the community. Lack of guidance and poorly coordinated promotional efforts were two of the issues that were revealed and are being improved upon since the assessment.

NASA is another company that found it beneficial to do a cultural assessment. NASA found the two areas in their organization that lacked: perceived organizational support and upward communication. Knowing what their issues were, they put into action a plan that included individual leadership practice and coaching, behavioral leadership enhancement and observational and feedback processes.

What companies strive to be, including their outward appearance, may be different than the beliefs and values that are actually being perceived. It is critical that they find out who they really are before they can decide who they want to be. Have you ever considered a cultural assessment for your workplace? Why or why not?

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