Measuring Culture as a Driver of Organizational Health
As discussed in Part 1 of our Organizational Health blog post series, business leaders must be intentional about developing their organization’s culture, connecting it to strategy, and getting buy-in from employees. But how can you be intentional about culture if you don’t know what your culture is or how to measure it? In a 2016 Global Human Capital Trends survey conducted by Deloitte, only 28 percent of survey respondents believe they understand their culture well, while only 19 percent believe they have the “right culture”. It’s clear that many organizations find it difficult to measure and even more difficult to manage culture.
Exude, in conjunction with our partner Work Effects, has identified 10 dimensions of culture that can be used to better understand and measure your organization’s culture. Each of the 10 dimensions (illustrated below) represent the unique attributes of an organization. Each attribute has characteristics that make you, you. For example, when evaluating the first dimension, ‘customer’, you’re looking to gauge your organization’s approach to relationship building. Are you a high touch firm like Zappos or transactional business like Amazon? Neither is right or wrong because culture is measured on a good to good scale. Your organization must decide which approach best aligns to your strategic objectives, vision, mission and values.
10 Dimensions of Culture
- Market Approach
- Decision Making Location
- Risk Tolerance
- Decision Making Information
- Organizational Approach
By adjusting your organization’s view of culture – so that it aligns and supports your organizational strategy, your organization will begin to realize its full potential. Everyone will now be working with a common understanding of how the work should get done to accomplish their strategic objectives. A misaligned culture inhibits performance and slows growth, whereas a culture that is aligned to strategy becomes “purposeful” and complements an organization’s strategy and ultimately accelerates results.
Every organization has a unique culture, a system of beliefs and values that determine how the organization accomplishes goals and gets things done. Understanding your culture and aligning it to strategic goals is a first step to achieving organizational health. This alignment creates focus that allows organizations and its employees to outperform competition and achieve strategic objectives.