Everything that can be measured can be improved. Any company in search of success applies this premise to any field of its organization. Calculations of results, profits, expenses… All these data are accompanied by a figure that implies a margin for improvement. But is organizational culture something that can be calculated? Yes, and it’s crucial to do so, since it implies numerous benefits. In this article we will talk about how to measure the organizational culture of a company and what it tells us about its working environment.
What will I find in this article?
- Is it important to measure organizational culture?
- Why is it important for the company to foster organizational culture?
- Methods for measuring organizational culture
Is it important to measure organizational culture?
Broadly speaking, the concept of organizational culture could be defined as the atmosphere that permeates the workplace and the way in which employees behave and relate to each other. It is the set of ways of thinking, acting and feeling that the company’s employees have in common, whatever their position, responsibility or occupation.
“The concept of organizational culture could be defined as the atmosphere in the workplace and the way employees behave and relate to each other.”
It affects the most ordinary actions such as the forms of communication, the rules of coexistence in the workplace or the decision-making processes; but also the defining features of a company, such as values, leadership style or degree of flexibility, among many other issues.
It’s a powerful tool for any company whose objective is to promote changes and introduce new ideas or methods in business management that improve employee satisfaction regarding the environment in which they carry out their professional work.
If we measure the organizational culture of our company, we’ll be able to detect the opportunities for change or improvement that we have.
“If we measure the organizational culture of our company, we’ll be able to detect opportunities for change or improvement.”
Why is it important for the company to promote it?
Periodic assessments of the organizational culture and the values that prevail in the work environment are essential tools to know the aspects that have an impact, either positive or negative, on the operation of the company.
Statistical data support the importance of regular analysis of organizational culture:
- 94% of executives and 88% of employees say that organizational culture is crucial to a company’s success, according to a Deloitte study.
- Employees’ view of the company they work for is 20% more positive if the company has a strong organizational culture. In addition, it favours employee satisfaction with the company and improves talent retention.
- 90% of employees who work in companies with a strong organizational culture trust the company’s leadership.
If you want to know more benefits of organizational culture, don’t miss this article.
Methods for measuring organizational culture
We know the importance that business culture plays in the success of a company; however, it’s still an abstract concept that’s difficult to evaluate with figures and numbers.
So how do you measure organizational culture?
- Surveys: questionnaires designed to review the beliefs, behaviours and practices of your company vs. how they are perceived by the employees of the organization. They’re a particularly useful tool for all those companies that wish to innovate and improve their practices and strategies, through the collection of ideas and opinions of their own employees.
- Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI): measures the leadership style and behaviours that everyone in the organization has when interacting with each other. It analyses the dominant characteristics of the organization, how employees are treated and what the work environment is like, among other aspects.
The findings result in one of four types of organizational culture:
- Dynamic and enterprising
- Friendly and people-oriented
- Structured and process-oriented
- Competitive and results-oriented
- David Fischman’s Functional Assumptions Test: in this test the employee will find two columns with statements related to the culture of your company. Each statement will have a rating scale ranging from 1 to 7. This test is used to compare how an employee perceives the business environment (first column) and how he/she would like it to be (second column).
There are also other complementary methods that allow us to make a more in-depth diagnosis. We’re talking, for example, about observations in the field and conversations with other stakeholders such as customers, suppliers or shareholders.
However, classic tools often have significant shortcomings and are unreliable. Often, the values that employees claim to be important to them don’t show the actual behaviour in the office. Moreover, such reports often only reflect the reality of the company at a given point in time, as organizations are constantly evolving.
What your employees’ digital footprint says about your company
A group of experts from UC Berkeley and Stanford University propose a new method that solves the question of how to measure the organizational culture of a company in a reliable and consistent way.
Their research focuses on the “digital fingerprints” of employees. That is, they extract and evaluate information from electronic communications. They take into account the linguistic style used in emails, the diversity of thoughts, ideas and opinions exchanged in corporate messaging apps such as Slack or Teams, and the Glassdoor reviews that employees themselves write about the company.
By studying how they interact with and talk about the company, they can learn how culture influences their thoughts and behaviour at work. Of course, the findings of their analysis preserve employee anonymity.