A Culture Survey? What a waste of time!

Why do you do a culture survey?

  • Is it to get a report and have meetings about the good and bad?
  • Is it to take little or no action that does not impact culture at all?

Obviously not, that would be a nonsense…and yet it is what happens in the vast majority of cases.

Probably it is with the intention of creating a higher performing group. But does that happen?

Let’s unpack this shall we? The usual course of events is that a business pays quite a bit of money to a company that does culture surveys and arranges for them to do just that.

Then you have a snapshot of what your culture is now. Always interesting, but not much use on their own.

And then we get to the bit where you have meetings and discuss it all. Possibly from here you try and figure out what it all means or may have had an external expert in mind to spend more money with. Hmmm. Something is missing.

Three key things are needed to make it all worthwhile.

1. The ability to understand where we are now must be linked to the ability to improve and create a better culture.

There needs to be a personalised and group L&D plan that is easy to create and action without costing a fortune. Ideally, if this can include the materials and resources to produce this change in-house, all the better.
By improving the way people communicate and their ability to influence outcomes, we build a strong foundation for team understanding and synergy.

2. You should be able to track that the actions you are taking are linked to the results you see.

One frustration we see for organisations is that they invest in culture (and other) improvement but cannot link the cause to the effect. Was It circumstance that created the change? Other external factors? Or the L&D programme put in place?

In addition, many in business want to know how they stack up compared to the competition or on the world stage. Benchmarking is one way of knowing if you are ahead of your competition or lagging. As culture trumps strategy (or so we are led to believe) it is an important part of our competitive strategy. Knowing where we stand is not just an ego driven desire, it is marketing intelligence and competitor analysis.

3. It must be easy to operate and understand.

You should not need a PhD to make this work and to know that it has worked.

It must be simple and appealing enough that the ideas and language are adoptable right across the business.

For this reason, the chosen programme should also have additional aspects to it such as leadership improvement, 360-degree analysis and communication growth.

As a last thought, it should not break the bank. In uncertain times many are inclined to be conservative in spending on their teams (when they should be doing the opposite). Budgets are spent on ‘must do’ training such as health and safety and ‘how to’ operational skills. A programme that is financially accessible makes budgets stretch and allows other needed initiatives to roll out.

By ticking all these boxes, we can create an effective and efficient culture creation programme that will be measurable linked to satisfying results.

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