Measuring a culture’s success is a balance of both art and science. Going purely on ‘gut feel’ can ignore some important data that can impact culture; conversely, focussing only on statistics and engagement surveys can mask what is truly going on at the coalface.
Rate your culture by assessing against the 5 areas of alignment, awareness, achievement, altitude and adaptability. Look at the questions and ask yourself – what would you rate your business out of 10?
You can spend a significant amount of time, money and effort assessing culture in a business. While the data produced can be useful, for most businesses, the quick assessment below can give a pretty clear representation of where your culture is struggling or performing.
Successful businesses and the leaders and staff within them have a clear understanding of the direction in which they are going, and
the values they embrace to get them there. A clear understanding of purpose, both from a wider business perspective and in relation to individual roles, provides staff with the clarity and focus to attain results.
- Are your staff aware of their own values?
- Do staff have a clear understand how there personal values relate to the businesses?
- Do senior managers and leaders understand their ‘why’ for doing things?
- Can senior leaders explain their ‘why’ clearly (and easily understood words / themes) to their staff?
- Do you regularly measure of you are off track financially, strategically and interpersonally?
Your Alignment score: / 10
‘Before you can lead others, you must lead yourself’. No business can achieve sustained success without a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the team. Similarly, no business team can ﬂy high without all individuals in the team being engaged; aware of their own behaviours, assertive in their interactions and happy in what they are doing. These factors, along with a ﬁrm self belief and clarity in your surroundings provide each member of the team the support they need and the ability to have a positive impact on the culture around them. Staff and leaders that are fully aware of their skills – knowing their strengths and being able to adapt and adjust for their weaker areas – provide the best environment for a stainable culture.
- Do you actively seek feedback from your staff (outside of performance reviews)?
- Can people safely provide feedback and improvement suggestions upward?
- Are you and your staff active in discussing strengths and weaknesses?
- Are personal and professional weaknesses hidden or not discussed?
- Are staff assertive and free to share their views?
- Do people step outside their team / department / area to provide advice / suggestion to others?
Your Awareness score: / 10
It is no accident that businesses with great cultures also deliver great results. Or do great results have an impact on great cultures? Whichever way you choose to look at it – how your team achieve results, how often they hit targets and how well they keep their promises to their customers, peers and managers will impact the bottom line. How well does you business manage the task at hand? Are things overdue or are they completed on time, all the time? How well your business focusses on getting tasks completed will determine not only where you want to go, but how long it will take you to get there. Strong cultures have a strong focus on achieving tasks at the right level, to the right person, at the right time.
- Do you and your team meet deadlines?
- How often are things ‘pushed to the right’?
- Do you and your team take responsibility for actions or are blame, excuses and justifications rife?
- Do you have a big attention to detail or do things regularly get missed?
- Do you have a problem solving or problem avoiding mentality amongst your team?
- Does your business plan ahead effectively or are you stuck in a constant series of ‘firefighting’ small issues?
Your Achievement score: / 10
Like the wings on an aircraft, an effective culture can provide you and your business with the lift you need to ﬂy higher and achieve more. Conversely, an ineffective or negative culture can drag your personal, team and business performance down and be highly inefficient. Your ability to understand, communicate and listen to your team, hold them to account and provide constructive feedback all have an impact on how high your team and business will ﬂy.
- Does your team actively hold you to account?
- Do you consistently hold your team to account?
- Are you able to articulate your goals and expectations clearly and effectively?
- Are there formal and informal ways of providing feedback within your business?
- Do staff regularly provide development feedback to each other for improved performance?
- Are you aware of the behaviours that build positivity and lift your team?
- Does your team regularly display the positive behaviours listed above?
- Are you aware of the behaviours that erode trust and drag negatively in your team?
- Does your team regularly display the negative behaviours listed above?
Your Altitude score: / 10
Businesses with strong cultures have the ability to adapt to changes in their internal and external environments – meaning they are both prepared for change, have developed the skills to change and can adapt quickly as needed. Your ability to adapt determines your velocity (the speed and direction in which you and your team travel) and your reliability (how often you meet your objectives on time). Given that reliability is your businesses personal guarantee of achieving tasks on purpose, on time – how well your culture can adapt is crucial to business success.
- Are your team empowered to be able to make changes in changing circumstances?
- Is your business overly focussed on process / rule following rather than adapting as needed?
- Is your business dependable in a crisis?
- Can you rely on your business to deliver product / services on time in most circumstances?
- Are you known as a reliable business?
- Can you rely on your staff in your absence?
Your Adaptability score: / 10
How do you Rate against the 5 Culture categories?
Your rating out of 10 for each of the culture categories of Alignment, Awareness, Achievement, Altitude and Adaptability should be above 7 out of 10. If you have scored any of the areas lower than that, you know that you have a little bit of work to do to achieve more with the people in your business. Making little adjustments to just one fo the areas listed above can have an enormous impact not only on your business culture, but on your business performance as well.
Want to look a little deeper? Check out our Velocity Leadership CheckPoint – it will help you clearly identify your individual scores against the 5 culture categories, with specific areas of strength and clearly identified areas of development. The Velocity Leadership CheckPoint has helped hunders of leaders develop their individual skills, assist teams to attain higher altitude and assess overall cultural performance.
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