How well do we really know our cultures?
As we think about the migration of traditional companies from ones where most employees work in the office daily to the new hybrid and virtual work – where a sizable proportion of workers do not have to come to work every day, it is likely that we will experience changes in our culture.
It would be good to catch changes early, so we can respond to the new headwinds. Remember, Peter Drucker said “culture eats strategy for breakfast” and Gustavo Grodnitsky’s book title tells us that “Culture Trumps Everything”, Recently, Alisa Cohen wrote an article, It’s time to Identify and Reset Your Company’s Culture, and suggested asking the experts : survey your employees.
Rather than asking everyone to answer generic questions, start with the people most affected by the changed: people experience the greatest changes personally (e.g., they’re working virtually a lot) and collectively (e.g., they collaborate with others and aren’t able to do so in live, face-to-face interactions such as onboarding, brainstorming, meeting, etc.).
The questions could focus on several issues, including the worker’s:
- Changed experiential expectations (e.g., for onboarding, group decision-making, being considered for new opportunities) etc.
- Perception of how it’s affecting the others, including those most and least successful
- Description of the company in a short phrase (e.g., three or six words phrases)
- Predictions for how changes might develop positively or negatively in the future.
Collecting the data from a large enough sample of people with different roles and experiences, may allow you to determine where changes in culture are taking place. And if they are, you can now adapt and respond!
If you do this, share your non-confidential results with the rest of us at Presentation Excellence!