When I started as ACHIEVE’s Managing Director, our workplace culture was unhealthy. Our CEO was aware of this and wanted to do something about it. During my first week, he said “Eric, I know something is wrong with our culture, and your first job is to help us get healthy again.” Nothing like a good challenge to start a job with, right?
The problem we faced was the same one that many leaders have encountered – what exactly is causing us to be unhealthy? We both had hunches, but the reality of a workplace culture is that everyone within the organization has their own part of the picture. It’s as though each person holds a puzzle piece that contains details only they can see. Without seeing things from other staff members’ perspectives, leaders cannot have an accurate understanding of what is happening. And without accurate information, they cannot act with certainty and clarity.
Before coming on staff at ACHIEVE, I had spent the previous five years helping organizations get healthy. And so I did what came naturally – I conducted a workplace cultural health assessment in order to gain a clearer picture of what was happening. I invited each person on the team to respond to the same series of questions on a survey, and then I gave them a chance to talk to me in private about what they were experiencing.
Based on the information that we gathered, we learned that we needed to do a number of things to get healthy. We provided some mediation and conflict resolution coaching, clarified some of our work expectations, and set about engaging people in their work in more meaningful ways. Over the course of the next few years, our intentional and informed efforts created a healthy and thriving organization.
We believe in the power of assessments so much that we created a free online assessment tool that anyone can fill out in order to receive information for improving their workplace cultural health.
Through our own experience and by helping many other organizations over the years, we believe in the power of workplace culture health assessments. Here are two recent stories that demonstrate how a cultural health assessment can improve an organization’s health:
- One leader had us conduct an assessment after an extended absence from her company. She was worried that things may have deteriorated. The assessment showed her that her organization was actually quite healthy, but that there were a few small concerns that needed some attention before they became larger problems. The assessment clarified areas of strength and helped her understand where she needed to focus her immediate efforts.
- Another leader had heard rumblings that some members of his team were unhappy. The assessment we conducted for him revealed that the problem was worse than he thought, but that it was also localized in a specific department that needed his attention more than any other. Rather than a generalized attempt at trying to fix the issue, this leader was able to act with clarity and give his attention to where it was needed most.
We believe in the power of assessments so much that we created a free online assessment tool that anyone can fill out in order to receive information for improving their workplace cultural health. While you may still want or need the support of one of our specialists, this tool is a great place to start. I invite you to take a look.
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