We know data is king. We have all been told how a healthy culture is crucial for both acquiring and retaining of top talent. Data drives decisions and never more so than in talent acquisition, talent retention, and productivity. An Organizational Development (OD) department (or highly trained PhD in data analysis) can analyze the raw data from culture assessments to provide plans for concrete improvements in productivity and employee engagement. However, what does the small business do when it does not have an OD Department or an employee with a PhD in data science or behavioral analysis?
Blurred Lines with HR and OD Departments
In some organizations, the OD’s goal is clearly defined: the focus is on the function of an organization, creating clear strategies towards meaningful change. HR is primarily responsible for talent acquisition, communication and compliance. In some organizations, there is an overlap between OD & HR, and in still others, HR assumes most, if not all, of the strategic planning towards the desired company culture. But regardless of the setup, the lines are often blurred in today’s corporations and in small business HR wears all the hats. This makes assessments critical in defining and creating cultural maps that help ensure engagement and productivity.
The Goal of Cultural Assessments
Ultimately, cultural assessments should utilize decades of research on precise language to determine what the actual company culture is (versus the mission statement) at each level, within each team. The assessment creates a value map. After analyzing that research, interventions are implemented, if needed. Strategies direct towards the desired changes needed to achieve the productivity and reflect the stated values of the company. If no changes are needed, talent acquisition utilizes this assessment to attract the right fit in new hires.
Assessing the Value of Assessing Culture
One low-cost way to determine the initial value of assessments is to conduct an internal employee survey on a few data points. Choose one or two factors where more information is needed regarding the company culture. Ask only two to three questions in the survey to make it quick to fill out, and easy to review. Questions should be rated on a five-point scale from “Agree” to “Do Not “Agree.” Pose the statement, “My contributions to the company are valued” to the employee. When choosing an open-ended question, choose only one such as, “My supervisor(s) can support me better in my work in these ways…” The insights derived from the answers to these statements can be used to better understand the current culture, show gaps between “aspirational cultural environments” vs. actual, and create values-driven hiring profiles for an organization.
Expert Deep Cultural Assessments and Concrete Implementation Strategies
Two companies stand out in cultural assessment. Decisionwise.com focuses on employee engagement to measure satisfaction in an employee based on five factors and to determine what is driving or inhibiting an employee. Culture assessments focus on 12 factors for organizational success. Years of research goes into the questions that they ask of employees and the they believe that they measure and direct employee engagement.
The second and ‘sexier’ option is the newly relaunched company: Elevated. With a team of experts in HR talent acquisition, culture assessments and branding in its former incarnation, Candidate Guru (candidateguru.com), this technology platform helps assess cultural engagement, but also helps organizations make better hires, faster. The company acquired Elevated, the deep culture and employee assessment software created by eHarmony, and married it to the Candidate.Guru platform. The combined platform uses the power of eHarmony’s matching algorithms to assess an actual company’s culture on 16 factors crucially important to a productive working environment, employee engagement, and predictive tenure at their position. Beyond use in talent acquisition, employee branding, employee communications, HR and upper management, these culture reports are easy to read, and can be made available to any member of the team. Expert consultations from Elevated result in actionable strategies to drive the company in the direction of optimal hiring, engagement and productivity.
Current trends indicate that even in companies with an OD department, organizational duties are shared with HR. In fact, all levels of management can be involved in reviewing the research, and in offering suggestions to increase competencies. Managers are more likely to “buy in” to a strategy if they are well-informed and have a hand in crafting strategies. When management adopts changes, this translates to enthusiasm and better results with all employees during implementation. Deep culture assessments and sharing those resources broadly create productive strategies for change.
Company Name: Elevated
Contact Person: Steve Carter
Country: United States