How To Assess Organizational Culture in 2023 – Tips, Questions, & Tools

January 4, 2023 Workhuman Editorial Team
a greater consensus on the desired organizational culture

A solid organizational culture is becoming an increasingly important factor for the success of any organization, as it creates a supportive environment where employees feel engaged and appreciated.

In fact, up to 46% of job seekers nowadays mainly seek job opportunities in companies with a solid organizational culture.

For that, assessing organizational culture is now a crucial metric to evaluate your company’s health, and in today’s article, we’ll show you how to do it!

Why should you assess organizational culture?

human resource leader assesses culture regularly with pulse surveys

In today’s world, having a healthy corporate culture has become a priority for many successful companies for various reasons.

This is why many companies are changing their organizational culture and updating it with new methods and tools to keep track of the company’s health. These advantages include:

  • Increased employee retention: Studies found that employees and top talents are up to 23% more likely to stay in their company if it has a solid organizational culture.
  • Decreased turnover rate: Companies that recognize their employees are more likely to see up to a 31% reduction in their turnover rate.
  • Improved productivity: Keeping your employees engaged and satisfied can boost the productivity rate by up to 12%.
  • Attracts job seekers and talent: Around 88% of job seekers find solid company cultures a very important asset while applying for a job.

Typical issues seen across organizations

Without a constant assessment of company culture, a lot of issues can fly under the radar and cause many problems in the long run. Here’s a quick look at some of the typical issues you should expect:

woman experiencing low employee satisfaction and frustration

Lack of engagement and recognition

An organization with poor culture rarely recognizes individuals, and since employees don’t feel empowered or effective, the general morale is usually low. As a result, employee engagement and initiative typically suffers. This can have a considerable impact on your business. Gallup research shows that companies in the top 25% of employee engagement significantly outperform companies in the bottom 25%.

For example, the top 25% experience:

  • 64% fewer safety incidents
  • 81% lower absenteeism
  • 18% less turnover
  • 23% higher profitability

Gallup research estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $483-$605 billion each year in lost productivity.

Poor communication and disconnected management

Another issue that arises due to underdeveloped company culture is poor communication, whether between members of the same team or between different departments.

This problem can slow down the progression of projects and lead to poor results. Additionally, quarrels between the teams arise.

The lack of upward communication also extends to disconnected leadership and poor decision-making. One Workhuman survey found that 65% of workers agree that their co-workers know more about their day-to-day than their manager. More check-ins lead to more engagement.

Frequent communication, feedback, and recognition lead to a more positive work experience (77% compared to 35%). Research from IBM’s Smarter Workforce Institute and Workhuman found that employees are 2.5x more likely to give feedback if they are also giving or receiving recognition.

Toxic workplace environment

employee experiencing negative behaviors and physical environments that require attention

Unregulated company culture allows negativity and workplace stress to wreak havoc in companies. As a result, the workplace becomes a toxic environment that puts extra pressure on employees to leave their jobs and look for other opportunities.

This can negatively affect employee behavior, mindset, attitude, teamwork, and wellbeing. A toxic culture leads to unhappy workers. It’s crucial to ensure you’re creating a positive, happy workplace environment. Happy employees are just better for business.

Research shows that happy employees:

  • Help their co-workers 33% more often
  • Achieve their goals 31% more often
  • Are 36% more motivated in their work

Unclear goals and role specification

Establishing core values, company goals, and specific roles for each employee are among the foundations of a healthy culture. Without them, it becomes difficult for employees to align with the company’s goals.

team plans steps to develop a strong organizational culture based on assessment

How to assess organizational culture

Now that you know more about the impact of a company’s culture, here’s how to assess organizational culture to overcome these problems.

1. Invest in tools to help you assess organizational culture

Luckily, there are plenty of helpful tools out there that can help assess organizational culture with relative ease.

One of the most popular methods is using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI).

This one is an organizational culture assessment tool that rates your company’s culture out of 100 points across four values:

  • Collaboration
  • Control
  • Market competition
  • Creativity

There’s also the Business Needs Score (BNS), another assessment tool focusing on aspects like engagement, communication, and providing a supportive environment.

2. Understand the role of collaboration in assessing culture

A supportive culture capable of collaborating and cooperating on projects is essential for any healthy organization.

A good way to ensure a healthy collaboration culture is to create a sense of community among employees. Celebrating employee milestones, frequent check-ins, or major life events will help build relationships and stronger collaboration within the organization. Tools like Community Celebrations® and Life Events® are great methods to achieve that.

3. Collect upward and peer-to-peer employee feedback and surveys

Another way to assess the health of your organization’s culture is by directly asking your employees.

Employee feedback is usually based on their employee experiences while working at the company, so they’re well aware of the necessary changes needed for a healthier work environment.

Surveying your team is also a great way to gauge your company culture, and regular surveys help identify problems as early as possible so you can nip them in the bud.

A good way to keep track of your company’s feedback and create a streamlined channel of transparency and trust is an employee survey tool.

Learn more about Moodtracker® the free, employee pulse survey tool from Workhuman.

4. Check recognition programs to reward your employees

As previously mentioned, successful companies with a healthy organizational culture always focus on recognizing their employees and appreciating their efforts.

This makes employee recognition programs a good method to keep track of your company culture.

A good way to achieve that is by implementing a peer-to-peer recognition tool like Social Recognition® from Workhuman.

In addition to their primary functions, you can use these solutions as gauging tools that give you easier and quicker insight into employees’ experience in the company.

5. Utilize cross-functional metrics for better assessment

Since various metrics can help you assess the current state of your company culture, you can use them to better understand and assess your organizational culture and what you need to improve.

These include aspects like:

  • Turnover rate
  • Referrals, rate of job applications, and onboarding
  • Employee retention
  • Productivity rate
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Engagement among employees
  • Innovations

6. Ask the right assessment questions

Another great way to assess your company culture and pinpoint problems is to answer the following questions:

  • What are the mission and goals of your company?
  • Do employees in your company feel respected and heard?
  • How do you define leadership in the company?
  • Is your company task-oriented or people-oriented?
  • Does your company offer flexible work arrangements?
  • Does your company offer training & self-development programs?

7. Implement a multi-step plan to create a solid culture

Lastly, you should have enough pointers and key metrics to create a plan in order to implement a healthy company culture.

In that case, you’ll need to review the issues in your company, assess the elements of organizational culture that you need to improve, communicate with your team on methods to improve it, and follow up regularly to make sure that you commit to your new culture.

employees analyze impact of current culture and take action to achieve desired culture


Wrap Up

As you can see, assessing organizational culture in the workplace is extremely important to ensure that the workplace maintains a supportive environment and keeps employees recognized and appreciated.

Additionally, having a solid company culture also improves retention rates as well as productivity, which translates into larger profits and annual returns.

Workhuman Cloud® is one of the best ways to keep track of and maintain a high-performing organizational culture, so make sure that you check it out and discover how it can help you keep track of your company culture.