An organization's culture — defined as the shared values, beliefs, and customary ways of thinking that shape and guide the behavior of the organization's members — can have a powerful impact on recruitment, retention, motivation, and employee performance. What's more, differences in organizational culture have been at the heart of the success or failure of many mergers and acquisitions. Gaps between an organization's current and desired cultures, as well as between the cultures of integrating organizations, can be obstacles to success — but they also can present opportunities.
Identifying the core elements of an organization's culture is one key to improving business results. In fact, a substantial body of research indicates that the alignment of employee behavior with a strategically sound culture is a critical link to employee performance and, ultimately, to unit and organizational performance as well.
Buck's Organizational Culture Survey helps employers better manage their workforce for higher performance. Our survey can be conducted online or through printed questionnaires and is tailored to your business strategy, human resource strategy, and employee population. Our model of organizational culture involves assessing:
- Core values: The values that underlie an organization's culture and the extent to which they are shared by employees
- Vision, mission, and strategy: The core purpose, direction, and aspirations of the organization and the extent to which they are widely understood, accepted, and championed throughout the organization
- "Taken-for-granted" assumptions: Employees' beliefs about how things work in the organization and their interpretation of organizational actions and decisions
- Norms of behavior: The informal expectations that employees have of their own and others' performance and productivity
As important as it is to measure the components of the culture, and any gaps that exist, it is equally important to understand the drivers of culture — the organizational factors that shape the culture. These are the "levers of action" for creating, sustaining, and modifying the culture. Among the important drivers of culture assessed in our surveys are:
- Leadership: Are top management's actions in accord with the desired culture?
- Performance management and reward systems: Are performance assessments and incentives aligned to produce the desired behaviors?
- Organizational socialization: Are there onboarding processes, routine ceremonies, celebrations and rituals, and other socialization processes that reinforce the desired culture?
- Structure: Is the structure aligned with and facilitating the desired culture?
- Immediate supervision: Do managerial practices support development of the desired culture?
- HR policies/practices: Do selection, hiring, promotion, and termination processes support the desired culture?