Thursday, December 15th, 2016
How healthy is your workplace culture? Is yours a safe, inspiring, productive culture or far from it?
The problem is that leaders spend greater time and energy on their organization’s products and services than they do on it’s culture, yet culture drives everything that happens in their organization, for better or worse. We can classify a workplace culture health in five levels or degrees:
- Dysfunction – This is the lowest quality level, indicating a culture of low trust, inconsistent performance, and consistent frustration when trying to get things done.
- Tension – This level indicates that trust is slightly better but below standard. Performance is slightly better but remains inconsistent. Disagreements occur regularly, but overt conflict is not as common.
- Civility – This is the middle ground and represents the minimum standard of culture quality. At this level, leaders and team members are treated with respect. Interactions are formal and professional. Performance is consistently good. Disagreements about ideas are conducted calmly without denigrating the leader or team member’s commitment, skills, or role.
- Acknowledgement – This quality level is reflected in the active recognition and expression of thanks and gratitude for effort, accomplishment, service, and citizenship. Team members do not wait for acknowledgement from leaders – they proactively thank each other. Customers are treated respectfully. The phrase “thank you” is heard a lot.
- Validation – This quality level demands the active valuing of team members’ skills, ideas, enthusiasm, and talents. Leaders frequently delegate authority and responsibility to talented, engaged team members. Productivity is consistently high. Cooperative problem solving and team work is the norm.
Summing-up: Teams that implement and align to an organizational constitution enjoy a validating culture. That quality level is reflected in consistent team member engagement, customers being WOW’ed daily, and exceeding performance expectations over time.