Nine Things You Need to Know to Assess Culture Resilience in Your Organization

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Nine Things You Need to Know to Assess Culture Resilience in Your Organization
Nine Things You Need to Know to Assess Culture Resilience in Your Organization
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Does your company have cultural resilience? Culture resilience is one of the critical factors in the success of a company and how it reacts to change, especially during difficult times. Today, companies are having to switch to remote working environments and quickly change how their businesses run. It may be the first time you’ve had employees working remotely or worked remotely yourself. Successful companies adapt to change and have dedicated employees who care about the success of the business because of their emotional connectedness to the organization. Cultural assessment tools like surveys and questionnaires can measure important factors that contribute to corporate resilience to see what needs improving and what is working in your organization. 

Here are the 9 things you need to know about organizational cultural resilience

Resiliency is how an organization responds to change, whether or not it can recover and adapt. Companies are facing extreme hardship as the world battles a pandemic. Successful companies are adapting their business models and turning to remote working environments, if possible. Organizational cultural resilience is a key indicator of which companies can survive hardship. Leadership competence is increasingly important in times of uncertainty and stress.

(2) What are the Components of Cultural Resilience?

  • Employee feed-forward (advice)- Is your company’s leadership valuing and listening to advice?
  • Communication – Are systems in place so employees can quickly ask questions and get help?
  • Co-creating to achieve success together – During tough times, co-creating with employees is even more beneficial to create a sense of belonging and connectedness.
  • Supportive environment – To ease stress and confusion, do employees feel like other employees and leadership support them?

(3) The Importance of Emotional Connectedness 

The Importance of Emotional Connectedness

High emotional connectedness can mean a company is coming together to overcome struggles, adapt, and make it through a crisis rather than dismantling, with employees panicked and jumping ship. Employees feel invested, not just financially, but emotionally in the company that they work for and want it to succeed. Companies with high levels of emotional connectedness in their employees have more productivity and less turnover. As people are having to work remotely and practice social distancing, feeling connected in the workplace is more important than ever.

Example of Emotional Connectedness Statements to address in your cultural assessment or culture survey:

  • I belong. 
  • I create my future with others.
  • I feel like I am able to achieve and reach my goals.
  • I am appreciated for the work that I do.
  • My work satisfies me.
  • I work at an innovative company.
  • The company has a positive future.
  • I am part of a team that works well together.
  • My work and contribution matters and is recognized.
  • I am respected, and I respect my coworkers.
  • Leaders set reasonable goals that are achievable and held accountable.
  • I feel connected with the company’s leaders
  • My personal values align with the company’s values

(4) Benefits of Cultural Assessment for Individuals and Companies

As part of a company’s leadership, it’s often difficult to get a clear picture of company culture and whether or not certain efforts are well received. Instruments like an organizational cultural assessment tool are essential for getting employee feedback and evaluating cultural resilience. Individuals benefit from cultural assessment by having their voices heard by the organization and help to promote change. 

(5) Cultural Resilience Misconceptions: Factors that Do Not Always Indicate Cultural Resilience

  • Bonuses – While employees appreciate performance bonuses, it’s important also to show appreciation verbally. 
  • Salary – Surprisingly, employee salary is not an indicator of cultural resilience, as long as the wage is near market-value.
  • Work perks – Companies often try to boost morale and improve retention by offering wellness perks. Perks are always welcome, but they need to be meaningful and enforced. 

(6) How to Evaluate Corporate Resilience: The Cultural Resilience Model

The first area of the cultural resilience model is systematic collaboration, whether or not there is teamwork and open communication in the company. The second area is a positive future co-creation, if the company is seen as innovative and making progress. Do employees want to feel like they’re contributing to this positive future? The third area is the alignment of values and goals. It’s crucial for employees to feel like their own personal values and goals are in alignment with those of the company. They need to trust their leadership to be honest and have integrity. There needs to be accountability at all levels. The fourth area is respect from others; a culture of respect is essential from the CEO to the lowest level employee. The final area is killer results achievement. Employees need clearly stated objectives that help them work towards achievable individual and group level goals that are in alignment with the overall goals of the company. 

(7) Best Questions to Ask in a Cultural Questionnaire

photo-of-people-doing-handshakes

Do you feel supported by other employees? Is teamwork functional and driven toward accountable and actionable goals?

This question determines if employees feel included and helped by others in the working environment and teams are able to achieve and be held accountable for goals. 

Are teams or individuals held accountable?

 If teamwork is encouraged but only individual contributions to dialogue is encouraged, it can create competition within groups. Addressing whether or not the company provides a safe, open, and inclusive space to co-create is essential.

Do you feel supported by other employees? Is teamwork encouraged

This question determines if employees feel included and helped by others in the working environment. 

Are teams or individuals celebrated?

 If teamwork is encouraged but only individuals are heard, it can create competition within groups. Addressing whether or not the company is correct in its facilitation is essential.

Do you feel overloaded by your job? Do you feel like you can ask your manager what the top priorities are? 

Employees who are overworked and stressed are often less productive during pivotal times where the organization has to work even harder and pull together. These questions can help prevent burnout, which can affect big picture thinking.

Does the company have a clear hierarchy that is open and inclusive? Do you feel supported by management and leadership? 

Employees need to trust that the company’s leaders will make the decisions in the best interest of the shareholders – customers and employees alike. Employees may not feel comfortable talking about sensitive subjects like this to managers and leadership but can express their opinions in a cultural assessment.  It’s up to leaders to set the stage by becoming facilitators of change, and co-creating the change with people. This reduces fatigue, fear, and anger typically associated with major changes.

drawing-feedback-logos-critique

(8) Culture Resilience Assessment

You and your organization can create your own culture survey or use our Cultural Resiliency Assessment. Our Cultural Resiliency Assessment allows your organization to perform a culture audit, self-assessing and receiving instant feedback based on five different areas. It’s a quick and easy way to evaluate corporate resilience and get immediate feedback from employees. 

(9) Corporate Resilience Tools

Once you have the results of your culture survey, you can focus on improving corporate resilience using these tools. My books like “In Great Company” and “The Change Champion’s Field Guide” explore emotional connectedness in the workplace.

Transitioning to remote working can be difficult. Software like Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Monday.com make it easier. On Zoom, I facilitate sessions as if we were in real time, using break out rooms and coming back for large group shares. The Go Game even sets up virtual team-building exercises to help everyone feel connected while working from home.

During times of economic crisis, corporate resilience, which companies can recover from the financial hardships and overcome challenges, depends on more than just the product or service offered. Leadership and organizational culture have a tremendous impact on corporate resilience. Employees need extra support during uncertain times, trusting the company’s leaders will make the best decisions not just for the shareholders and customers, but for the employees. Corporate culture determines how invested employees feel, the level of emotional connectedness, which significantly impacts performance, retention, and overall success. A company can evaluate its culture resilience by using a cultural assessment tool like my Cultural Resiliency Assessment which measures the amount of emotional connectedness of leaders which allows for resilience or co-create their own resilience culture survey. 


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Louis Carter
Louis Carter is CEO and founder of Best Practice Institute, social/organizational psychologist, executive coach and author of more than 11 books on leadership and management including his newest book just released by McGraw Hill: In Great Company: How to Spark Peak Performance by Creating an Emotionally Connected Workplace. He has lectured globally in the U.S., Middle East, and Asia on his work and research in organization and leadership development and is an executive coach and advisor to CEOs and C-levels of mid-sized to Fortune 500 organizations. He was named one of Global Gurus Top Organizational Culture Gurus in the world and was chosen to be one of 100 coaches to be in the MG100 (Marshall Goldsmith) out of 14,000 people as one of the top 100 coaches in the world .

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