You are reading: Outdated workplace surveys don’t work. Here’s what we’re doing instead.

May | Organisational Culture | Read time: calculating...

Outdated workplace surveys don’t work. Here’s what we’re doing instead.

Discover a culture survey that’s easy to use, and designed for today.

The culture of a workplace drives its success.  It sets the tone for the business, for it’s people, and the clients, customers, and suppliers that interact with it.

Culture enables strategy.  But a business’s culture isn’t something that can be gleaned by a quick once-over from management.

Workplace culture surveys are valuable tools to take a deep dive into the guts of the organisation.  They seek to understand how things are done in the organisation through employee behaviour, how this affects their job performance, how they view the culture as it stands, and how they view their leaders and their leadership style.

Culture surveys can help the organisation get a snapshot of where their employees are at, what’s driving them, and where they can improve. And, ultimately, how they can improve productivity and create a great place to work.

Why traditional culture surveys don’t work

It all makes sense, in theory.  But too often, there are roadblocks that cause the surveys to come to a grinding halt.

  • The survey may be undertaken, but then… it goes nowhere. No change is enacted.
  • Or the survey tools themselves might be complicated.  While based on robust processes and proven questions, the organisation using them doesn’t have the necessary skills to understand them and interpret the results. Or the people delivering them don’t understand them enough.  It’s not that the tool is bad—it’s just not acted on in a manner that brings the required change.
  • Or perhaps, dare we say it, the instrument itself may be outdated. It’s the same survey an organisation has used for many years, that they continue to use purely because that’s how it’s always been done, and doesn’t reflect the way business is done now.
  • The necessary support to actually make the change may not be there, either.  The company undertaking the survey provides the organisation with the results, and then leaves them to their own devices to manage the next steps. There’s no follow up, no support to manage the big, daunting changes that are to come.

Your culture survey should help your people flourish

Keogh has developed a unique business culture measurement and transformation model.

We call it Cultivate.  It’s designed for and available to organisations who aspire to build a high-performing culture where people flourish.

Born from over three decades of cultural transformation experience, and developed and refined over three years, it’s a robust instrument that aims to solve the problems that standard organisational culture surveys face.

What’s different about Cultivate

We recognised that there were limitations with how organisational culture surveys were being implemented.

To combat this, the Cultivate model is based on research that looks at two important factors:

  • Elements that create high performance in the workplace
  • Elements that create a flourishing workplace

The difference here isn’t just the wording. It’s a combination of academic research and in-depth customer research, merging the quantitative and the qualitative into one comprehensive approach.

With our Cultivate model, it was important to create a practical instrument. One that was easy to understand and easy to interpret.  That could be picked up by any organisation seeking to change their culture, and understand why, how, and when they would use it. Who would drive it, what that would look like—and importantly, if it was right for them in the first place.

A workplace culture survey that’s actually based on its culture

Our Cultivate model is a true behavioural assessment. After all, culture is behaviour: it’s what people do, rather than the outputs they deliver.

So, Cultivate focuses on behaviour of those within the organisation, rather than their tasks or outcomes.

It puts a focus on leadership, too

Leaders play a vital role in changing the culture—and to make real cultural change, leaders need to be supported to, well, lead it. Built into the Cultivate instrument are 15 questions that relate to leadership, such as coaching and empowering people, identifying where leaders can focus their energy to make the change they want to see.

The Keogh team help you deploy Cultivate, providing support to leaders. We actively assess an organisation’s culture and identify its readiness for change, which helps us to determine how to best position the organisation for success.

Focusing on the right things

Cultivate also helps identify where to focus energy to build a high performing organisation. It uses a series of global statements, asking participants to say what’s important now, and what’s important in the future.  This provides a strategic lens for leadership to identify where to focus their efforts.  It gives clues from a strategic point of view as to where they need to point the business, and then, how to make that change happen.

Keogh don’t run the survey in isolation.  We work with organisations to help you understand it, how to get the most out of it, and support you in taking the next steps. We take a hands-on approach to support your organisation, build your skills, and build leaders’ capacity to deliver the cultural journey.

Build a high-performing culture by looking at the right things

We’re not saying that other instruments are inherently broken.

Just that they don’t focus on the right things for your organisation.  They’re not pushing the scope far enough to get a deeper view of what’s causing problems in an organisation, and not including the right people in making change happen.

Cultivate is more than just the survey. It’s a process. One that sets up an organisation for success and provides vital support on its cultural journey, using a bespoke process tailored to your business’ needs.

And it ensures that your organisation sets strong foundations for a future where your people flourish.

Get in touch with us to learn more about our Cultivate model.

Interested in the research behind Cultivate? Download our whitepaper.