programs, organization design, physical plant, etc., throughout
One way to accelerate culture change is to start with a measure-ment
of the current culture. Once you know, reliably, what the
current culture is really like as experienced through the workforce,
you’ll know what programs, processes and systems to abandon,
preserve and strengthen or shape and create.
There are now many tools to measure your culture, but pro-ceed
with caution. Culture measurement and engagement surveys
are not the same instruments, so don’t be seduced into purchas-ing
a panacea survey solution. Look for tools that are valid, reliable
and provide a standardized survey logic that allows comprehensive
analysis of the data and measurement over time, so you can repeat
the survey and assess what improvements have been accomplished.
If your organization has invested in its culture and busi-ness
performance is strong, keep doing what you’re doing, but
don’t become complacent. Culture is dynamic, it’s ever evolving.
Remember that culture has to be taught. It’s three-dimensional
learning – behavioural, cognitive and emotional. The work climate
needs to adapt to keep pace with the cultural and business perfor-mance
Consider bringing in a third-party to conduct a culture audit.
They’ll look at what your intended culture is, what your lived/
expressed culture is really like and then conduct a gap analysis. The
gaps will point to the work climate dimensions you can modify in
order to strengthen or realign the culture. Public, private and not-for-
profit boards are asking for this – they are going through their
audit or HR committees to ask for evidence that the culture is
strong enough to sustain or deliver desired performance, and that
the company has the right work practices in place to avoid reputa-tional
and income risks (e.g. public harassment complaints or fraud
allegations that erode stakeholder confidence). Boards don’t have
insight into daily operations, so by looking at culture and work cli-mate
through the risk lens, they can pinpoint vulnerabilities.
Culture is truly important. Organization’s need non-negotiable
values, the right people with the right attitudes and behaviours
and operational practices that curate the desired work climate as
an enabler of the organization’s desired performance. Your cul-ture
is an expression of your ethos and it is the key to winning in
today’s complex business environments. n
Louise Taylor Green is the CEO of the Human Resources
Professionals Association (HRPA).
STRONG CULTURES FUELLED BY
POSITIVE WORK CLIMATES CAN
STIMULATE HIGHER ENGAGEMENT,
MOTIVATION AND PERFORMANCE.
on your success.
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