CULTURAL REVIEW BLOG
‘I’m not sure what the problem is, but something’s wrong’ – the benefit of workplace Cultural Reviews.
Managers are often aware there is a ‘cultural issue’ within the workplace – whether through informal complaints (more on this oxymoron another time!), poor productivity or disengagement by staff – however drilling down to the causation of these core issues can be difficult. This is where a Cultural Review can be of significant benefit.
Cultural issues develop over a period of time, and if not addressed can lead to adverse outcomes for an organisation including loss of talent, increased absenteeism and conflict within the workplace.
A Cultural Review is more than just a health check though, it’s a process designed to identify key concerns which have led to a loss of trust within an organisation. Common issues concerning employees include poor communication, lack of understanding of strategic direction and priorities, inconsistent or unclear performance measures, and a lack of strong leadership. If left unaddressed, these types of issues typically lead to disengagement and dysfunction and can be difficult for an organisation to turn around.
A Cultural Review is a solutions-focussed exercise which identifies issues, engages with employees to find solutions and develops options or recommendations for improving and restoring a positive workplace culture. The findings of Cultural Reviews can be incorporated into an organisation’s strategic goals, organisational development framework and can even inform things such as succession planning and workforce development.
‘No one is listening = no one cares’
As more and more employees continue working from home (at least part of the time) following lockdown restrictions, there is a potential for increased disengagement if there are underlying concerns around communication in the workplace and divergent attitudes about a possible return to the workplace.
WISE Workplace recently undertook an employee survey as part of a Cultural Review, which revealed that some employees felt they were missing out on opportunities for observational learning and informal collaboration with their colleagues due to working from home, while others suggested they were experiencing a lack of day-to-day feedback resulting in decreased motivation. The organisation used this information to change their approach to communication and coaching, and expedited plans for flexibly returning to place based work.
Providing employees with a voice and an opportunity to be heard is critical to the success of a cultural review, and a lot of work goes into the pre-planning of a review so that employees feel comfortable and are willing to participate in the process. Many participating employees report a cathartic experience following their interview, and the opportunity to be heard itself often generates goodwill.
Identifying key issues and concerns is just the first part of the process. Providing solutions that are appropriate, achievable and consistent with an organisation’s values and goals is the next step. A comprehensive report outlining key findings, cultural implications, and options for improvement enables employers to collaborate with employees regarding solutions. Prioritising how solutions are implemented and communicated to employees will positively impact the organisation’s ability to regain employee trust and build a positive workplace culture.
Katherine Clarkson is WISE Workplace’s National Investigations Manager. Katherine supports our WISE offices across Australia helping to deliver consistent high-quality investigations and reviews to our clients nationally. With over 20 years’ investigation experience consulting to the public, private and NFP sectors, Katherine provides high level advice and guidance to clients to help them resolve their workplace issues and achieve quality outcomes.
For more information about how your organization could benefit from a Cultural Review, please contact us today by calling 1300 580 685 or emailing [email protected]. Don’t forget to add us on LinkedIn for more news, articles and resources.