Assessing the Weak Links in Your Organization’s Culture

As a leader, are you facing high employee turnover, low morale, and lower than average new memberships?

No one likes criticism. But if you’re determined to understand what type of culture exists within your association and how you can improve it, you may want to start by including feedback in your culture assessment.

Just as leaders can improve their work performance on key indicators, such as coaching, delegation, and strategic planning, feedback from an evaluation can help set performance goals to identify and improve your organization’s culture.

Here a few tips on using feedback to assess your association’s culture.

Where the weak links exist

Have you received complaints from members, have growth opportunities been lackluster, and have team management skills revealed poor collaboration among business units and members?

Once you’ve defined the areas that could use improvement, it’s time to evaluate how employees in departments are functioning. Besides, employee reviews, surveys can be an advantage in revealing what is truly causing poor results in reaching association goals and memberships to decline. You can conduct surveys yourself or through an outside agency. If your departments are small enough, management and staff discussions surrounding the root cause of membership decline and low employee morale can be an impetus to creating the change you want to see.

What areas of your association need improvement, and how has it affected your long-term goals and strategy?

Gathered in teams, employees you manage can provide the feedback you need. Maybe, the area of membership retention needs improvement. It is imperative, now more than ever, to ensure your members see value in membership. If communication with members is poor, they’ll ultimately stop paying dues and leave.

From surveys and feedback, you can determine which areas of the association give employees more frustration than was previously thought. What seems to be blocking the flow of communication internally and externally? What, as an association, can everyone do to deliver better member service? Staff feedback can often answer why miscommunication and member service missteps are occurring among teams and members.

Where are the problems occurring?

Once you’ve identified the problem, whether it’s low morale or high employee turnover, you need to pinpoint which teams are involved. How do the identified issues affect the entire association? How can you build collaboration and team-building skills into your organization goals?

Is your association’s current culture the reason behind high employee turnover?

One way to find out if you’re creating a toxic culture is by holding exit interviews. These exit interviews contain the reasons why people leave. Many leave because of poor leadership or bad management. Ultimately, a toxic culture keeps top talent from applying and chases top performers to competitors.

Once you’ve determined where issues exist, you can conduct a gap analysis. A short definition of a gap analysis is a tool or method that determines the current state of business, whether measured by labor, money, or time with the intended target goals. These identified gaps can be cultural, procedural, strategic or technological, or a combination. Once identified, you can determine how to bridge the gaps moving forward.

Sometimes the gaps can be corrected with team-building skills, better employee engagement, and asking for employee feedback after a major event to discuss what went wrong and how as an association, you can do better in the future.Once you reveal the gaps, you can determine how to bridge them moving forward. Regardless of where these gaps currently lie, you’ll determine the path the association will take based on the association’s mission, vision, and core values.

Is every employee serving the members as intended? Is the company making an impact? If not, can you use its purpose to initiate improvements?

Throughout this process, you’ll want the involvement of your employees. And not just during the assessment but also in determining what the association’s future should look like moving forward. Every employee’s values, passions, and interests must be considered. Because creating an inclusive cultural transformation involves not only changing agendas but changing the habits and mindsets of its most dedicated employees.


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