The formal study of organizational culture is relatively young, dating back only to the 1950s. Even providing an organizational culture definition—that is, defining what you mean when talking about organizational culture—can be tricky. Organizational culture isn’t the same as organizational structure. Rather, it’s the attitude that holds together the structure, that lubricates the gears and, ideally, enables processes to occur without friction.
Naturally, executives and managers want to understand the true character and state of the organization’s culture. Are the values and processes on the ground holding the organization together well? Are there areas where values and processes are creating friction rather than eliminating it.
This is where organizational cultural assessments are critical. Independent agents can take careful surveys that capture the true culture of the organization by speaking to teams throughout the enterprise. Do workers feel empowered? Are managerial directions clear and aligned with stated corporate values? Are basic issues of safety and compliance observed and respected?
For the agents conducting these surveys, two challenges routinely recur: First, there’s a lot of data to collect, particularly if the agent is going from site to site to site on a survey tour. How do you capture, organize, and secure that data effectively? Second, how do you increase the likelihood that the answers to your survey questions will be accurate, particularly if the honest answers are not consistent with stated company values? Workers who need jobs may not willingly reveal that their mangers routinely demand that they perform tasks in an unsafe way—yet these are key findings when it comes to organizational culture.
Survey agents using an audience response system (ARS) can manage both these challenges very effectively. An ARS such as CloudVOTE can be configured to enable an agent to capture individual responses anonymously, which ensures that individuals responding with honest but unfavorable answers won’t be held accountable for telling the truth if management dislikes the response. At the same time, while CloudVOTE provides a centralized cloud repository for survey questionnaires and answers, the system can be configured to enable agents to capture data in an offline mode, which makes it easy for agents traveling from site to site to capture data on a local device that they can sync to the main CloudVOTE database at a later date.
When agents return from these long survey trips, they may have data from hundreds of sessions that they need to combine and analyze so that they can produce reports for the client, but by uploading the captured data to CloudVOTE they can consolidate all their survey findings— without having to touch Excel or any other manual data management tool—and quickly produce the reports required.