Portrait of business colleagues holding each other and laughingIn October I released my new Performance-Values Assessment and invited readers (from my blog, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) to respond.

The initial responses are in. Last week’s post began our look at this data; this post continues that analysis. In addition, I present recommendations for boosting the health and effectiveness of your organization’s culture.

There are 71 global responses to the assessment so far, all drawn from people like you – social media-savvy folks who are interested in corporate culture. Therefore, the population we’re drawing upon is a small, un-scientific sample. And, I believe strongly that the insights drawn are worth your consideration, despite the small sample.

Each of the items (or questions) in the assessment describe desirable practices and behaviors. The rating scale includes scores from 1-6, ranging from “strongly disagree” (rating 1) to “slightly agree” (rating 4) to “strongly agree” (rating 6). Since each item states a desirable practice, the healthiest cultures generate ratings at the 5-6 level (“agree” and “strongly agree”). Let’s take a look at a few of these items . . .

“My direct boss provides me with effective performance coaching.” The leader’s role is to set clear goals, clear values, and coach team members to deliver on both, consistently. Therefore, this item provides insights on the performance side of the leader’s role. Scores are not good – only 6% of respondents “strongly agree” while 24% “agree.” That means that 70% of the respondents in this database do not receive effective performance coaching from their boss. That could be because respondents are specialists and their boss doesn’t have the technical skill to coach them. There is a strong likelihood that leaders are not doing the performance coaching team members need.

“My direct boss provides praise regularly for effort as well as accomplishment.” This leader behavior contributes to both performance and values – great leaders praise and encourage performance as well as values-aligned efforts. 57% of respondents ranked this statement “agree” or “strongly agree,” which is great – for those respondents! 43% of respondents do not have bosses that regularly praise effort and accomplishment.

“I am held accountable for modeling our team’s values in every interaction.” This item looks at how well the leader and team member peers hold each other accountable for demonstrating defined team values. (If team values are not formally defined, this item is difficult to answer!) Respondents see themselves as values-aligned for the most part – 62% ranked this item with “agree” or “strongly agree.” A great follow up to this question would be inviting feedback from respondents’ internal & external customers and gauging their perspective on the team member’s demonstration of team values.

“Organizational systems, policies, and procedures help me attain peak performance.” This was one of the three lowest scoring items of the twenty on this survey. Only 34% said “agree” or “strongly agree.” That means that 66% of respondents see systems, policies, and procedures as inhibiting their performance daily! This represents a huge opportunity for organizations – remove these hurdles and performance will skyrocket.

“I am proud to work for my team.” 42% of respondents “strongly agree” and 42% “agree.” The strong results here are gratifying. Despite some of the problem areas this survey identified, respondents still affiliate themselves with their team, the work they do, and the services they provide. Imagine, though, how much better employee morale would be if your culture worked so well that 100% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with this statement?

Join in the conversation about this post/podcast in the comments section below. How clear are performance and values expectations on your team? How well are staff held accountable to deliver on both?

There is still time to complete my #CoolCulture survey! Contribute your experiences in the Performance-Values Assessment. Further results and analysis will be shared on my blog site’s research page. Note that results will change as more respondents contribute to this database.

Learn how this new research can help you refine your organization’s corporate culture. Contact me for information on conducting the Performance-Values Assessment in your organization.

Photo © iStockphoto.com/yuri_arcurs

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S. Chris Edmonds

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of The Culture Engine and six other books.
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Reader Interactions


  1. AvatarLyn Boyer says

    Chris, Thanks for taking the time to conduct and compile this very interesting and valuable research. It is very useful for leaders. The question is: Do the leaders know which categories apply to them? That is the challenge.

    • S. Chris EdmondsS. Chris Edmonds says

      Thanks for this great question, Lyn! Most leaders have not been asked to manage more than processes and results – they don’t have experience with the responsibility of creating a safe, inspiring workplace FIRST. Where that’s in place, results follow.
      My primary job as a consultant is to help leaders learn that every single item/question on this survey is their responsibility (!). My experience is, where I’m able to build leaders’ knowledge & skills & commitment to proactively manage their desired culture, employees thrive, customers are WOW’ed, and profits grow.
      What’s your experience with leaders’ reactions to these concepts? Would love your insights!


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