With each of these questions, the desired score is 5 or 6 – agree or strongly agree. Answers 1-4 are degrees of “no” – and each of these questions outlines highly desirable characteristics of a purposeful, positive, productive work culture.
Our organization’s values are well-defined, with specific behaviors listed for each value:
Leaders must make values as important as results. To do so, they must make values as measurable as results. Lofty concepts like “integrity” are not hard measures. Specific behaviors for each value – for example, “I do what I say I will do” for the integrity value – translate your values into observable, tangible acts.
Each team member has defined his or her personal servant purpose and values:
A personal servant purpose specifies a person’s “reason for being” beyond their own selfish desires. Formalizing how you improve the quality of life of others sets a high standard for daily service. Defining one’s personal values in behavioral terms also sets a high standard for civil and validating relationships at work, at home, and in one’s community.
Each team member has an up-to-date written performance plan that describes specific goals to be achieved:
Performance expectations must be formalized and agreed to, with an “A+” job defined by specific measurables and due dates. Without a formalized performance plan, too much is left for individual interpretation, which leads to poor quality, missed deadlines, and poor results.
Individual team member goals are aligned with team and organization goals:
Only when team member goals are aligned with both their team goals and the overarching organizational goals will individual performance contribute to the accomplishment of broader targets.
Declared organizational values are the foundation for team decisions and actions:
Values and behaviors will only be tactically relevant if they are incorporated into daily plans, decisions, and actions. Everyone must evaluate team and organizational decisions and actions through the lens of “does this align with our values and behaviors?” and raise questions of they do not.
Team members are held accountable for both performance (goal accomplishment) AND good citizenship (modeling our company values):
Setting high standards for performance and for values does not, by itself, ensure alignment to those standards. Accountability practices must praise and reinforce results and values alignment as well as re-direct poor performance or mis-aligned values in the workplace.
Team members regularly praise and encourage each other for their citizenship (modeling our company’s values):
You know that values have truly been embraced when team members – not just formal and informal leaders in the organization – praise and encourage each other – without prompting – for being great citizens daily.
Team members regularly praise and encourage each other for their efforts and accomplishments:
As with the values side (question seven), you know that performance is a source of pride when team members – not just formal and informal leaders in the organization – praise and encourage each other – without prompting – for being great performers daily.
Team members understand how their work improves the quality of life for peers, customers, and stakeholders:
This idea of work “improving the quality of life for peers, customers, and stakeholders” is the foundation of an organization’s servant purpose, a “reason for being” besides making money. Making clear how individual players contribute to their organization truly serving others boosts meaning and significance for every player.
Organizational systems, policies, and procedures enable team members to be peak performers and great citizens:
Only when systems, policies, and procedures are aligned in encouraging and reinforcing desired results AND desired values will your work culture be purposeful, positive, and productive each day. Eliminate any competing systems, policies, or procedures immediately – and create alignment among those.
Team members keep their commitments and promises to each other:
Integrity and respect are the foundations of a culture of trust, validation, and cooperation. Only when promises made are promises kept – by every player in your organization – will trust and respect grow. When trust and respect grows, performance improves.
Our work environment builds trust and respect among team members:
If everyone – senior leaders, team leaders, and team members – treats each other with trust and respect, that’s a powerful indicator that your work culture is healthy. Any teasing, cliques, insider/outsider dynamics, or “I win, you lose” scenarios erode trust and respect daily.
What does this score mean?
Below 40: This total indicates there are many opportunities to improve the quality of workplace trust, respect, alignment, teamwork, and results. It is likely your organization experiences missed deadlines, conflict, and stress.
Between 41-59: This total indicates there are some beneficial practices in place in your organization. And – there are opportunities to improve. If your score is in the 50’s, it’s likely it performs consistently well but there is drama and frustration that erodes trust and respect.
Above 60: This total indicates a healthy work environment – one you should be proud of! And – the health of your work environment is fragile. It doesn’t take much – periodic aggressive, mean, or self-serving behaviors from key players – to erode trust and respect. Maintaining this quality level requires intention and attention every day.