Workplace culture is an integral part of a business, affecting everything from employee satisfaction and productivity to customer engagement and brand perception.
Poor workplace culture can lead to high staff turnover, low morale, and a negative reputation. An organisation’s culture is a key contributor to the health and wellbeing of its staff, and ultimately its success. Yet culture is intangible, elusive, and difficult to measure. It is also constantly evolving and changing due to internal and external influences. Our Culture Audit is a valuable tool to help you assess and ensure that your workplace culture is supporting your business goals so that you are able to leverage its full potential.
When should you consider a workplace culture audit?
A culture audit looks more broadly at issues that staff may be concerned about without requiring them to enter into a formal process. The culture audit enables you to get ahead of problems and take action before they arise through appropriate interventions and remedial actions.
There can be any number of reasons that you may consider undertaking a culture audit including:
1. Understanding anomalies: existing data may tell you that you have a team which fails to meet diversity targets, has high attrition rates or low engagement scores, but the data alone won’t tell you why. A culture audit enables you to look beyond the statistics and address the reality behind them.
2. Addressing reputational risks: rumours of a toxic work environment are hard to address but easily spread, especially via social media channels. This can be hugely damaging for recruitment and retention of staff, as well as market reputation. Conducting a cultural audit can help identify the truth behind the rumours so that you can take proactive measures to address any issues such as bullying, harassment, or other workplace dissatisfaction.
3. Measuring the effectiveness of existing programs or following significant change: If an organisation already has programs or initiatives in place to promote a positive culture or has recently had a major change such as a merger or restructure, a cultural audit can help to measure their effectiveness and identify areas where they could be improved.
4. Demonstrating commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion: Conducting a cultural audit demonstrates to employees and stakeholders that the company is committed to creating an inclusive and supportive work environment.
5. Improving employee retention and satisfaction: A positive workplace culture will lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction and retention, which will help the organisation achieve its goals. A culture audit enables you to get ahead of any negative cultural issues without waiting for complaints to arise.
What does the LS culture check-in audit involve?
1. The desktop study
Our team reviews information from sources such as policies, value statements, social media commentary, glass door reviews, exit interviews and/or complaints to form an initial understanding of the organisation and any issues it faces.
2. The electronic staff survey
This provides the opportunity for all relevant staff to provide information (anonymously if they wish) against a pre-agreed set of questions designed to build an understanding of problem areas or concerns. Information which employess wish to share in stage 3 can be indicated in survey responses.
3. The listening exercise
Experienced members of our team meet with a pre-agreed number of individuals and/or small focus groups to explore any topics which have arisen in more detail. The participants can be selected: a) at random, b) through inviting volunteers, and/or c) based on the information arising out of stage 2. Individuals and the information shared will remain anonymous.
4. The thematic report
High level themes are identified and a report is provided to the organisation which explains what the issues are / what perceptions exist which may run counter to the values of the organisation. The report also sets out recommended next steps to resolve any identified issues
Why choose Lewis Silkin?
Our specialist investigations team is experienced in providing an objective and impartial assessment of tricky circumstances you will be dealing with. We have supported many businesses, charities and other organisations both with formal investigations triggered by allegations as well as ‘temperature check’ interventions.
What our clients say:
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the Cultural Investigation work that you and your team conducted for [our organisation]. Your … contribution to our organisation was truly invaluable, and something that we could not have achieved without [your help]. Your team's thorough investigation and comprehensive report have provided us with critical insights and recommendations that will help us improve our operations and better serve our community. We are now in the process of implementing the outcomes and recommendations, and we are already seeing positive results.”
Achieving culture change
Within our thematic report, we will suggest recommended next steps. We provide support through a number of solutions and value adds which could include culture change activity (establishing mentoring / speak up programmes, culture champions and workshops for leadership), mediation, training workshops, coaching workshops and more. Our specialist HR consultancy and training teams are able to provide many services which complement the outcomes of the culture audit and enable you to take immediate action to address any issues which are highlighted by the review.
Where can I find out more?
Toxic workplaces hit the headlines: a warning to employers to take steps to prevent and tackle workplace misconduct27 April 2023
Organisational culture continues to experience considerable scrutiny following the findings of bullying by Dominic Raab and the recent allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment at the CBI. Although Raab was critical of where the Tolley Report set the bar in making these adverse findings, his response is at odds with evolving standards of workplace behaviour. What are these standards, and what can employers do to avoid a toxic culture?