At the heart of culture is a set of behaviors and beliefs, that indicate what is important to the organization and drive all decision-making. Culture, and weaknesses within it, drive the root cause of many problems, and improving quality culture is an essential part of continuous improvement.
Culture is often the true reason for the behavior of people within an organization and it can often be deeply unconscious and not rationally recognized by most members. These ideas are so integrated that they can be difficult to confront or debate and thus difficult to change.
A critical part for improving culture is being able to measure the current situation. A great place to start is using a survey-based to gather input from employees on the current culture of quality. Some of the topic areas can include:
- Leadership and Vision
- Management Practices (Management by Facts, Focus on Results and Creating Value)
- Employee Ownership and Engagement
- Continuous Improvement, Learning Culture
- System Thinking
Some of the feedback methods to utilize once you have a baseline can include:
|Feedback Method||When to use|
|Focus Groups||You want detailed feedback on a number if issues AND employees are generally willing to speak on the record|
|Short, targeted surveys||You have a number of close-ended findings to test AND your organization is not suffering survey fatigue|
|Informal conversations||You want to gain context of a few data points AND you have a trusted circle|
As you build improvements, you will introduce better metrics of success.
Once you a good set of findings select 2-3 key ones and design experiments.