Is Your Organisational Thermometer Saying Code Red?
Companies are starting to understand how critical it is to know how their employees perceive their work conditions and environment. Companies recognise this perception can have a vital effect on how employees behave and therefore, how it affects their productivity and commitment to the organisation. We all know both of these areas can have significant repercussions on a company's bottom line.
Every company goes through ups and downs with employee engagement. That's why it's so important to know what your internal climate is REALLY like at any given time. A pleasant working environment is essential for success, the health of your company, and your bottom line. Understanding the effects that new changes, training initiatives, or restructures, have on your employees is vital.
Extended DISC behavioural assessments help to "paint a picture" of how employees might be feeling within their work environment. Often referred to as "organisational or corporate climate," it is a significant force in influencing employees behaviour, job satisfaction and stress levels.
What is Workplace Culture?
In addition to organisational climate, there is also "organisational culture." Culture tends to reveal an even bigger picture of the health and wellbeing of a company. Although different, there is some overlap between climate and culture.
Culture is the foundation of your workplace and is essentially the environment you create for your employees. It develops over the longer term and consists of the values, beliefs, norms and traditions which guide how the organisation conducts its business and in turn how people behave. In simple terms, culture is the 'personality' of the organisation.
What is Workplace Climate?
Climate relates to the surface level of your organisation and is a picture of the current environment. Climate describes the perceived working conditions of the employees. If culture is the personality, then the climate has more to do with the 'mood' or prevailing atmosphere within the business.
As a rule, the climate is prone to more short term fluctuations and is determined by many factors which include leadership, structure, rewards and recognition. So, therefore, this tends to be susceptible to frequent changes.
As a leader, changing the 'organisational culture' can be a challenge, and depending upon your seniority, may even be out of your hands. However, you can significantly influence the 'organisational climate' within your team by how you lead them. Your leadership style, how you design or improve work practices, recognise and reward performance and how you handle conflict, all contribute to the culture.
Impact of workplace climate on employee performance
Whatever terminology you use, workplace climate tends to describe a set of attributes in the work environment. These can be perceived directly or indirectly by the employees, but they're assumed to be a major force in influencing employees behaviour and of course productivity. Some of these perceptions are to do with communication, conflict, leadership and rewards.
Managers find it astonishing when an organisational climate check takes place. We often hear senior management say, "I didn't know that was a problem in our company" or, "I thought that's how they all wanted it," and "I didn't know they felt like that". At times managers become detached from what employees are feeling. The bigger a company, the tougher it can be to see these perspectives as they can get lost.
Extended DISC Workplace Climate Assessment
Extended DISC Behavioural Assessments, specifically the profile graphs, provide insight into what might be happening in the current environment.
Trends in the graphs build a picture of how people might be feeling, which contributes to the workplace climate.
Let's take a look at a case study to understand how the special cases in the profiles give a profound understanding of the workplace climate.
The CEO of a manufacturing company has called you in to help him with some issues. He says he is not aware of any significant problems with his management team though there are a few performance issues with Manager 8 and its this manager he would like you to shed some light on!