What is a culture audit?

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Covid has left a lot of devastation behind. A friend recently told me how they are worried about where to get money for school fees, as children resume school. Some people have lost jobs and others have relatives who have lost everything. If you are thriving during this pandemic, thank your gods.

As you thrive, are you indifferent about the people around you? How do you engage with colleagues, neighbours, and all folks around you? Your conduct reflects your value system which is influenced by your culture.

Whether at home or business, you must define your culture so that is passed on to the next generation. Our great, great grandparents used to pass on the traditions and culture to the next generation through living together and storytelling.

But then things changed.

We saw ‘investors’ come up with new businesses like special homes for the elderly. In these homes, young people old people are taken to spend the last part of their life there. The business model is driven by the young people tired of looking after their parents and grandparents in this busy world of too much work and of course social media, they take them off to specialist homes for the old people. The result is that young people do not spend a lot of time with their elders, therefore losing a lot of wisdom.

Culture audit is a tool that helps assess whether a culture exists or not, and if yes, to define it and how it is lived. At the enterprise level, the right culture helps you achieve the following:

  1. Team cohesion and achievement of organisational goals
  2. Deepen team trust through the use of a common unspoken language.
  3. Empower people to speak up, give their personal best and achieve their potential.

Culture is the foundation for consistently high performance. During a culture audit, we examine the following areas:

  1. Recruitment and selection – how do you fill vacant positions. How do you recruit? Is your process free and fair? How do you recruit? What skills do you look out for?
  2. Onboarding – how do you get new hires to learn about the organisation and feel at home. To understand their roles and how to win.
  3. The company processes – how do you help employees to add value, build trust and make their impact felt
  4. Exit – how do you separate as friends?

A culture audit covers so many areas with a focus on understanding what “is done” here to create team spirit and trust.  The key areas examined include:

How do you hire, celebrate achievements and people who make it happen, and share resources to win?

How do you inspire people to do their best? How do you collaborate and speak? Is there too much bureaucracy or not? Do you listen? Do leaders prefer to just speak and speak or there is freedom of speech and any idea is accepted?

How do you care for the people? How do you develop the skills you need? How do you thank folks who go out of their way to do the best for team success?

A comprehensive culture audit will assess the current practices in the key people aspects of your business. Culture is a set of values, principles, habits, and practices that are done daily subconsciously by all staff.

For example, someone does not have to remind any manager to conduct an exit interview. The manager must do it subconsciously. That is culture.

What is your culture? When did you last conduct a culture audit? Are you winning?

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2021. All rights reserved.


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