Identifying a Company’s True Culture


Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question.

“How do you identify a company’s true culture as an investor, prospective employer, or vendor? You want to affiliate with companies whose values align with yours. This type of information is hard to obtain. Corporations do a fine job of defining themselves in a favorable light on social,
moral and humanistic levels. However, there are numerous examples of this being nothing more than a whitewash. While there is ample financial data available to assess a company, there is little or no data to determine
its core values in practice. Any thoughts?”

Yes, I have thoughts.

This is right at the core of what our business does. Our business constantly helps cultures develop, become more dynamic, be better, and often we all the time we tell our clients¬†that you’ve got to have good empirical evaluation of exactly what’s going on.

So there are two basic ways to do it. The first way is to do an engagement survey. There are hundreds of engagement surveys out there. Ask the company to give you a copy of their engagement survey. It needs to be done by an independent source. The second is what I call an alignment survey. An alignment survey is a survey where you actually ask questions about the mission
and the core values on a scale of 0 to 5 five being perfectly aligned, zero being not at all.

If you intersect those two, then you can get a good sense of what’s really going on in the culture. But again, it’s important
that it’s administered by an outside source like our organization, organizations like ours, and that you see that data
in an anonymous context.

So there’s no coercion, persuasion, that kind of thing.

That’s a really, really good question.

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