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Culture plays a big role in the health of an organization. Leaders need to foster a culture that supports the company’s objectives and keeps employees happy. In a merger situation, integrating cultures is very important to deal success. But corporate culture often appears invisible to the people immersed in it.
If you’re developing a strategy for your social intranet or anticipating a merger, you may be considering hiring a professional to conduct a corporate culture audit. Here are some questions you can use yourself as a mini-audit to help you see your company’s culture more clearly.
How are things done around here?
While it’s hard to pinpoint a standard definition for corporate culture, the most common shorthand is that culture is “the way we do things around here.”
- What’s the communication style? Are there more one-way broadcasts from leadership or grassroots conversations?
- How are decisions made? Is the approach more hierarchical or consensual?
- How are employees treated? How are they expected to behave day to day?
- What’s the approach to getting work done? Is the emphasis more on group collaboration or individual achievement? Do people pay more attention to methods or results?
- How freely is money spent? What is money spent on?
- What’s the tolerance for risk? Are strategies more daring or conservative?
- How is customer service done? What kinds of relationships are developed with customers?
What’s the environment?
The actions of a company and its employees do not exist in a vacuum; they are influenced by many factors around them.
- What is the company’s vision? What does the leadership want the organization to be?
- What are the company’s stated and implicit values? What is important to the organization?
- What structures are in place? These could be physical, technological, or procedural structures.
- How are desirable actions rewarded? How are undesirable actions discouraged?
- How do customers talk about the company? How do they interact with employees?
- What is the competition like? How does the market behave?
- What countries is the company operating in? Where is it headquartered?
The answers to these questions will provide you with a mini corporate culture audit and a cultural snapshot of your organization. You can then use that snapshot to shape your social intranet or social merger site so that it reinforces the culture that serves the company best.
To explain the role that social merger software can play in merger success, we’ve written a 17-page white paper called Reducing Culture Clash in M&A with Social Merger Software. Follow the link to get a copy.