Gauging Company Performance With Questionnaires

Organizational culture questionnaires can be used to garner information for a variety of reasons. Maybe your company is the middle of an attempted change in culture and wants to gauge how the process is taking hold (or not). Maybe the corporation hasn't gone that far yet but is thinking about making a change and wants to see how capable the workers are of adapting, or if they are already in the only system that their personality type is effective in.

Organizational culture is a critical variable in every company that guides the employees actions and reactions on every single level of the company. Understanding the company's own culture, and even having individual workers understand where they fall in category wise with organizational culture makes a huge difference not only within the domestic markets, but internationally, as well. This is especially true if a company is considering opening a factory overseas. Strategies which are fantastic in one nation may be an abysmal failure in another.

For example, almost half of American workers think that a supervisor can be a good manager even if they don't have detailed precise answers to many of the questions that the employees working under them may come up with. Delegating to older experienced workers, or just knowing how to manage people is enough in the eyes of many American workers.

American workers are often among the most independent of any nation, preferring environments with less rules and regulations. The complete opposite is true in Japan where strong specialists and employer-employee loyalty is expected and ingrained within the culture itself.

Cultural misunderstandings can end up being counter-productive and even harmful to a business's attempt to expand. This might even be true in regional areas. In a country such as the United States, you can have distinctively different groups and preferences between groups of workers from say: Texas, Alaska, Hawaii, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, the Midwest. Each area has a distinctive culture, or cultures. Likewise, different ethnic groups may have differing opinions on major issues that affect how they will work and respond to different cultures.

An organizational culture questionnaire may simply be trying to find out how the company is faring regarding certain aspects that are considered measurements of corporate culture. Some of these aspects include:

· Individualism. This is the extent to which action is taken for the benefit of the individual or the group. How much independent thought and action is allowed?

· Power Distance. This refers to the real and perceived levels of separation between people in charge and those who aren't. In some companies employees may accept a direct supervisor's orders like the Gospel, where in other companies with less power distance the supervisors are like co-workers who simply have the final say at the end when a decision has to be made or an impasse broken through.

· Certainty. This is the level of need employees have for clear cut rules, regulations, and supervision. People needing a high level of certainty need those things. People who don't are fine with unstructured, ambiguous, or unpredictable situations.

· Time Orientation. This is the level that dictates whether works have a tendency to stay loyal to values oriented towards the future such as thrift, or values oriented toward the past and present, like respect for tradition.

These are just a few of the things that an organizational culture questionnaire may be looking for.