There is plenty of information out there on how to determine or define your culture; obviously that is the first step. The hard part is implementing and maintaining it, and it not just being a blurb on your website or maybe on a nice shiny plaque in your reception area.
At Cenikor, the core principles of our culture are so important to us that we created an anonymous survey by which we score every manager and above (including our CEO) with the following questions:
Does this person consistently add value to meet our mission of service for Cenikor clients?
Does this person demonstrate a consistent positive, respectful attitude with staff and clients?
Does this person work effectively as an active participant of your team?
Does this person consistently role model appropriate, professional behaviors?
Does this person consistently act with integrity (i.e., honest communication, keeping commitments, openly addressing issues)?
The scoring is:
5 points - Consistently demonstrates (~85-100% of time - no one is perfect)
3 points - Somewhat consistent (~65-84% of time)
1 point - Not consistently
MOST IMPORTANT POINT: Comments are REQUIRED for each question and this is part of the instructions. Positive feedback on what you would like the person to keep doing and the impact, or constructive feedback on areas for improvement and how it impacts you as a team member. The feedback is the "meat" of this survey; it is from this information we learn the most.
It's conducted every 6 months, and completed by 8-12 participants for each person, a combination of direct reports, peers and supervisor. It is anonymous in the fact that each person being surveyed does not see individual surveys. HR combines scores and all comments into one report to maintain anonymity, unless someone self-identifies with a comment.
Here's where the money talks: the scores are tied back to annual variable pay. The combined scores from the 2 surveys each year make up 20% of the annual variable pay potential. There is a stair-step down from 100% of bonus to 0%, depending on your combined scores. Scoring is setup to pay out fairly generously. Again, the most critical component of this is to get honest feedback for our managers on how they are consistently upholding our culture, not to "ding" them on their bonus.
Most of our employees who did not have a positive survey the first time around were open to coaching and training, and their scores have improved, many drastically. Interestingly enough, a few of those that did not show improvement after multiple surveys and had a lack of response to follow up coaching have self-selected out of employment with Cenikor (BS walks).
For those non-profits who do not have funds for annual variable pay or perhaps your funding streams do not allow staff bonuses, you can still implement a similar program just not tied specifically to money. If you have multiple locations, perhaps the location with the highest scores after each round of surveys gets to celebrate with management bringing in lunch. You can get creative on how you reward, but remember this should never be punitive or you may have team mates manipulating scores/comments to help keep each other out of trouble.
It will not be without some bumps in the road, we've had to do training with some of our newer managers on how to give constructive feedback, instead of criticizing or labeling.
As a non-profit, we need to be focused on our mission and hitting our goals, and just as focused on the culture we want to uphold, and how we interact and serve each other as team mates. We spend way too much time at work for it not to be enjoyable to work together.
I hope you have an opportunity to serve and make a difference today!
Kellee Webb, SPHR