Cultural Assessments: What They Are, Their Principles and How To Conduct Your Own

A cultural assessment is an internal process by which organizations can evaluate their overall workplace culture. Such an assessment typically aims to analyze both the implicit and explicit beliefs and attitudes held by an organization and fostered by those associated with it.

A cultural assessment serves as the first step in providing care that is culturally competent and serves as the care plan’s cornerstone. Nurses are better able to individualize care and produce positive results when they consider their patients’ cultural beliefs, values, and practices. In this article, a cultural assessment tool, data collection techniques, and a procedure for developing a culturally competent care plan are all discussed.

Amazon Cultural assessment practice test

Cultural assessment models and the OCAI

Organizations can assess their internal and external cultures using a variety of models. Some organizations choose to perform culture walks, interviews or surveys. The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI), created by University of Michigan researchers Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn, is one of the most widely used cultural assessment tools. The OCAI is a practical survey model that aids organizations in becoming more conscious of their culture, comprehending how it functions, and identifying the cultural elements they’d like to change.

The foundational Competing Values Framework (CVF), which outlines the criteria used to assess organizational effectiveness, served as the basis for Cameron and Quinn’s OCAI. Based on an organization’s particular orientation, the CVF claims that there are four main organizational culture types that result from internal-external and stability-flexibility dichotomies. These opposing values help characterize an organization’s current cultural preferences, such as whether it is more internally or externally oriented or whether it places more value on stability or flexibility. The essential cultural types described in the CVF and employed in the OCAI are briefly described as follows:

What is a cultural assessment?

An internal process known as a “cultural assessment” allows organizations to assess their overall workplace culture. Such an evaluation typically seeks to examine the attitudes and beliefs that an organization and those connected to it promote, both explicitly and implicitly. With this, a cultural assessment may assess particular expectations, experiences, philosophies, missions, and values of a particular organization that guide stakeholder behavior. Using the findings of a cultural assessment, leaders can decide on culture in the future with knowledge and determine whether any changes are required to strengthen the organization as a whole.

Principles of a cultural assessment

There are various principles that define organizational culture. To better understand how their particular organizational culture functions, leaders should pay close attention to these principles when conducting a cultural assessment. Regardless of whether organizations opt to use the OCAI or another cultural assessment model, it can be beneficial to look over these fundamental guidelines provided by the OCAI:

How to conduct a cultural assessment

You can conduct a cultural assessment using a variety of techniques. Despite this, there are some fundamental steps you can take to evaluate your organization’s culture and determine the steps you’ll take to strengthen it. Heres how to conduct a cultural assessment in five steps:

1. Choose a cultural assessment model

You must first decide which assessment model will be most effective for your organization’s needs before you can conduct a cultural assessment. As mentioned above, there are various models to choose from. You can select models like culture walks, insightful interviews, or surveys depending on whether you want data-driven results or prefer to analyze intangible elements. To obtain a comprehensive set of results, you can also decide to carry out hybrid, combined assessments. Culture walks involve physically moving around a workplace and looking for telltale signs of culture, like how people use their workspaces, the volume of their conversations, and how they interact with one another.

Comparatively, the term “informative interview” refers to the practice of asking small groups of employees for feedback on the workplace behaviors and patterns they’ve noticed. Finally, surveys denote written assessments made by organization stakeholders. For example, culture walks can help leaders better understand the physical energy of a culture, whereas interviews can collect soft data that is open to interpretation. Each of these models can help you gather different results. In contrast, surveys combine the gathering of softa data and translate it into a quantifiable measurement.

2. Perform the assessment impartially

After selecting a model for your cultural assessment, you can go through the steps involved. It’s crucial to maintain objectivity throughout the assessment process because self-reported, internal evaluations frequently produce biased data. This is due to the fact that it can be difficult for stakeholders to evaluate and comprehend their own culture, which frequently manifests as an invisible force that influences organizational decisions. Encourage assessment participants to carefully consider their observations of actual spaces, their responses to interview questions, and their input of survey responses. When evaluating their culture, organizations can prevent mistakes by being thorough.

A designated point person should compile the evaluations of the results after the assessment is finished. If you selected an open-ended assessment model, such as a culture walk or informational interview, this compilation process might be a little more complicated. The six guiding principles mentioned above can be used as data categories to compile assessment results. You can then present the evaluations’ findings in formats like a general report or a presentation.

3. Examine the results of the assessment

Once you have your assessment’s results in a concise and understandable format, you can start analyzing the data you’ve gathered. It’s crucial to pay attention to specific patterns that stakeholders have identified and how those patterns may relate to the six aforementioned culture principles. For instance, if 60% of employees reported uncertainty in the evaluation of their individual professional performance, this may stem from cultural gaps in management Or, if 75% of stakeholders were unable to identify the fundamental tenets, values and shared goals of the organization, it may relate to the organizations sources of cultural connection

It’s important to examine the results thoroughly, even though you and other professionals might want to give one section of the cultural assessment results priority over others. You can better understand how these factors interact if you have a full understanding of all the factors that go into creating your organization’s culture. From this point, it might be simpler for you and other organizational members to draw conclusions regarding the assessment results and develop action plans to improve workplace culture as a whole.

4. Draw conclusions about the assessments results

You can draw conclusions about the outcomes after you’ve examined the assessment’s findings, found patterns, and connected those patterns to the core values of organizational culture. You can identify your organization’s culture’s strengths and weaknesses by using the assessment results as a guide. You can even start to improve your organization’s definition of success. Using the example above, if during your analysis you found that 60% of employees felt uncertain about their performance, you may be able to conclude that cultural changes in management need to take place

Alternately, based on the structure of your organization, you may draw the conclusion that staff members should feel more at ease asking management for feedback. Your findings may enable you to pinpoint specific steps your organization can take to strengthen culture and fill any gaps as needed.

5. Draft a plan for implementing cultural changes

You can create an implementation strategy once you have a set of conclusions to guide the cultural changes within your organization. You can take a variety of steps to address cultural pain points, and each step you take will depend on the change you’re trying to promote. A thorough blueprint of the change process, the objectives your organization wants to achieve, the stakeholders who will handle the management of change, and other factors can be incredibly helpful despite these contextual issues.

Outlining these factors will enable you and organizational leaders to effectively manage cultural changes as they can be a difficult and complex task. It’s crucial to understand that implementing cultural change can be a time-consuming process that may take years of reinforcement, training, and strengthening activities as you start this journey.

Tips for implementing cultural changes

Cultural change implementation can be a difficult and time-consuming task that needs a significant investment of resources. You should take into account these practical suggestions to speed up the implementation process if you want to make sure that your organization’s cultural changes are successful and long-lasting:

Please note that Indeed is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.


What is a cultural assessment?

Instead, a cultural assessment is used to comprehend deeply ingrained norms and values, behavior-driven factors, and existing traits. Reviewing the various cultural elements, such as the environment, traditions, social interactions, incentives, and values is part of conducting this assessment.

What is included in cultural assessment?

Ask about ethnic background, religious preference, family dynamics, food preferences, eating habits, and health practices when conducting a quick cultural assessment. Prior to the assessment, be aware of the important topics to cover and how to do so without upsetting the patient or family.

Why cultural assessment is important?

A cultural assessment serves as the starting point for culturally competent care, which adapts care to the patient’s cultural needs and preferences. Nurses are better able to individualize care and produce positive results when they consider their patients’ cultural beliefs, values, and practices.

What is Amazon cultural assessment test?

A personality test called the Amazon Work Style Assessment assesses your professional preferences to see how well they mesh with Amazon’s corporate culture. It usually takes 10 to 20 minutes to finish and presents sets of statements that represent various working styles.

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