Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

What Cultural Assessment Is and Why You Should Care

Cultural assessment is a systematic process for identifying and describing the values, beliefs, customs, traditions, and other unique characteristics of every culture. Every organizational context has its own set of cultural aspects that influence how it operates.

Cultural assessment is the key to understanding these aspects, which are often invisible but can significantly impact an organization's ability to implement change effectively.

A cultural assessment provides the basis for identifying the most effective ways of getting your message across and helping people in different cultures to understand what you want them to do. There are several reasons why you should care about cultural assessment: 

Hire the Right Employees

Cultural fits are especially important when hiring employees, and that is why you should care. The world is becoming increasingly diverse, and you simply can't afford to ignore cultural differences. 

If you don't take these differences into account when hiring employees that match your company culture, you could end up with a staff that is ill-suited for your culture or that doesn't get along well with the rest of your employees. 

By assessing the different cultures in your organization before you make your hiring decisions, you can choose candidates that will be more likely to succeed in your culture.

Adequately Fill Positions

Cultural assessment helps organizations avoid making hiring mistakes due to different cultural values. 

When it comes to hiring employees, knowledge of specific cultural values is key to understanding the unique requirements of every position within an organization and selecting candidates with the right fit for that position.

Company culture is often reflected through an organization's systems and processes. To meet the unique needs of every position, you need to know how specific cultures approach tasks, use technology, communicate with each other, etc.

To Better Communicate with Employees

Cultural assessment is also crucial for effective communication within your organization. If you want your message to be understood across cultures, you need to assess your employee's values and beliefs before communicating with them. 

Having a suitable culture for employees will help ensure that the information you convey is received in the way you intended it to be.

Adapt to Different Organizational Cultures

Organizational cultures vary from one company to the next and even from department to department. By assessing your organization's culture, you can pinpoint those aspects of your culture that could pose a challenge, as well as those that could help you achieve success. 

For example, if your organization's dominant values are hard work and individualism, you might have to change your practices when working with Eastern cultures that are more team-oriented. 

Similarly, offering employees in some countries rather than money as a reward for good performance could be perceived by them as insulting.

To Achieve Greater Success

Cultural assessment helps organizations avoid wasting time and money when implementing change. For organizational changes to be successful, they need to be compatible with the organization's culture. 

Every business has its own unique organizational culture. Although there is no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" organizational structure, cultural assessment can help you identify your optimal structure by helping you pinpoint the elements of your corporate culture that could play a part in helping you achieve success.

The Target Audience is Key to Cultural Assessments

Many organizations fail in soft skills training because they don't assess soft skills needs in terms of the different cultures within their organization.

If you want your employees to communicate with people from different backgrounds, for example, you need to assess the target audience's cultural values to determine their specific needs.

Cultural assessment helps organizations identify and prioritize the elements that play a part in their organizational culture. Implementing changes is not an easy task and often requires understanding how organizational cultures influence company processes. 

By assessing your organization's different cultures, you can make informed choices about your business strategy and eventually have a thriving business.