Organization Assessments – Is Your Workplace Working?

I have been reading about organization assessments lately. There are a LOT of tools, techniques and reasons for doing an assessment! Most of them focus on figuring out the people – their values, styles, or readiness for change, and the culture their behaviors reflect.

So I thought I would toss another kind of assessment into that basket: https://usingthefourconversations.com/overview-2.

This one doesn’t study the people. It studies the situations the people observe when they are at work. There are 56 statements of situations that commonly arise – to varying degrees – in most organizations. The assessment asks only 1 question: How often do you see each situation where you work? Never = 1, Rarely = 2, Sometimes = 3, Usually = 4, Always = 5.

Those 56 situations reveal 8 distinct types of workplace problems:

  • Lateness
  • Poor work quality
  • Difficult people
  • Lack of teamwork
  • Poor planning and workload overwhelm
  • Insufficient resources and support
  • Lack of accountability
  • Incomplete conversations

At the end of the assessment, your workplace gets a score. You will find out which of those 8 workplace problems your people are seeing on a regular basis, including the specific situations they notice. Good to know, right?

You’ll also get recommendations on how to upgrade the communication habits in your workplace to resolve those problems. And, if you use the Manager’s Subscription – https://usingthefourconversations.com/manager-subscription – you’ll get information on how to give your people the survey and how to put the results to work.

So, instead of studying what makes your people tick, maybe it makes more sense to ask them about what’s happening at work that tends to compromise their productivity and effectiveness? They will tell you. Then you can work together to implement the recommended communication upgrades. Easy peasy.

2 replies
  1. DS
    DS says:

    Dr. Ford,
    I was reviewing the Workplace Issues survey for use by my workplace, but was confused by the answer choices which read “Never causes a problem” and continues with “causes a problem” after each of the choices your blog post here says are the choices: Never, Rarely, Sometimes. Usually, and Always. The questions did seem to suggest whether or not I observe them, but the answers seem to ask if their existence CAUSES a problem, or perhaps if their existence IS a problem. These are three different conditions. Does it exist? If so, is it a problem? If so (it exists), does it CAUSE any problems? Believe it or not, simply existing might not cause a problem in the workplace. Where a certain level of quality is a given, and self-motivation is part of the culture, then whether or not we’re given clear guidance or told how we fit in with the workplace goals might not cause any problems within the office.

    So, my question is this: Which of the three questions should we be answering for this survey? I would like to be able to clearly instruct any workplace participants so that if we go this route, when you compile the entire area, we will understand what we are seeing in the results as well.

    Thanks for clarifying,

    DS

    Reply
    • Laurie Ford
      Laurie Ford says:

      Diane,
      Thank you for your question. I see that the current version of the Workplace Assessment needs revision, to eliminate the “causes a problem” phrase. The idea is to learn what communication habits people observe in their organization, and how frequently – not to assess whether those habits cause problems. Learning about communication habits is valuable, and too many of a certain kind of habit (e.g., failing to make good complete requests) can make people’s work more cumbersome, without actually being a “problem”.
      I will talk with my webmaster and get this fixed. Thank you SO much for pointing this out to me! I will get back to you as soon as we have this resolved.
      Laurie Ford

      Reply

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