The 12 Areas of Organizational Culture: Effective Communications

An organization’s effectiveness is a reflection of it’s culture. This blog series will explore the 12 areas of cultural assessment that Goodnight Consulting has developed to evaluate an organization’s culture. To watch the overview video, go here.

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.” -James Humes

The 12 Areas of Organizational Culture: Effective Communications | Goodnight Consulting

Defining Questions

Are employees receiving clear and frequent communications from management?

Does management receive communications from employees?

“I wish you would have told me…”

At one site we visited, there was a drawing box in the cafeteria. Employees dropped their name into this box, and a name was pulled out each week. The employee whose name was pulled from the box got to have a one hour lunch with the President of the company. This weekly lunch was an opportunity to talk to the President about improvement ideas, praise a co-worker, or other give feedback within a safe environment. It gave employees a direct line of communication with the top of the organization. It also helped the management team avoid existing in a vacuum and ignoring lower level employees.

Communication is the lifeblood of an organization. Leadership must frequently and clearly communicate changes in the work environment to employees and stakeholders through several different channels. Even a lack of change is news and should be communicated. But it is also important to remember that communication is a two-way process. It is easy to focus on what to say when pondering communications, but effective communication is not just about talking — it’s about listening. An organization with a healthy culture listens to its employees and uses what it learns to generate improvement. On the other hand, an organization with a poor culture is aloof and does not seek feedback, missing out on opportunities for continuous improvement, or to be a learning organization.

Ways to Improve Communications

Communicate clearly, frequently, and briefly.

Facilitate upward communication.

Ensure that plans for high-impact activities, major projects, or significant changes are communicated.

Goodnight Consulting maintains a confidential, proprietary database of cultural assessments, which we use to develop benchmarks for our clients. Our evaluations are based on decades of experience in the utility industry. If you find that your organization is weak in one of our 12 areas, please contact us to learn how we can help you improve.

12 Areas of Culture

Goodnight Consulting has identified 12 areas of culture that help define a successful organization. You can read about the other areas of culture here.


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