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Culture assessment for 2020 and beyond

6th October 2020

A positive workplace culture is vital to the delivery of high-quality care and support

The first stage in improving culture is to build a reliable picture of the current situation – what is working well and the areas that need to change. That’s where diagnostic tools can help. They provide a quick and easy way to gather reliable data from a large or disparate audience.

NHS Improvement provides practical support and guidance with discovery in Phase 1 of its culture and leadership programme

What is the culture tool anyway?

AOD’s Culture Assessment Tool (CAT) is an easy-to-use, evidence-based diagnostic tool that supports data gathering at scale from multiple sources and delivers time-efficient insight into key aspects of organisational culture. The CAT provides some flexibility to tailor organisation-specific questions. Respondents are assured of anonymity and confidentiality.

The use of the tool differs between organisations. Some gather data to provide a snapshot of organisational culture at a particular point in time. Others are looking to make comparisons, for example between service areas, directorates or locations. A re-assessment option after 12 to 18 months is invaluable to those taking the longer-term view.

HSC’s Culture Survey is backed by an extensive #haveyoursay campaign

Whatever the approach taken, the focus is on improvement and the targeting of interventions.

So, what’s new in 2020?

In collaboration with Professor Michael West, upgrades in the 2020 CAT include:

  • Shorter questionnaire with improved reliability and validity, supporting favourable response rates
  • New measures of compassionate care and compassionate leadership
  • Cyber security stamp of approval

CAT in action

In recent months, the newly updated tool has been put through its paces in Northern Ireland, where the aim is to survey over 75,000 staff across all the region’s health and social care (HSC) organisations, including its six NHS Trusts.

“Culture is simply ‘the way we do things around here’. The only way we can know what’s working well and where we need to focus our attention is if our staff tell us, so their views are vitally important! The expertise, experience and quality of service from Affina OD has made them a truly excellent partner in supporting us in measuring our culture.”

Jacqui Reid
Assistant Director of Workforce Governance and Organisational Development
Northern Health and Social Care Trust

“It’s the first time such an in-depth culture assessment will be carried out across so many organisations,” says Sarah-Jane Dale, AOD Chief Operating Officer. “Whether we’re dealing with 100 people or many thousands, our survey capability can really reduce the strain on clients with limited in-house resource.”

To learn more about Culture Assessment or how AOD could work with your organisation, please contact us on 01252 727270

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