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Culture Assessment

Culture Assessment

Help Evaluate Our Organizational Culture

The City of Gainesville is taking a fresh approach to assessing organizational culture with an anonymous, 10-minute culture assessment you can take beginning Feb. 2. To learn what’s different about this assessment, please see our Frequently Asked Questions below or email cultureassessment@cityofgainesville.org with specific questions. You can also see an example of a similar assessment conducted for the Oregon Secretary of State here and review additional details from City Auditor Ginger Bigbie here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s different about this culture assessment?  

The assessment will be conducted using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI), an online tool developed by professors at the University of Michigan that has been used by more than 10,000 companies.   

How does the framework evaluate responses?  

The tool uses a points system and averages based on survey responses to produce a culture profile showing the difference between the current culture and the preferred culture. After finishing the survey, you will see a graphic depicting your perceived culture vs your desired culture.

Will I be judged based on my beliefs? 

No, the OCAI does not make a value judgment on one culture over another. Similarly, there are no right or wrong answers to the survey questions, as there is no right or wrong culture according to this framework. OCAI identifies the current and preferred culture based on four culture types:   

  • Collaborate: A friendly place to work where people share a lot of themselves. Leaders are mentors. The organization emphasizes the long-term benefit of human resources development and morale is important. The organization also emphasizes teamwork and participation. 
  • Create: A dynamic, entrepreneurial, and creative place to work. Leaders are innovators and risk takers. The organization encourages individual initiatives and freedom. 
  • Compete: A results-oriented place to work where the major concern is getting the job done. Leaders are hard drivers, producers, and competitors. Reputation and success are common concerns. 
  • Control: A formalized and structured place to work. Procedures govern what people do. Leaders are coordinators and organizers. Stability, predictability, and efficiency are long-term concerns of an organization. 

How do I know my responses will be anonymous?  

The company conducting the survey aggregates the responses so no one at the city ever sees individual answers; nor are individual responses subject to public records requests. The city only sees a final report generated by the vendor.   

What happens after the assessment?  

The city will follow the culture assessment with small-group workshops conducted by trained professionals. Workshop participants develop a change plan to help the organization move toward the desired culture. All City of Gainesville employees will be invited to participate in the workshops.

Employee Questions

I've completed the assessment, how do I get my results?

You should receive an email from OCAI with your assessment results. If you haven't received an email, please check your spam folder. Because the assessment is confidential, we cannot see or retrieve your results; only you can access to your results. 

Must we complete the assessment in one session? 

Yes, you must complete the assessment in one session. Once you've closed out, you will no longer be able to access the assessment. In order to complete the assessment, you would have to enter another email address. 

What kind of assessment is this? How does it relate to work culture?

This assessment evaluates the social and behavioral norms of our organization. By assessing our work culture, we hope to get a better understanding of what motivates us, how we relate to one another and what defines our success as an organization.

Will the multiple-choice responses include an option similar to, “My response doesn’t match any of the provided choices,” or will respondents be allowed to skip a question? 

The questions are designed differently than an employee-satisfaction survey, so the multiple-choice questions measure degrees of trust, creativity, rigidity, internal and external focus, collaboration, etc. The response that doesn’t match any option doesn’t really apply here.   

Will the 10-person workshops be facilitated with remote VPN for those teleworking? 

Workshop facilitators are still ironing out the logistics but will do whatever is necessary to ensure a successful outcome. Stay tuned!  

Since this tool is limited in both input and responses and has no open text boxes, how will the team gather more important information which would only be available from conversation or open comments? 

The assessment report provided to the city helps inform the workshops. It will aggregate all participant responses. Our assessment and subsequent workshops will show us: 

  • What is our preferred culture? 

  • Which are the five most important trends relating to the organization? 

  • Which are the five most important goals we can extrapolate from these trends? 

  • Which culture mix do we need for these trends and goals? 

  • If necessary, adjust the preferred culture measured and reach consensus on the preferred culture the organization needs in view of the trends and goals. 

We will continue to update the Employee Questions section as we receive new questions. Please email us at cultureassessment@cityofgainesville.org with your questions.