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Workplace Assessments: The Lens to Improving Culture Post-Pandemic

The pandemic has brought about unprecedented changes in the workplace over the past 3 years.  Changes in the way work is done, the way people interact, the work environment and the ever changing regulations that applied.   

After 3 years, the COVID-19 situation is finally easing, yet, employers continue to grapple with the HR challenges caused by the pandemic.  The issues range from employee turnover, burnout, quiet quitting, employee mental health, talent retention, labour shortages, job insecurity to compensation concerns due to high inflation.  On top of all that, employers must continually adapt the workplace from remote work to hybrid work to return to the office work. 

This created a perfect storm in HR as it has inevitably impacted the employee experience and your workplace culture as a whole. 

To effectively address these challenges, it is time to look inwards.  Focus on your workplace climate and culture to understand what is really impacting employee morale by conducting a workplace assessment as a starting point.  

The cost of a psychologically unsafe workplace can be staggering at both the individual and organizational levels.  Prioritizing psychological health and safety in the workplace is a prudent strategy in the post-pandemic world as it is the key to re-engage and retain your people in order to reduce turnover costs and legal risks.    

How can a workplace assessment help your organization?  Let’s explore below.


What is a workplace assessment?

It is essentially a health check for your organization.  It is a valuable tool used to help identify underlying workplace issues that may be impacting employee engagement, productivity, and the psychological health & safety of the workplace. 


What is the goal of a workplace assessment?

By uncovering the root cause of workplace climate concerns, action plans can then be developed to proactively address them before issues become unmanageable. Ultimately, the goal is to promote a safe, healthy and positive work environment that can help organizations attract/retain talent while also reducing costs and legal liabilities. 


What does it entail?

It typically involves the gathering of information (both quantitative and qualitative) for analysis from various sources by conducting: 

  • An organizational review at the leadership level to review key background info
  • A review of relevant policies and other data available (i.e. turnover rates, absence rate, past survey results, exit interviews, complaints, etc.)
  • A survey to the employee base
  • Employee interviews (one-on-one, remote or via focus groups)
  • A report on findings and HR recommendations

Some examples of when to conduct  a workplace assessment?

  • When there is increasing employee turnover/resignations within a department or company-wide
  • When there is higher than normal absenteeism rates (i.e. sick leaves, personal leaves, incidental absences, etc.)
  • When there are incidents of workplace complaints/grievances/conflicts regarding incivility and a toxic workplace
  • When low employee morale, productivity and performance exists
  • When the rumour mills run high which typically signal workplace issues brewing below the surface

How an independent assessment can help?

  1. Improve engagement & retention: Workplace assessments can help employers understand what employees value most about their jobs and what they find most frustrating that impacts their engagement. Targeted actions, policies and programs can then be developed to address these concerns so a more positive culture can be built.  When employees feel engaged and motivated at work, they are also more likely to stay with the company as well.
  1. Improve employee well-being: A workplace assessment can help identify any factors that may be affecting employee well-being and psychological safety, such as stress, workload, or environmental factors. By identifying these issues, employers can take steps to improve the workplace and create a healthier, more positive work environment.
  1. Reduce employer costs and liabilities: When employees feel heard and their concerns are addressed, they are more likely to feel valued, re-engaged and invested in their jobs.  This will have a positive effect on team dynamics and promote a more collaborative culture. In effect, the result from the workplace assessment can help reduce costs associated with employee turnover, absenteeism, interpersonal conflicts and poor employee performance which all impact the bottom-line. 
  1. Develop targeted plan to improve culture: Workplace assessments can also help create a feedback loop between employees and management about the culture of the organization. By asking employees to provide feedback on things like their level of engagement, satisfaction, sense of safety and feelings of inclusiveness, it can help identify areas where the culture is not meeting the needs of the employees or the organization.  A plan for improving the culture can then be created whereby leaders can develop targeted strategies for improvement. 

This exercise to increase organizational awareness by first looking “under the hood” is only a starting point.  It is important that once root cause issues are identified, actions are taken to address – otherwise, employee trust will not be built for any momentum to take hold.  Therefore, leadership commitment and a continuous improvement mindset is vital to impact culture change over time.

Now is the time to reset and rebuild from the impacts of the pandemic by first conducting a workplace assessment.  This will give your company the competitive advantage to attract and retain talent in the post-pandemic world. 

If you are a people-centric organization looking for help in conducting an independent workplace assessment, we can help.  Contact Strategywise HR at 905-879-9994 for a free consultation. 

The content shared in this blog post is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice.  At Strategywise HR, we understand the HR challenges employers face and the workplace laws that affect you.  Our focus is in helping medium-sized employers make informed people decisions that reduce risk and costly exposures for the organization. 

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