Workscapes: Culture Assessment
Workscapes, a full-service office dealership headquartered in Miami, offers furniture, architectural products, and space planning to businesses in the region. Through the acquisition of smaller dealerships across the state, Workscapes has grown quickly over the last several years: 50% revenue growth and 30% personnel increase over the past 3 years.
Despite making solid investments in their business and culture-building a solid management team, improving operational processes, driving financial governance, and improving hiring and onboarding approaches—Workscapes continued to experience growing pains. While struggles, like obtaining capital to support growth, attracting the right talent, and managing an evolving organization, are common for rapidly growing businesses, Workscapes teamed with gothamCulture to face them head-on.
Work began with the overall goal of using data to gain insights into cultural alignment and to inform next steps toward becoming a more strategic and efficiently run organization. gothamCulture administered an organizational culture assessment designed to invoke honest conversation about the cultural dynamics at Workscapes and the strength of alignment amongst senior leaders. An initial project team meeting served to establish expectations among those involved in the project, define executive sponsorship, define the project plan to integrate with other activities underway, and to determine the appropriate audience for the assessment and debrief conversations.
Despite their rapid growth across Florida, Workscapes was still a small organization that acknowledged its roots as a family-owned and operated business. This, and the fact that recent changes had been especially substantial for leadership inspired the decision to focus the organizational culture assessment on leadership within Workscapes before potentially engaging more members of the organization in the project.
gothamCulture deployed a mixed-methods data collection effort with two components. The first component, the Denison Organizational Culture Survey (DOCS), was deployed to benchmark the culture at Workscapes against over a thousand other organizations and to determine the level of clarity and alignment that existed across specific demographic groups within the leadership team. Digital invitations and reminders were crafted to highlight the goals of the survey and larger culture study process, and describe the steps being taken to ensure confidentiality and anonymity of the data.
The second component involved Interviews with all senior leaders, including the executive team and market presidents, to supplement the findings from the DOCS. gothamCulture focused these interviews on learning more about each interviewee’s experience at Workscapes, based on their role and region of operation, to better understand cultural similarities and differences across locations, and to gain insight into the current strategic direction of the organization. This interview process allowed for senior leaders to actively participate in culture conversations and began the dialogue about which aspects of the organization were working well and which ones might need to change.
After completing data collection and consolidation and reviewing the data for themes, the gothamCulture team leveraged the insights they gained to create a full report and presentation that outlined major findings, areas of opportunity, and recommendations for moving forward.
gothamCulture’s project lead engaged the executive leadership team in candid discussion around the key insights and implications to business performance. This team then prepared for a more in-depth discussion with their next level of leadership, to facilitate common understanding of priorities and actions.
Like many rapidly growing organizations, it is imperative to continually check in on the alignment and agreement on the direction of the company. Then, the leadership team can define ways to operationalize the strategy in an efficient manner. In this industry, velocity is key, and the ability to manage the dynamic tensions that exist in any corporate culture is crucial.
Workscapes determined four main areas of opportunity:
- Define Mission, Vision, and Values to Align Markets: Articulating organizational goals will be the key first step to navigating next phases.
- Manage Change at the Hub and Spokes: Honoring market diversity while centralizing will help maintain a competitive edge and provide consistency for managers.
- Clarify Roles & Responsibilities to Optimize Change Adoption: Clarity here will free up more energy for managers to perform the critical tasks of meeting sales goals and managing the business.
- Define and Implement Standard, Balanced Performance Measures: Measures linked to overall company goals would allow for more effective performance management and aid in decision-making.
As a result of this focus on culture, Workscapes leadership recognizes culture as leverage for future financial performance. The team is taking action on the areas above in the spirit of driving operational efficiency and financial performance.