Capacity Building Self-Assessment Tool

Organizational culture and climate consist of shared values, norms, attitudes, and perceptions that influence how people in an organization behave. An agency’s priorities, leadership commitments, and staff motivation reflect its culture and climate. For new programs and practices, an agency’s culture and climate may affect how people accept and support change.

While people often use the terms “culture” and “climate” interchangeably, Charles Glisson, a leading researcher in this area, makes the following distinction:

  • Organizational culture refers to the shared behavioral expectations and norms in a work environment. This is the collective view of “the way work is done” (Glisson, 2015).
  • Organizational climate represents staff perceptions of the impact of the work environment on the individual. This is the view of “how it feels” to work at the organization (such as, supportive, stressful) (Glisson, 2015)

Establishing leadership behavior

Benchmark of Capacity:
High Level in Place
Benchmark of Capacity:
Moderate Level in Place
Benchmark of Capacity:
Basic Level in Place
  • A common set of basic beliefs and values exists and is widely shared within your organization.
  • Beliefs provide members a sense of identity and clear direction for behavior.
  • Beliefs embodied are timeless and stable across leadership changes.
  • Beliefs clearly support the organization’s overall purpose and are consistently harnessed to produce impact.
  • A common set of basic beliefs is held by the majority of the organization team.
  • Beliefs provide members with a sense of identity.
  • Beliefs are aligned with the team’s purpose and are occasionally harnessed to produce impact.
  • A common set of basic beliefs exists in some groups within your organization but is not shared broadly.
  • Values may be only partially aligned with organizational purpose or rarely harnessed to produce impact.

 

Embedding equity

Benchmark of Capacity:
High Level in Place
Benchmark of Capacity:
Moderate Level in Place
Benchmark of Capacity:
Basic Level in Place
  • Shared knowledge and understanding of equity practices exists and are widely used within your organization.
  • The team provides clear direction on equity practices, such as the following:
  • Equity assessment of policies and practices (ongoing); and
  • Equity goals within the strategic plan.
  • The process for seeking, distributing, and using resources is based on equity goals; your organization is accountable for equity goals and empowered to uphold goals.
  • Your organization has multi-sector partnerships and relationships with communities affected by inequities.
  • Shared knowledge and understanding of equity practices is held by majority of staff and leadership within your organization.
  • Knowledge of equity provides members with a sense of how to value team members’ and stakeholders’ differences and how to address disparities.
  • Equity efforts may be only partially aligned with your organization’s purpose or only rarely harnessed to produce impact on goals.
  • Shared knowledge and understanding of equity practices exists within some part of your organization but is not shared broadly.
  • Equity efforts may be only be partially aligned in your organization’s purpose or only rarely harnessed to produce impact on goals.

Sharing and understanding of common vision and goals throughout the organization

Benchmark of Capacity:
High Level in Place
Benchmark of Capacity:
Moderate Level in Place
Benchmark of Capacity:
Basic Level in Place
  • A clear, specific, and compelling vision is articulated, as well as a deep understanding of what your organization aspires to achieve.
  • Common vision and goals are broadly held, including between partners and stakeholders.
  • Common vision and goals are consistently used by your organization to direct actions and set priorities.
  • There is clear and specific understanding of what the organization aspires to become or achieve.
  • A common vision and goals are held by many within the team and sometimes used to direct actions but not shared widely with partners and stakeholders.
  • There is a somewhat clear vision or specific understanding of what the organization aspires to become or achieve.
  • Vision and goals Lack specificity or clarity.
  • Vision and goals are held by only a few; or they are “on a poster on the wall” but rarely used to direct actions or set priorities.

Setting expectations to accommodate and sustain change

Benchmark of Capacity:
High Level in Place
Benchmark of Capacity:
Moderate Level in Place
Benchmark of Capacity:
Basic Level in Place
  • There is a common team approach to change and change management, which may include practices that:
  • secure buy-in and align individual behavior and skills with the change;
  • are truly shared and adopted by all members of the organization’s leadership; and
  • are actively designed and used to clearly support overall purpose of the team and to drive performance.
  • There is a common team approach to change and change management exists within some part of the organization’s leadership, which may include practices that:
  • secure buy-in and align individual behavior and skills with the change; and
  • are adopted by many people within the organization’s leadership.
  • Practices are aligned with the team’s purpose and occasionally harnessed to drive toward impact.
  • There is not a common approach to change or change management by the team.

Valuing performance throughout the organization

Benchmark of Capacity:
High Level in Place
Benchmark of Capacity:
Moderate Level in Place
Benchmark of Capacity:
Basic Level in Place
  • Leadership highlights and promotes each member’s contribution (social, financial, and performance).
  • Use of performance data in day-to-day processes and decisionmaking is embedded in comprehensive performance thinking and team analysis.
  • Key elements of performance are constantly referred to in team meetings, including agendas and discussions.
  • Individuals within the leadership of the organization contribute toward the project’s impact, and important decisions about projects are based on performance thinking and analysis.
  • Key elements of performance are regularly discussed at meetings.
  • At times, important decisions for the organization are embedded in comprehensive performance analysis and thinking by the leadership team.