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Are you okay with being a 4? Are you okay with being part of a 4 organization?

Have you seen the ATT Mobile ad? Are you okay with being just okay? Is your CEO okay with being just okay?


Most of the questions on our VCI-17 Culture Assessment Survey (described in the AJN #1 Book of the Year Building a Culture of Ownership in Healthcare) are on a 5-point scale where 5 is strongly agree and 1 is strongly disagree with a positive statement about how the respondent perceives their workplace culture.

We have conducted that survey with hundreds of organizations, mostly hospitals, with tens of thousands of individual responses. Only once have we seen a survey where a majority of responses were “strongly agree” – and that was a hospital which for the past 12 years has made the Fortune list of the 100 best companies to work for (the gold standard of all such rosters).

We’ve seen the same sort of results from the thousands of people who have completed our Culture IQ Quiz. The possible range is from a low of 8 (where the culture reminds one of scorpions in a bottle) to a high of 24 (culture nirvana). The average response (both mode and median) from those thousands of responses is 17. The assessment for that range is pretty good (just OK) but not great – here’s what it says:

Your organization is probably holding its own against the competition but you can see them making inroads into your market. You have lost some of your best people and it’s getting harder to recruit top-notch candidates. People are reasonably pleasant but for most of them it’s just a job, not a mission.

In their new book It’s the Manager, Gallup executives Jim Clifton and Jim Harter write: “Gallup research indicates that people who respond with a 4 are behaviorally very different from those who respond with a definitive 5 or ‘strongly agree.'”

To paraphrase, someone who answers with a 5 (strongly agree) is proud of their organization and likely to have what’s been called barnacle-like loyalty. Someone who answers with a 4 (agree) really likes the job but will only be loyal until something better comes along.

A 4 organization is a pretty good place to work. A 5 organization is a remarkable place to work.

Culture does not change unless and until people change. The one and only way that any organization can make the leap from 4 to 5 is by inspiring a critical mass of individuals to make the personally from being a 4 person to becoming a 5 person.

If you’re not okay with being just okay, then please download our brochure at the Values Coach website and give us a call: 319-624-3889

PS: You should especially call us if your Culture IQ Quiz score is 18 or lower.

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