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Understanding the Relationship between Organizational Culture and Turnover

“Organizational culture” is a term used to describe the norms and expectations in a work environment. Research has found that there are three aspects of a human services organization’s culture that predict better outcomes related to the implementation of evidence-based practices, staff turnover, and the serviced provided:

  1.  Proficiency includes staff skills, competence, responsiveness, and a focus on client well-being.
  2. Rigidity reflects issues related to decision making, transparency, micromanagement, and trust.
  3. Resistance considers if staff are resistant to change or new ways of doing things.

Healthy organizations are highly proficient and not too rigid or resistant. For example they are able to effectively use training and feedback systems, engage leaders, set standards, focus on the quality of relationships, and are enthusiastic about learning and innovation. Although it is not easy to change an organization’s culture there are some evidence-informed models available that address the use of data in management and decision making; trauma-informed care; change management; organizational trust; and casework practice models.