Here at PCS, we talk about ‘climate’ a lot. It is our core focus. It’s even in our brand name. But we often find that people aren’t always entirely clear about the meaning of the term.
Let’s start at the beginning.
It is likely that you will have heard of both ‘culture’ and ‘climate’ within an organisation. There are some individuals within businesses that use these terms interchangeably, which is understandable, but they are crucially different.
What is culture?
An organisation’s culture is built around a system of shared assumptions, values and beliefs that govern how people behave in the organisation. Culture is difficult to change as it is embedded in the behaviour of individuals. Therefore, it can be seen as the personality of the organisation.
What is climate?
In contrast, climate is the way in which members of an organisation view and experience the mood or atmosphere. Put simply, if you can improve the climate – the way people work, the environment they work in, and the way they are led – you can improve performance.
How is climate linked to performance?
Team climate affects team performance in a major way. It is driven by the leader’s behaviour. Once you understand it, you can improve it.
Measuring climate leads to a better understanding of leadership effectiveness and team performance. This process will identify any gaps in perception between the leader and their team members, highlighting potential areas of conflict, disconnect, misalignment or miscommunication. Armed with this information, a leader can make the necessary changes to increase performance for individuals, and also for the business as a whole.