In times of high turnover and job hopping, company culture is what ultimately sets your organization apart. Culture defines who your organization is and what it stands for, displayed through the values and attitudes of leadership and employees.
When you have a strong company culture, your employees are more likely to identify with the mission and vision of your organization, resulting in a more engaged (and retained!) workforce.
Below we’ll cover why culture matters and the employee survey questions you should ask to understand your own unique company culture—and how to improve it.
A strong company culture is crucial to driving performance and organizational success. Without a culture of trust, communication, and mutual respect across the organization, innovation is often stifled, and employees will either resist change or leave. This threatens not only the productivity and performance of your company but also impacts your ability to attract high-potential talent.
High-performing organizations who focus on improving their company culture understand that a thriving culture enables them to better adapt to change and attract, engage, and retain top talent. In other words, culture isn’t just a fluffy nice-to-have. It’s key to success.
So what does a “good” company culture look like?
It’s important to note that not all great cultures are the same. Each organization will have its own unique values, traits, and people who will impact and inform the culture. However, in a research partnership between the Human Capital Institute, we found that culture-centric organizations could be characterized as:
Whatever your cultural personality is, it should be grounded in shared company values and driven by strategic employee engagement.
Building a positive company culture takes time and strategic focus. You want to “get culture right,” meaning that your culture matches your organization's overall strategic initiatives. But how do you know if your culture is working for you (and your employees)? Ask!
A good place to start is with a pulse survey. A pulse survey is a quick questionnaire that helps you ”take the pulse” of your team or organization and follow up on progress since your last annual engagement survey.
Your employees’ answers to this culture survey can reveal important insights about your company culture and how well teams and individuals align with your stated mission and values. Their feedback is an important part of developing effective company culture initiatives and measuring your success over time. Plus, as you act on employee feedback, your employees will see their input is valued and that your organization cares about their experience. A win-win!
Check out this list of employee engagement survey questions about culture to gauge how your company’s culture is impacting your team and business strategy:
How your employees answer these culture survey questions will tell you a lot about the state of your company culture. Don't get discouraged if your employees' responses to these questions aren't great; instead, use them to identify core problems and find at least one action you can take to improve your culture. Your organization's culture wasn't built in a day, so don't expect cultural problems to have an overnight fix.
Use pulse surveys like these periodically throughout the year to gauge employee experiences, measure progress (or setbacks) on your initiatives, and inform your ongoing employee engagement plans. Regularly surveying your teams—and, more importantly, acting on those insights—will help you build effective engagement programs and a thriving company culture.