Blog·Company Culture

September 28, 2020

The Company Culture Survey: Establish a Strong Culture

Running a regular company culture survey will help establish a strong and positive organizational culture. Read on to find out how to to kick off the process.

Employee feedback and company culture

Every organization has a unique culture. In theory, all involved share a mutual understanding of what it means to be a part of their organization. When the entire workforce is aligned in its perception of the company culture, no one will feel left out. As a result, employees are able to perform at their best level as they feel comfortable in the workplace. The best way to measure employee perception is undoubtably with a company culture survey.

In practice, the world of work is not so straightforward. Internal communication can be misinterpreted or employees might develop alternate perceptions of what their organizational culture represents. In order to ensure a healthy working environment, leaders must look to incorporate employee feedback to improve their organization. The use of culture surveys can inform leaders of their employees' experiences and thoughts about the company.

What defines company culture?

Being part of an organization gives you a sense of what it means to be a part of its culture. Company culture is essentially the personality of an organization. In determining what defines company culture, it is important to consider a variety of influences. Fundamentally, a company is driven to achieve set business strategies whilst maintaining specific values. Yet, company culture is not this simple.

A combination of the direction of the business, along with the ways of working, leadership styles, operational policies and unwritten beliefs constitute the foundations of company culture. It is all-encompassing and present within anything that is said, thought or done by any individual in an organization. All employee relationships and activities in a company define it and reshape it.

company culture definition

What creates a successful company culture?

The key to establishing a strong and positive culture relies heavily on leadership. Just as any ship requires a captain to steer it in the right direction, a company also depends on good directing. Moreover, the captain relies on his teammates to keep everything else shipshape. For a company culture to thrive, the direction of the leaders must align with the efforts of the rest of the workforce.

Beyond the importance of good leadership, a successful company culture is determined by those that live and breathe it. Within any organization, there must be effective communication. Teams that are capable of communicating in a clear and courteous manner are better prepared to cooperate. Establishing such a way of working facilitates teams to be decisive and adept in any situation which promotes a positive and non-hesitant workforce.

Company culture leaders steer ship

Any HR department takes on the duty of gathering employee feedback to ensure that the working environment reinforces the company culture. Through measuring engagement and satisfaction with different types of surveys, leaders can become better informed on what is and isn't well-received by employees. A successful company culture continually learns how to improve through responding to this feedback.

"We all need people who will give us feedback. That's how we improve." - Bill Gates

Why do companies use culture surveys?

To best understand what your company stands for it is important to find out what your employees think. Culture surveys highlight how employees feel towards the company, as well as any red flags. Since organizational culture is formed through those involved with it, the survey results will present extremely useful insights.

It is through employee surveys that companies are able to improve the experience of work. Building on the feedback attained from the workforce is an effective and efficient technique for ensuring better employee engagement and satisfaction. Since engaged employees are far more productive than their disengaged colleagues, it is desirable for any company culture to instil positive feelings in the workforce.

Why are culture surveys important?

company culture survey benefits

Positive company culture is reflected in all aspects of your business. If your employees love the business, then customers will too. Whilst it is difficult to pinpoint culture, a survey is a great place to start and will allow leaders to identify areas of cultural strength and weakness. Find out if the company culture is conducive to growth and whether employees love their workplace.

Company culture surveys are important because they will tell you whether or not your employees engage with your organizational culture, and what improvements can be made to make your business a better place to work. A strong company culture keeps employees motivated and productive and therefore improves work performance.

Employees’ general ratings of the company’s qualities are 20% higher if the company has a strong organizational culture.

It is pivotal for an organization to identify what cultural shifts are needed to better achieve the wider company objectives and resolve points of internal friction. Surveys are a great way to ensure that culture initiatives are data-driven and that improvements can be measured over time.

Overall, a strong company culture will help your organization attract and retain quality talent, as well as strengthen overall business performance.

According to research from Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees say organizational culture is crucial to the company's success.

How to conduct a company culture survey

how to conduct a company culture survey

Plan in advance

Ensure that you create a thorough plan before you send out a company culture survey. Senior management and the HR department need to come together to create an exciting survey that will achieve a set of clear objectives.

Most employee engagement survey questions use the Likert scale, where employee rate a statement on a 5 point scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Plan to send out the survey 1-2 times per year, keep track of the dates, and send out regular reminders to ensure maximum results.

Keep it short

To boost response rates, try and keep your company culture survey concise. Employees with long to-do lists will struggle to find the time and motivation to complete a lengthy survey.

Anonymity is key

Anonymity is a very influential factor for increased response rates. Employees want to be assured that their opinion will not damage their reputation at work with peers or management. In addition, keeping the survey anonymous will ensure that people give honest responses which will give more effective insights into ways to improve company culture.

Act on the results

It is all very well gathering survey responses, but the most important thing is to act on the data. Once you have identified behaviours that are having an impact on your organization's culture, set deadlines for making your culture more effective, positive and employee-friendly.

What is an organizational company culture survey tool and how it can benefit your business

Human Resource Management Systems systems are a sure-fire way to improve your people processes. Using a HRMS will take the bulk of administrative work off the hands of HR professionals. A survey tool will allow you build a sophisticated, custom survey that is tailored to your organization's needs. It will make gathering large amounts of data much easier, and as a result increase productivity levels. You will also be able to gain strategic insights and make smarter, data driven__ decisions.

Using an employee engagement survey tool will streamline the process, save time and boost response rates, allowing you to make better informed strategic decisions which will benefit the business.

A great company culture will transform your business

Having a clear way to asses your company culture and employee satisfaction will transform abstract plans into actionable steps. A positive company culture that employees engage with will boost your businesses bottom line. To help you create an effective company culture survey, we have compiled a list of our Top 10 company culture survey questions to get you started.

Need help planning your company culture survey? Check out our page on surveys and tools to measure and manage employee engagement here.

Further Reading

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