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9 Must-Know Questions for your Company Culture Survey


In today's business discourse, “company culture” has taken center stage. You can’t log into LinkedIn without the buzzword “culture” popping up on your feed. We’re seeing more and more news stories highlighting culture’s role in the downfall of companies like Uber or Wells Fargo. More people are seeking clarity around what feels like an ambiguous concept, reflected in the surge of books addressing the topic of company culture.

We all seem to agree: Culture is important! But that doesn’t clear the air of elusiveness around culture. You know it when you see it, but when you take pen to paper to define your own culture, you come up blank.

So, what exactly is culture?

Company culture encompasses the shared values, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and practices that characterize the organization. It influences the way employees feel, engage with each other, perceive their workplace environment, and the overall atmosphere within the company. It influences every area of the organization, including employee satisfaction, productivity, retention, innovation, and overall success. Its presence is evident in the company's mission statement, or as we call it, CorePurpose, organizational structure, leadership approach, communication methods, and employee policies.

The Culture Fix® has developed a step-by-step framework for the defining and implementation of culture.

Every organization has a culture, whether it’s been consciously crafted or not. “Toxic” cultures typically stem from a lack of cultivation or implementation, rather than intentional malice.

Your culture is the force that either works for your company or against it.

How do you get to know your culture? Go straight to the source and ask your team. Individualized surveys, disbursed to every single employee, provide an all-encompassing display of how your culture is experienced on a day-to-day basis. They are the greatest indicator of whether your organization’s culture is contributing to your detriment or success.

This is essential information. Once you get an overview of your culture, you can understand how to expand, preserve or redirect it.

To have your dream culture, you must know your current culture.

We have created an Organizational Culture Survey that provides:

  • Survey platform that manages facilitation and stores reports
  • 20+ pages of data analysis and visualization
  • Raw data of open-answer responses
  • A coaching session with tailored recommendations


Below, we will go through the overarching, essential insights that this survey uncovers. 


1. Core Value Strength

What is a company’s cultural definition? This consists of any values that have been articulated. They may reside in an employee handbook, mission statement, meeting address, and so on.

In your culture survey, it’s essential to assess how well your team feels the culture processes you have in place are working. This helps you identify what your team is doing well and where you have room to improve.

If your culture has not been clearly defined, consider these markers created by The Culture Fix® below. These are tools we use to develop a company’s cultural definition and processes:

CoreVals™: Meaningful, descriptive characteristics that are innate to the strengths of your team and company as a whole.

CorePurpose™: The overarching company goal and reason for being, which in turn helps your stakeholders understand the good they do in their position and in the world.

CoreWorkflow™: The overarching company workflow or master process that serves to set stakeholders up for success is interwoven with the values.

CoreScore™: A numeric measurement that indicates the degree to which employees and teams work in concert with CoreVals.

Core People Processes™: The hiring, unhiring, and evaluating protocols based on CoreVals.

CoreChart™: A visual representation of your CorePurpose, CoreVals, and CoreWorkflow that becomes a part of your organization’s history.

Example Question: We have defined and communicated a measurable, greater purpose that defined why we do what we do.

What if my company culture is starting from scratch?

As we touched on before, your company still has a culture! Even though it hasn’t been clearly defined, surveys play a pivotal role in crafting culture. Trust that your team will consider the values and processes of the company today as they have interpreted it prior to defining them. This leads to the next essential question…


2. Top Natural Behaviors That Exist in the Organization

Identifying the behaviors that are naturally demonstrated by your team is essential because it helps you understand if your values are impactful. We see 3 common pitfalls with companies’ values:

If a set of values already exists, are they more than just words on the wall or in the employee handbook? Sure, many organizations have a set of values, but could any of your stakeholders remember them at any given time? This lack of a memorable culture in many organizations causes confusion, dissatisfaction and ultimately affects the bottom line.

Do the defined values truly reflect the innate characteristics of the organizations? Many companies choose core values that are aspirational or perceived as necessary. However, each team possesses inherent, distinctive strengths. It's advisable to focus on and cultivate these strengths as they align most naturally with your team and consequently yield the greatest impact.

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the number of core values? We recommend choosing 3-4 values. Remember, memorability is crucial for effectively shaping behaviors and instilling the culture. This aspect of the organizational survey is valuable as it reveals the frequency with which individuals select certain words to describe the company, highlighting which values strongly resonate with your team.

We were able to distill the creation of CoreVals into three parts, and you learn how to create your own in our blog Core Values to Valued Culture™.

In your survey, we suggest asking open answer questions that allow your people to describe how they view your organization through different lenses. This is a great way to uncover what values your team naturally display in their work, ultimately allowing you to codify the culture that truly represents your organization’s unique identity.

Example question: What would you say the organization would be remembered for?


3. Employee Loyalty

This aspect of the survey holds significant importance as it reflects the loyalty of your employees. When we discuss the potential costs of organizational culture to your bottom line, this is precisely what we're referring to.

On average, the cost of replacing an employee is estimated to be around 1.5 to 2 times the employee's annual salary. This estimate includes various expenses such as recruitment, advertising, onboarding, training, lost productivity, and potential impacts on team morale and productivity.

If your culture is scoring low in these areas, costly, high employee turnover may be looming. Employee loyalty is employee retention, and so this is an indicator of your people AND profitability.

Additionally, this can reflect employee attitude and therefore, employee engagement. The Corporate Leadership Council found that engaged organizations have 87% less absenteeism and 59% less turnover. According to Gallup, highly engaged teams are 21% more profitable compared to their less engaged counterparts. Research by Temkin Group found that engaged employees are more than twice as likely to deliver excellent customer experiences compared to disengaged employees. Lastly, engaged employees are more innovative and willing to contribute ideas to improve products, services, and processes.

In your survey, we recommend assessing employee loyalty through slider scale questions that have the respondents identify where they stand between two opposing statements.

Example question: Using the slider below, indicate where you feel you identify between the two opposing statements:

I do not plan to work for this company for many years to come vs. I plan to work for this company for many years to come.


4. Culture Star Employees

In any team, it's the individuals who shape its culture. Identifying your Culture Stars™—those individuals who truly embody the company’s CoreVals—is crucial. These individuals serve as leaders within the organization, influencing their colleagues for the greater good. By recognizing and understanding what makes these Culture Stars shine, you gain insight into how to manage employees and refine your appraisal methods effectively.

Determining the top characteristics of your Culture Stars reveals whom people naturally turn to and what behaviors and traits inform your team's perception of the company. This insight helps guide how individuals should make decisions within the company's culture and what type of behavior resonates most with the team.

At The Culture Fix, we advocate for the establishment of a Culture Team within your organization. Culture is not a static destination; it requires ongoing attention and cultivation. Even after defining and implementing your culture, it needs continuous care. Who better to oversee this task than those who are already leading the culture?

The Culture Team can utilize tools such as our Catch & Correct™ tool, which addresses behaviors misaligned with core values, neutralizing conflicts effectively. Conversely, our Notice & Nominate™ tool rewards individuals for demonstrating behaviors in alignment with core values. Colleagues nominate these individuals, and their efforts are publicly acknowledged.

The implementation of these tools fosters a culture of acknowledgment and appreciation, which has been shown to significantly impact employee retention. Research by Glassdoor indicates that 53% of employees would prolong their tenure at a company if they felt more appreciated by their superiors. Conversely, a survey by O.C. Tanner found that a staggering 79% of employees who left their jobs cited a lack of appreciation as a key reason for their departure.

By identifying and nurturing your Culture Stars, establishing a Culture Team, and implementing tools to reinforce positive behaviors, you create an environment where appreciation is celebrated, fostering greater employee satisfaction, retention, and overall organizational success.

Example question: Which team member in the organization do you admire the most and would love to clone?


5. Employee Core Value Demonstration

Understanding how effectively your core values influence behavior is crucial for gauging their impact within the workplace. One significant indicator of this influence is employees' perceptions of how well core values are upheld through the behaviors of their colleagues. Within an organization, values tend to be contagious; top performers are naturally drawn to environments where their values align with those of their peers.

This internal alignment not only fosters a positive workplace culture but also resonates externally, impacting how the company is perceived by customers and stakeholders. Research from Salesforce reveals that 95% of consumers prioritize loyalty to companies they trust.

Moreover, the alignment of values plays a crucial role in talent acquisition and retention. Glassdoor reports that 77% of job seekers evaluate a company's culture before applying for a position, and 69% would decline a job offer from a company with a negative reputation, even if unemployed. When organizations prioritize defining their culture, they need to know what it looks like in practice to align hiring practices accordingly, the behaviors exhibited by employees become pivotal in the recruitment process.

For instance, rather than asking generic questions like, "Are you curious?" hiring managers can ask for specific behavioral examples that align with the company's values. They could ask about a time when a candidate learned a new skill for a project, for example, assessing their alignment with the organization's values in action.

Example question: How frequently do you identify with the organization’s core values and believe they are more than just words?



6. Leadership Core Value Demonstration

Understanding company culture as a whole requires the inclusion of employees at every level of the organization. When crafting surveys, such as those provided by The Culture Fix®, it's crucial to break down responses by demographic to obtain an accurate assessment of culture. Business leaders may have a different perspective than frontline employees, and self-reporting accuracy can be statistically questionable. Surveys effectively crowdsource data, revealing patterns in opinions that solidify the elusive, conceptual feeling of culture.

Leadership plays a pivotal role in shaping company culture, as it sets the tone and direction for the entire team. Leading with values not only influences day-to-day operations but also guides long-term strategic decisions. According to research, companies led by values-driven leaders tend to outperform their competitors and enjoy greater employee engagement, retention, and customer loyalty.

However, leadership's impact on company culture is not without potential pitfalls. When leaders fail to align their actions with stated values or exhibit behaviors inconsistent with the desired culture, it can erode trust and undermine employee morale. A lack of transparency and communication from leadership can create confusion and foster a negative culture.

This section of the survey provides valuable insights into the root causes behind certain trends within the organization. For instance, if there's a consistent pattern of employees feeling disconnected from the company's values, and the survey also indicates that leadership isn't actively embodying these values, it allows us to identify a potential cause-effect relationship. By acknowledging blind spots in the culture, we gain valuable information on where to focus efforts to strengthen the organizational culture.

Example question: How frequently do your leaderships’ behaviors demonstrate the organization’s core values?


7. Employee Wellbeing

The question "Does your company support your wellbeing?" can be answered with a simple yes or no. But to understand why employees feel supported or unsupported, we need to ask more nuanced questions about their experience and perspective. These questions fall into four main areas: Esteem, Safety, Recognition, and Meaning.

Esteem: Does the employee feel they are set up for success by the organization?

Safety: Does the employee feel they are psychologically safe and connected to their peers and leadership?

Recognition: Does the employee feel acknowledged and rewarded for their achievements and efforts by their peers and leadership?

Meaning: Does the employee feel their work and contributions have impact?

Example question: My role and what is expected of me are well defined.


What sets our survey apart is our ability to synthesize the data into visual representations, breaking it down by demographics. This allows you to explore the relationship between data and teams, such as employees versus leaders, or different departments like Sales versus IT, as well as differences between hybrid and remote workers. Once you have this data, you can identify areas for modification. For example, if all in-office employees report feeling a lack of esteem, but hybrid workers feel high esteem, you may consider offering them hybrid work options.


8. Employee Motivation

Employment involves a mutual exchange between employers and employees. While employees work for companies, companies also work for employees. It's essential to consider what your company offers its employees. Understanding the value you provide to your employees can enable the company to make informed decisions that align with their collective motivations and continue to nurture their motivation.

For instance, if employees rate "opportunities for learning and growth" low, it may not necessarily mean they don't value growth. Instead, it could indicate that management needs to improve appraisal methods or provide more development opportunities.

Additionally, if employees state that they can get a job easily if they leave right now, that means they are at the company because they truly want to be there, which is a great indicator of high-retention! 

In your survey, we recommend assessing employee motivation through slider scale questions that have the respondents identify where they stand between two opposing statements.

Example question: Using the slider below, indicate where you feel you identify between the two opposing statements:

I’m okay with my daily tasks and how I do my job. No need to make any changes. vs. I’m motivated to explore new challenges and make changes in my daily tasks.

Below are examples of how motivations can vary based on position, level, and team.



9. NPS & eNPS® Scores

Your eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score) provides a comprehensive measure of your organization's culture. It offers a holistic view of how employees perceive their workplace environment, their satisfaction levels, and their likelihood to recommend the company as a place to work. By analyzing the eNPS score, companies can identify areas of strength and areas for improvement in their culture, allowing them to take targeted actions to enhance employee satisfaction and drive organizational success.

Example question: On a scale of 1-10, what score would you give the organization for having a great culture? (With 0 representing "It's terrible" and 10 representing "It couldn't be better".

In addition to the eNPS, we utilize our proprietary and unique Culture Fulfillment Index™ to measure employee fulfillment within your organization on a scale from 1 to 100. This index provides deeper insights into the extent to which employees feel fulfilled in their roles and within the company culture. Feeling fulfilled in the workplace is crucial for employee engagement, productivity, and overall satisfaction.

Statistics show that a strong sense of fulfillment in company culture correlates with positive outcomes. For example, a study by Gallup found that employees who strongly agree that they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day are 6 times more likely to be engaged at work.

Employee fulfillment is a competitive edge.


Access our Comprehensive Survey Today

Understanding and nurturing your organizational culture is paramount for success. The Culture Fix® provides a comprehensive framework for defining, implementing, and optimizing your culture, supported by data-driven insights from surveys and indexes. With a deep understanding of your culture and its impact on employee fulfillment, you can bring your culture alive, make it thrive, and use it to drive performance. Access our survey here.

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