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How Organizational Culture Surveys Can Build a Better Workplace

Employees who feel engaged, motivated, and aligned with the values of their workplace are more likely to contribute to the success of the company. One key tool that has gained significant traction is the organizational culture survey, which measures the current workplace dynamics and facilitates setting up positive changes that lead to a thriving workplace culture.

How culture surveys are structured

An organizational culture survey is a structured questionnaire administered to employees to assess their perceptions, attitudes, and experiences within the workplace. It delves into both day-to-day issues and more profound topics. Some example questions include:

  • What is one thing you feel would make the workplace happier?

  • List one thing that you like the most about our workplace.

  • List one thing that you like the least about our workplace.

  • Would you agree that there is a “team spirit” in our company?

  • Would you recommend our company as a place for work to someone else?

Depending on the type of business, the questionnaire may include questions relevant to its work field. For example, The J. Molner Company’s culture survey had a section where employees could evaluate our laboratory’s workflow and facilities. By empowering team members to express how they feel about their work, it is possible to improve the organizational culture and thus reduce turnover rates and attract top talent.

Additionally, culture surveys help to track specific key performance indicators over time. One of these measures is the net promoter score (NPS), a metric based on a single question asking respondents to rate the likelihood of recommending their employer as a potential workplace to a friend or colleague. Thus, this indicator can help to analyze employee overall satisfaction and how attractive the company is as a place to work. In the case of The J. Molner Company, our NPS currently stands at 54.6, which is a great result since it shows that we maintained a good workplace environment even though our company doubled in size in the last year.

Best practices for organizational surveys

To implement culture surveys that generate meaningful results, managers can use the following tips:

Set up clear objectives: Define the survey's purpose and the specific aspects of culture to assess.

Ensure anonymity and trust: Survey submissions should be anonymous to encourage honest responses.

Craft clear questions: Each part of the survey should be relevant to the organization’s work, avoiding using ambiguous language to prevent confusion.

Time when surveys are conducted: Analyzing workplace culture should be done at least on an annual basis. While year-to-year survey can track long-term trends, shorter surveys can be done more frequently to capture the current organizational status.

Design inclusive and actionable questions: Consider cultural, gender, and generational differences to ensure all voices are heard. Include open-ended questions to allow employees to elaborate on their responses and suggest solutions.

Acting on Culture Survey Findings

Leaders should approach the results of a culture survey with an open mind and a willingness to address challenges. Although it is easier said than done, it is key to translate the findings into tangible actions. For example, at The J. Molner Company, we are using our NPS score as a starting point for an organizational improvement plan that is focused on making our workplace more comfortable for our current team members and more attractive for potential employees. We are committed on improving this score as well as other measurements included in our internal culture survey,

The first priority should be to communicate the results in a transparent way and share the insights with all employees. This initial report should also include the action plan the company will follow based on the findings, to demonstrate a commitment towards improvement and to show that feedback is being considered.

The management of this action plan should involve team members in order to ease the change. By allowing employee participation while addressing cultural issues, it reinforces a sense of ownership in shaping the workplace culture. In addition, training programs can be implemented based on the received feedback.

Improving and maintaining a positive workplace culture is a long-time commitment. To encourage employees to embody the company values, the organization can start acknowledging and rewarding behaviors that contribute to making the workplace better. And as mentioned before, culture surveys should be done periodically in order to update the improvement strategy.

By gauging employee perceptions and experiences, leaders can identify areas of improvement and develop targeted strategies to enhance culture. By embracing a culture of transparency and being open to feedback, organizations can harness the true potential of their team members and unlock new ways to improve.


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