Getting the right information means asking the right questions, especially on a company culture survey. After all, the way a question is phrased can make all the difference in how it’s answered.
Case in point: “Does this high-rise denim make me look like a badly-stuffed sausage?” = minefield, abort mission, do not answer, deflect!
“Do you think this style of denim is my best option?” = opportunity to give an honest opinion, with or without references to charcuterie. TOP TIP - sausage references seldom get good results, but feel free to take your chances.
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All kidding aside, a company culture survey featuring the right kind of questions can provide your HR team with incredibly valuable insight into the zeitgeist of your workforce at any given point in time. Here are 15 questions that can pave the way for clear, useable feedback from your team in 2020:
1. Do you feel like your work is respected by your peers and superiors?
When there is mutual respect in the workplace, stress, conflict and potential areas of friction are reduced. It helps to improve communication between colleagues, smoothes the way for more efficient teamwork and increased overall workplace productivity.
2. Do you believe in the work that we do here?
Companies are most profitable when employees' personal goals are aligned with corporate goals because everyone is focused on driving measurable objectives with their contributions. On the other hand, misalignment leads to inefficiency, poor overall performance and needless redundancies. As such, it's very important that your team members believe in the work they're doing.
3. Do you feel our company is a good fit for you?
Recruiting for cultural fit is imperative if you want your organisation to succeed in 2020. In fact, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), turnover due to poor culture fit can cost a business between 50-60% of an employee's annual salary when it results in disruptive churn.
4. What would make our company a better workplace?
One of the simplest ways to get a clear idea of what’s happening at grassroots level and how conditions can be improved is to ask the employees who work at the coalface. It could be as simple as improving the air-conditioning situation, or as complex as re-looking your entire approach to employee recognition and rewards. The only way to know is to ask.
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5. Would you describe yourself as a happy employee? Why?
Happy employees are 13% more productive than their less-satisfied counterparts, according to a study by Oxford University's Saïd Business School, in collaboration with British multinational telecoms firm BT. Interestingly, the researchers found that happy workers do not work more hours than their discontented colleagues—they are simply more productive within their time at work.
6. Do you feel we have a positive atmosphere at work? Why?
A positive work environment has a direct impact on work results. It boosts creativity, promotes work-life balance, improves focus, and more.
7. Do you ever feel stressed and overwhelmed?
Workplace stress affects employee health and general wellbeing in a very real way. According to the World Health Organisation, a healthy workplace does continuous stress assessments among employees, provides ongoing training and information on health issues, and has organisational support practices and structures to mitigate any employee stress that could become apparent.
8. Do you feel management is trustworthy?
According to a study conducted in 2017, people at high-trust companies reported 74% less stress, 50% more productivity, 106% more energy at work and 13% fewer sick days than their counterparts at low-trust companies.
9. Do you feel supported in the way you need to be to do your job to the best of your ability?
When employees have the right tools and support to do their jobs properly, they are far more likely to contribute positively to the overall productivity of the company.
10. Is feedback important to you?
Employee feedback is a critical component of every functioning workplace. Get your team’s take on it to find out what their views are in this regard. This way you can clear away any misunderstanding about the intention of feedback sessions, etc.
11. What is the best way to receive feedback in your opinion?
People have different communication styles. What works for one employee may not be effective when it comes to the other. Find out how your team prefers to receive feedback and use it to your advantage to make feedback sessions less stressful and more uplifting.
READ MORE: How to give effective employee feedback
12. Do you feel you are heard within our company?
Employees who feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to do their best at work. There are many ways to ensure that your employees feel listened to, but first, you need to determine the status quo in this regard.
13. Do you understand and support our company's vision and mission?
Your company’s vision and mission underpin everything you stand for, how you choose to operate and what your future goals are. Making sure your employees understand these vital aspects of your culture should be at the top of every CEO and HR professional’s to-do list.
14. Do you feel our culture is a good fit for our vision and mission?
Having a lovely vision and mission is all good and well, but if your overall culture does not support it, it’s not going to get you very far. Get your team’s opinion on the matter and find out what needs to be changed for everything to fit together seamlessly on this front.
15. How would you describe the management style of your direct superior?
Management styles differ, and even C-suite executives need to adjust their leadership approach from time to time if it’s not conducive to desired business outcomes. Have your team weigh in to pinpoint areas that could do with some improvement. Naturally, questions like these are answered most truthfully when surveys are conducted anonymously.
Including some, or all, of these questions on your next company culture survey will open the floor for honest input from your employees.
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