Culture – Finding Out What You have

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Recently I wrote about the importance of culture in supporting high growth persistent businesses. I’ve had a couple of requests from business owners if there was somewhere they could get a sample list of questions which they could use as a starting point for a survey on culture. Not having found anything immediately available I put together a list of 20 sample questions that I thought might be useful.

The question on culture are as follows, fell free to use them as you wish. The most important factor to consider is that answers should be anonymous otherwise your employees will be too busy trying to second guess what they think the answer should be rather than what is the truth.

1. Is the pressure to perform unreasonable?

2. Are targets set by managers unreasonable?

3. Would you prefer to work for a fast moving innovative company or a slow moving cautious company?

4. Is it sometimes difficult to ask questions or raise concerns?

5. Are we a quality company?

6. Is bad conduct rewarded, tolerated or punished?

7. Is there a close tie between performance and rewards?

8. Do employees consider that the company understands and sufficiently care about the needs of its customers?

9. Is the quality of products and/or services a high priority?

10. Are employees proud of our products and/or services?

11. Do we sell our products based on price or quality?

12. Would you get more criticism for violating an ethical principle than not meeting a deadline or target?

13. It is safe to voice your opinion…true or false?

14. The company turns a blind eye to unethical behaviour if it means getting a sale…true or false?

15. There is one code of ethics for everyone….true or false?

16. We are encouraged to admit mistakes and learn from them…true or false?

17. Are you asked to perform tasks that your mangers would not be prepared to do?

18. Do you ever feel let down by your colleagues?

19. Are your mangers supportive?

20. Which words do you think best describes the company culture as Open, Oppressive, a Meritocracy, Political, Supportive or other?… please specify.

Once you have this information you can follow the steps from my article Culture – getting the one you want on how you can implement changes.

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