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The 7 Ways to Test Your Company Culture (And How to Improve It)

Company culture is a set of values, attitudes, practices, and beliefs shared by a company’s employees that shape the overall atmosphere in the workplace. It is typically evaluated through employee engagement, job satisfaction, retention, productivity, and collaboration metrics.  Workplace culture significantly impacts the success of any business as it determines how employees interact with each other, make decisions, and work together to achieve common goals.

From surveys to focus groups, these tips will help you identify areas for improvement, boost morale, and create a workplace where employees feel valued and supported. Keep reading to learn to benefit your company… by benefiting your employees!

Test Company Culture by Running An Anonymous Survey

An anonymous survey is a great way to understand employees’ thoughts about the company culture. By giving your team members an avenue to express their honest thoughts and feelings without fear of repercussions, you can get direct insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your workplace environment. 

Consider asking questions like:

  • Do you think that the company values your opinion?
  • Are you comfortable discussing your ideas with your colleagues?
  • Do you feel that your workload is balanced?
  • Do you feel appreciated for the work you do?

You can also include questions that focus more on the culture itself, such as: 

  • Is there an atmosphere of mutual respect among colleagues?
  • Does the company value diversity and inclusion?
  • Is there open and constructive communication between teams?

You should also provide ample opportunities for open-ended feedback and allow employees to rate different aspects of the work environment. Encourage your employee’s participation by explaining how their responses will be used to better their working conditions. 

Conduct Exit Interviews

Exit interviews are conversations between Human Resources (HR) managers with employees leaving the company. Exit interviews aim to gather information about why an employee is leaving and obtain unbiased feedback about their working experience. 

Some questions that will help you test your company culture during exit interviews include: 

  • What motivated you to join the company? 
  • What did you find most enjoyable about working here? 
  • What was the biggest challenge you faced during your time in a company? 
  • How could the company improve?

Employees who are leaving tend to be more forthcoming and candid than people still working. The data collected during exit interviews can help recruiters generate questions they will use during the hiring process to discern whether a candidate is a good fit. It can also help employers gain insight into how effective their current strategies and policies are and make changes as needed.

test company culture
Source: Unsplash

Help Employees Grow Their Careers

Celebrate employee accomplishments, and ensure they have meaningful career development opportunities. The thing is, Work Institute’s 2021 retention report defined the urge to pursue career growth and achievement as the number one preventable reason why employees are leaving their job.

To keep the valued employee by your side, ensure their goals and growth plans are heard out, discussed, and met whenever possible. Give them a path for professional and personal advancement by compensating for professional courses. 

Another suggestion to encourage learning, networking, and bonding of your team is to organise corporate workshops. These may be anything from less formal self-defence workshops to financial literacy or new employee onboarding workshops. 

Remember that by helping employees acquire and develop their skills, you increase staff retention rate and build a solid team dedicated to the company’s success.

Evaluate Team Dynamics

Team dynamics describes the behavioural relationship between members, referring to how a team interacts, communicates, and works together to achieve its goals. While positive team dynamics fuel a company’s productivity allowing business owners to tap into employees’ skills and experience, negative dynamics are disruptive to successful decision-making and work outcomes.

Even though the area of team dynamics is vast, there are three key elements you need to focus on as you aspire to test your company culture:

  • team cohesion – refers to social connections between team members. 
  • team conflict – focuses on how team members solve disagreements and conflicts
  • team cognition – focuses on the evaluation of how team decision-making and evaluates situation.

Observe how teams work together during meetings and other interactions. Give answers to the following questions: 

  • How do members communicate with each other?
  • Are there any particular roles that team members take on during group discussions?
  • Are there any patterns regarding who speaks up or is more likely to take the lead on projects?
company culture
Source: Unsplash

Encourage and Provide Feedback

Employees need and want feedback, and annual reviews aren’t doing the trick. Numbers say 92%  of employees would prefer to get feedback more often than only once a year. In comparison, 77% of HR leaders are confident that annual reviews do not accurately represent employee work. Adequate for more regular feedback sessions depending on the time and resources available. Conduct bi-annual or quarterly reviews leaving room for additional situational reviews for employees that require them. 

On the other hand, don’t underestimate the importance of asking for your employees’ opinions. If you launch a new initiative or software, ask for feedback from your team after a few weeks. Doing so gives your team a sense of the value of their voices and so contributes to building a healthy organisational culture. 

Measure Engagement

Measuring employee engagement is an integral part of assessing the strength of your company’s culture. Disengaged employees have lower dedication rates, leading to decreased productivity, customer satisfaction, and more significant employee turnover. Numbers say companies with highly engaged workforce are 22% more profitable than competitors that don’t foster employee engagement. 

Several methods to test your company culture by measuring engagement include collecting employee feedback tools like an Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). The final goal of eNPS is to measure how likely an employee is to recommend their workplace to others. Apple company was the pioneer in using eNPS passing tendency to businesses worldwide. 

Test Company Culture and Take Action

Once you’ve identified the areas that need improvement, it’s time to take action. Here’s the path to follow to better up your workplace environment.  

  1. Develop an Action Plan: Based on the data gathered, list the goals you need to achieve, break them into milestones, add deadlines, and identify the necessary resources. 
  2. Take a Proactive Approach: Attempt to define the pitfalls and challenges of the plan before the first cracks begin to show. Elaborate on measures you should undertake to prevent failure. 
  3. Create a Culture Council: A culture council is a group of employees passionate about promoting a positive culture in the workplace. This team will be responsible for identifying issues, developing solutions, and ensuring all proposed changes are implemented.
  4. Train Your Leadership Team: Ensure your leadership team is trained to manage a diverse workforce and effectively promote a positive culture.
  5. Follow Up On Progress: Monitor progress on the changes made to the company culture and follow up with employees regularly to ensure they feel supported and heard. Leave room for flexibility, and don’t hesitate to switch strategies that won’t work. 
test company culture
Souce: Unsplash

BONUS Tip: Prioritise Healthy Employees

While compensation for professional training has become a common practice, many employers are falling behind in ensuring employees’ well-being. It’s a no-brainer that physical and emotional conditions are the secret sauce for business success. As the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) study shows, employee health is linked to higher productivity, better morale, engagement, and corporate success.

Offer compensation for gym or yoga classes to prompt employees to take care of their physical health and invest in promoting mental welfare as well. For instance, art therapy proved its effectiveness in reducing stress, managing anxiety, and stimulating brain activity in the workplace. 

Remember that by helping your employees advance professionally and personally, you immensely contribute to taking your business to a new level.  

Key Takeways on How to Test Your Company Culture

The ability to adequately estimate the culture within a company is the need of an hour. Positive tendencies lead to greater staff retention, increased customer loyalty, and add to overall company performance. Take your time to test company culture by surveying your current workforce and people that are quitting, evaluating team dynamics, and measuring team engagement. Encourage and listen to your staff’s opinions and use this data to improve your workplace environment. Remember that by benefiting workspace, you help your company retain a competitive edge and ensure greater profitability. 

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