How a survey can help with company culture

Your company culture is a set of unspoken yet collective aspirations that define business growth.

When done right, it can increase productivity and performance, amongst other things. A toxic work culture, on the other hand, can affect morale, motivation and employee retention.

With that in mind, it’s important to ensure everyone in the business work together to achieve the same goal.

You’ll need to confirm your employees’ objectives align with those of the company and they can help you to drive your business in the right direction.

In this piece, we’ll explore how surveys can help this process. We’ll highlight the advantages of positive company culture and the benefits of using it to improve aspects of your business.

Benefits of a strong company culture

Whether you know it or not, your organisation already has a culture. It shapes interactions between staff members. It also boosts or hinders creativity and may encourage employees to consider other job offerings outside of your company.

Depending on the type of business you run, you probably have an idea of the type of culture you want.

Ideally, it’ll be one that has a stable mission and values. You’ll also aim for one that can show flexibility, so it can change with the times and that of your external environment.

The advantages of a positive company culture are widespread. They can affect many aspects of your business including financial, recruiting and overall morale. Other benefits include:

  1. Reduction in absenteeism: When your workers enjoy their job and like their co-workers, it’s only logical to believe there will be fewer absences from work. They’re also more likely to consider the impact of their absence on their colleagues.
  2. Retention rates: Employees aren’t likely to leave your company if they feel it shares their values. Strong company culture is one that ensures they enjoy their job, feel valuable in their role and get on with their co-workers.
  3. Recruiting: When you’re researching a potential candidate, they’re also conducting their research on your organisation. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’re more likely to be attracted to a company with a well-developed and clearly stated company culture. It shows you’ve listened to your staff and taken action based on their feedback.
  4. External satisfaction: As well as improving engagement internally, a positive company culture also helps to maintain external relationships. You’ll notice improvements in relationships, especially those with clients, suppliers and other stakeholders.

The 4C model for surveys at work

Your company culture is the foundation of your organisation and must be treated as such.

Not only does it determine your competitive advantage, but it also dictates engagement and productivity levels amongst your employees.

WeThrive’s 4C workplace psychology model integrates the core ideas from the motivational theory to create a practical tool for managers.

The model identifies subconscious factors that affect individuals at work. It uses the four Cs (Cognitive, Capability, Connection and Confidence) to highlight the likely causes of upset and underperformance in the workplace. It aims to help employers recognise how their workforce feel.

Using the model, employers are able to divide the questions in an employee engagement survey into four main areas:

Cognitive: As the name suggests, this area relates to your employees’ cognition (what’s in their head). What they think about their performance, their role, their co-workers and the company mission. Questions will focus on how well employees know what they’re up to at work.

Capability: This involves your employee’s perception of the support and resources available to them to build their knowledge of skills. Questions in the area will focus on finding out of employees have the skills they need to do their job.

Connection: When your staff aren’t connecting with your organisation you can see the effects on productivity, morale and engagement. This explores your employees’ connection with the organisation and finds opportunities for improvement. Questions will focus on their status, attention and common-bond.

Confidence: This looks at the risks of problems connected with health, engagement and staff retention. It focuses on the conscious feelings about work, with it, you can identify the warning signs when an employee needs support even before they’re able to identify what the problem is. Questions will highlight how secure your staff feel, what degree of autonomy and control they have over their job, their level of mental headspace, how often they’re worry-free at work and what their work means to them. Does it fulfil a purpose? Is it stimulating? Etc.

With the insights from this survey, you’re able to listen to what employees have to say and create an action plan that addresses their concerns. And because they’re are being listened to, they tend to feel better (as long as their feedback is acted upon).

3 tips to improve responses rate

  • Planning: It’s important to begin planning well in advance for this survey. During this stage, you’ll need to ensure that the survey will give you the information you need to make positive changes to work systems and processes. You should understand the type of questions to ask to get the desired data. Remember to include all stakeholders in the decision-making process. They should all contribute to creating excitement around the survey.
  • Defining your aims and objectives: Before you begin, you’ll need to have an idea of the problem you’re trying to solve with the result from the survey. Defining your objectives in essential is order to decide on the questions to ask. Effective objectives will allow you to understand current attitudes, identify opportunities to improve and uncover potential compliance issues among other things.
  • Anonymity: Most people will argue that the need for anonymity when conducting surveys is essential to sooth fears of repercussions for being honest. However, when there’s a culture of trust within the business, non-anonymous surveys can be delivered personally for better effect. Your staff must understand that you’re genuinely interested in identifying and addressing issues that allow the organisation to run more effectively and the employees to have a better time at work.

Final words

It’s important to remember that your employees are human and not drones. They’ll have needs that your current work process isn’t meeting and when met can improve the morale, engagement and productivity of the organisation.

By listening to their concerns and acting upon the issues identified in the survey you’re able to improve productivity, retention, engagement, morale and much more.

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