Culture Survey: A Guide to uncover your Organisation Climate

December 21, 2023

A group of people conducting Culture survey

Culture is often defined as the shared values, beliefs, and norms that shape how people behave in their lives. It has an impact on everything from personal life to professional life, productivity, and performance. But how do you know if your organisation has a positive and healthy culture that supports your goals and vision? How do you measure and improve your culture to create a thriving workplace?

That’s where a culture survey comes in!

In this article, we’ll explain why a culture survey is crucial for your organisation, who should conduct it, and how to do it right. Let’s dive in to understand what a culture survey is and why it’s essential for your company’s success.

What is a culture survey?

A cultural survey, also known as an organisational culture survey, is a systematic and structured tool designed to assess and understand the prevailing environment within an organisation. It involves collecting data and feedback from employees to gain insights into the shared values, beliefs, practices, and behaviours that define the work environment.

It can be conducted online or offline, using various methods such as email, web, mobile, paper, or face-to-face. It can be done annually, biannually, quarterly, or more frequently, depending on your needs and preferences. It can also be customised to suit your organisation’s size, industry, and goals. 

The impact is substantial, with a remarkable 4 times increase in revenue growth. Moreover, expect a significant boost in profitability, with a notable 21% higher margin in accordance with recent studies.

Why do you need a culture survey for your organisation?

A culture survey can help you improve several facets in your organisation, such as:

Align your vision with reality.

A comprehensive cultural survey can help you evaluate how well your organisation lives up to its values and principles, and how consistent your culture is across different teams and locations. It can also help you identify any discrepancies or misalignments between your desired culture and your actual culture, and how they affect your employees and your business.

Improve employee engagement and satisfaction.

It  helps you measure and improve the level of engagement and satisfaction of your employees, which are key drivers of retention, performance, and loyalty. By asking your employees for their feedback and opinions, you can show them that you care about their well-being and happiness, and that you value their contributions and perspectives. You can also use the results to address any issues or concerns that your employees have, and to recognise and reward their achievements and efforts. The impact on customer satisfaction is substantial, with a noteworthy 10% increase in customer ratings. Additionally, absenteeism sees a significant decline, with a remarkable 41% reduction.

Enhance productivity and performance. 

Conducting surveys can boost the productivity and performance of your employees and your organisation, by creating a positive and supportive work environment that fosters collaboration, innovation, and excellence. By understanding the factors that motivate and demotivate your employees, you can design and implement policies and practices that enhance their efficiency and effectiveness, and that align with your goals and strategies. The results is tangible, with a substantial 17% increase in productivity

Gain a competitive edge and attract talent. 

A culture survey can gain a competitive edge and attract talent, by building and maintaining a strong and distinctive culture that sets you apart from your competitors and appeals to your customers and stakeholders. By showcasing your culture and its benefits, you can attract and retain the best talent in the market, and enhance your reputation and brand image. The impact is significant, with a remarkable 70% reduction in employee turnover.

Which companies should conduct culture surveys?

Culture surveys are not only for large and established companies, but also for small and medium-sized businesses, startups, and nonprofit organisations. Any organisation that wants to improve its culture and its business outcomes can benefit from conducting a culture survey. However, some situations that may prompt you to conduct a culture survey are:

Shaping Culture Amidst Change:

You are going through a change or transition, such as a merger, acquisition, restructure, or expansion, and you want to assess the impact of the change on your culture and your employees.

Reviving for Peak Performance:

You are experiencing a high turnover rate, low engagement level, or poor performance, and you want to identify the root causes and the solutions.

Vision Meets Culture:

You are launching a new initiative, product, or service, and you want to ensure that your culture supports and aligns with your vision and mission.

Scaling Up Without Compromising:

You are growing or scaling your organisation, and you want to preserve and strengthen your culture as you add new employees, teams, or locations.

Proactively Pioneering Culture:

You are curious and proactive, and you want to monitor and improve your culture on a regular basis, and stay ahead of the cultural curve.

How to conduct a culture survey for your organisation?

Conducting a culture survey for your organisation is not a difficult or complicated process, but it does require some planning and preparation. Here are some steps that you can follow to conduct a culture survey effectively:

Define the purpose and scope of the survey. 

Before you start designing the survey, you need to clarify why you are conducting the survey, what you want to achieve, and who you want to involve. You need to set clear and realistic goals and expectations for the survey, and decide on the scope and scale of the survey, such as how many employees to survey, how often to survey, and what methods to use.


Find the Right Partner.

Engage a consultant to provide external expertise in designing and implementing the culture survey. Clearly define the purpose, scope, and components of the survey, considering input from both internal stakeholders and external consultants. Identify key parameters to include in the survey, considering the unique characteristics of the organisation. External expertise can help determine which parameters are crucial and which may be sensitive or counterproductive.

Design the survey questions.

Once you have defined the purpose and scope of the survey, you need to create the survey questions that will help you measure and evaluate your culture. You need to use different types of questions, such as open-ended, closed-ended, rating, ranking, etc., and balance them to get both quantitative and qualitative data. You also need to make sure that the questions are clear, concise, and relevant, and that they cover the key aspects of your culture, such as leadership, communication, teamwork, diversity, feedback, and more. If you engage a consultant, remember to share stories, information and feedback, so that the survey is holistic for your organisation. 

Distribute and collect the survey. 

After you have designed the survey questions, you need to distribute and collect the survey from your employees. You need to choose the best method and platform to deliver the survey, such as email, web, mobile, paper, or face-to-face, and ensure that it is accessible and convenient for your employees. You also need to communicate the survey to your employees and encourage them to participate, by explaining the purpose and benefits of the survey, assuring them of the confidentiality and anonymity of the survey, and providing them with incentives and reminders. 

Analyse and interpret the survey results. 

Once you have collected the survey responses, you need to analyse and interpret the survey results. You need to use various methods and tools to process and visualise the data, such as descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, thematic analysis, charts, graphs, etc. You also need to identify the key findings, trends, gaps, and opportunities from the data, and compare them with your goals and expectations. Work with your survey consultant to understand every aspect of the report received.

Communicate and act on the survey results. 

The final and most important step of the survey process is to communicate and act on the survey results. You need to share the results with your employees and stakeholders, and solicit their feedback and input. You also need to create and execute an action plan based on the results, such as setting goals, assigning responsibilities, allocating resources, monitoring progress, and evaluating impact. You also need to follow up and repeat the survey regularly, to measure and track the changes and improvements in your culture.

Wrap Up

A culture survey is a valuable tool that can help you understand, measure, and improve your organisation’s culture. By conducting a culture survey, you can gain insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your culture, and develop action plans to address the issues and enhance the positive aspects. You can also improve employee engagement and satisfaction, enhance productivity and performance, and gain a competitive edge and attract talent.

If you are interested in conducting a culture survey for your organisation, but you don’t know where to start or how to do it effectively, we have a solution for you. PeopleNorth is a platform that helps you conduct culture surveys and improve your organisational culture. 

About Author



Related Stories