Questions To Ask About Your Company Culture

 

Here are some questions that might help us open up conversations about our company culture.

1. To what extent have the people with the most authority (typically those at the 'top' - the Senior Management Team) communicated how they'd they'd like our culture to be?

And not just words. But demonstrating it with actions too. So that we at least know whether we share a similar view/expectations at this point. For example how much do they want us to try to please everyone or stand for something that may be polarising (not everyone may be attracted to it)? How 'strong' do they want the culture to be or how 'diluted'? How diverse in terms of diversity of thought, perspective, experience, gender, etc.?

 

2. What do our Managers prioritise when making decisions?

For example, how often do they prioritise stock price, quarterly targets, filling a job role by a specific deadline, winning a high-money deal that might slow us down in the long term, being predictable, being adaptable, employee-experience, client/customer-experience, etc.

 

3. To what extent is my team is setup to be able to quickly and easily adapt and change course? 

For example in terms of structures, processes, rewards. Are we incentivised to maintain the status quo and not change?

 

4. To what extent am I encouraged to experiment? 

For example, are things safe to try? Are things broken up so that the cost of failure is not too high? Am I rewarded for trying and sharing what I learned? 

 

5. At what pace are we able to progress and make decisions on the projects we're working on? 

For example, can my team progress quickly without frequently being stalled because of waiting for permission from Management or another team.

 

6. To what extent are our online tools and other technology as enjoyable/pleasurable to use as technology 'outside' work?

Do I just have to deal with it and 'pick my battles and this isn't one I should pick'? Do the tech teams remove friction and make things as easy as possible?

 

7. How much clarity is there about who is accountable for each aspect of our work?

Is there a single person or people who have clear responsibility for each aspect of our work? A kind of driving force. Someone who understands why/how thing do/don't happen?

 

8. How much clarity is there about who has authority to make the decisions on each aspect of our work?

 

9. How frequently do we reassess processes, policies, projects to make sure they're still relevant given how things have changed

Monthly? Annually? Ever?

 

10. To what extent are processes as simple as necessary?

For example, do we have just enough process in place?

 

11. To what extent are we enabled and encouraged to work in physical workplaces that will help us do our best work? 

For example, a design we find appealing, places to help us come together and collaborate and places for quieter work, being able to work outside 'the office', etc.

 

12. To what extent can I easily discover what other teams are working on, and can they discover what we're working on?

 

13. To what extent is my team is encouraged to speak up about things that could be improved

For example, are we encouraged and rewarded for highlight things? Do we risk limiting our career or promotion? 

 

14. To what extent do I feel genuinely inspired by my team's/organisation's mission?

Do I genuinely care about the outcome that we're all working towards? Am I motivated by the money, security, predictability, experience?

 

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