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A Survey to Discover Your Workplace Culture

workplace culture Apr 19, 2021

In this six-part series we introduced the four workplace cultures: Defensive, Paternalistic, Open, and Collaborative.  In this final installment, we invite to you take a short 12 question quiz to identify which of the four workplaces exists in your organization. Start by writing down the question number, and the corresponding letter for the response that best matches what you see or feel in your current workplace.

1. Statements explaining the organization’s purpose, such as a mission or vision, as well as organizational values are:

a. Not defined or even considered.
b. Defined but only known by a few people.
c. Defined and known by many people.
d. Clearly defined and employees can explain how their work contributes to them.

2. When it comes to goals and priorities:

a. Senior managers might talk about them but employees do not know what they are.
b. Supervisors explain only emergency or rush priorities.
c. Supervisors and employees can explain short-term goals and priorities.
d. Employees are briefed regularly on long-term goals, how they were determined, and how they affect short-term priorities.

3. Senior managers:

a. Know only the people in their immediate areas and almost never meet with employees.
b. Occasionally present to employees in formal meetings.
c. Have nothing to hide. They host regular events to share both good and bad news.
d. Are connected with employees and often walk around to stay in touch.

4. Much of the information I get is:

a. In writing as official communication. Whatever communication exists is uneven.
b. From my supervisor or through the rumor mill.
c. Plentiful and sometimes overwhelming.
d. Organized in a way that the right information is easy to get.

5. Employees meet with their direct supervisor:

a. Rarely or only when concerns arise.
b. Once in a while, mainly to get instructions or to get problems solved.
c. Regularly, to share ideas and ask questions.
d. Frequently, and have mutually beneficial conversations.

6. When employees have opinions or ideas for improvement:

a. They do not share them. In fact, initiative may be punished.
b. They share them with their supervisors who decide how to proceed.
c. They are encouraged to share and discuss them with others.
d. They are rewarded for challenging the way we do things and encouraged to explore their ideas further.

7. Problems are solved:

a. By senior managers with little or no input from employees.
b. By direct supervisors who hear the bad news and take care of problems, as they strive to maintain harmony in their groups.
c. By many people who are encouraged to work on teams, task forces, and cross-functional groups.
d. By team members who work collaboratively, in structured ways to solve and prevent problems.

8. Disagreements or conflict are:

a. Ignored or suppressed.
b. Discouraged. Mistakes result in finger pointing.
c. Openly expressed. We talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly.
d. Viewed as healthy differences and used to improve our work environment.

9. Employees:

a. Have little authority to make decisions about their work.
b. Can make some decisions but have to check with their supervisors.
c. Have freedom to make decisions about their work, but few guidelines or support exist for making good decisions.
d. Have freedom to make decisions about their work based on established guidelines.

10. Professional development includes:

a. Mostly learning on-the-job as you go.
b. Some training programs to increase job skills.
c. Coaching from supervisors and training programs in a variety of areas.
d. Ongoing training, on-the-job experiences, and working with different people who help me achieve my professional and personal goals.

11. When it comes to trust:

a. Employees have little trust in management or co-workers. They don’t feel trusted by others either.
b. Employees may trust their immediate supervisors and co-workers, but aren’t so sure about other managers or departments.
c. Employees and managers respect one another’s knowledge and skills.
d. We have an environment of trust. Team members at various levels have confidence in one another.

12. The organization’s philosophy for sharing information with employees most closely sounds like:

a. The less said the better.
b. We only talk about the good things.
c. We have nothing to hide.
d.The more people know the more they can contribute.

Add Up and Write Down Your Scores for:

A’s:        B’s:         C’s:        D’s:

Stay tuned... tomorrow we'll reveal your culture based on your scores!


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