Four Questions to Self-evaluate Your Culture

Having a strong staff culture is your greatest asset when it comes to retention, quality of work, and attracting new candidates. That’s why Vanderbloemen provides a Culture Tool for you to receive customized feedback from real data from your employees. We provide your team with 80+ questions for each participant to leave honest, anonymous feedback. Their answers are then synthesized into a report for you to understand your culture’s strengths and weaknesses. In the end, you receive comprehensive answers to nine broad questions about your team’s culture.

We’ve pulled together four key questions focusing on leadership, stewardship of life, communication, and roles. Let this guide inspire self-reflection and team conversations to better understand your culture’s health.

Leadership | Do people trust the leadership of this organization?

Your team should be able to easily place their trust in the leadership team and their direct supervisors. Difficulty doing so can unravel the execution of your core values and mission, since they no longer have an example to willingly follow.

You want your staff to strongly agree with statements like, “My leadership team makes honest and ethical decisions,” and “I can respectfully disagree with my leaders without fear of retribution.” 

Give your team gracious opportunities to share their honest feedback on questions like these. If the answers alarm you, look first to take actionable steps toward being a stable, servant-hearted leadership team.

Stewardship of Life | Do you have a work/life balance?

How you set your employees up for a successful work/life balance is a driving factor determining their job satisfaction. Your leadership should model and protect this balance for the rest of the team.

You want your employees to be able to say, “My organization promotes and encourages personal and family health,” and “My family believes I am well cared for by my employer.”

If these questions spark negative or critical conversations, you can act to address this need by implementing new policies about paid time off, maternity/paternity leave, and protecting boundaries while employees are off the clock. You’ll also need to ensure that your attitudes toward personal lives and time off consistently honor each person’s work/life balance.

Communication | Are people communicating with one another at work?

You should have clear and high expectations for your team’s communication. Success should be celebrated as a whole team, the leaders should consistently talk about your mission, vision, and values, and employees should understand what happens in other departments. Communication is how you unify your team toward your mission.

Your staff should resonate with statements like, “There is a clear path for communicating and resolving problems on our staff,” and “It is uncommon for staff members to be talking negatively about others on the team.”

If your team struggles with communication and conflict resolution, put clear plans in place. Who should people go to when they want to voice problems or conflicts? Seek a biblical model of this and consider how you can implement scripture (see Matthew 18:15-20).

Roles | Do you understand what is expected of you?

Each staff member should understand what they do, why it’s important, and how it affects other people. People can’t apply themselves to solve new problems without clearly understanding their role within the team. An effective team is full of members who know what they can do and are motivated with a purpose every day.

Your team ideally agrees with statements like, “My job is challenging,” “I am able to utilize my skills here,” “I think my function is significant and values,” and “I understand what is expected of me.”

To grow in this area, you can have regular staff meetings within and across departments, including with your whole staff. Make sure each person has opportunities to share. Infuse your culture with positive affirmations and gratitude toward each others’ work.

This guide touches on four of the nine focus areas for your staff culture. To further evaluate your culture in depth for each of the nine categories and more, consider utilizing Vanderbloemen’s Culture Tool.