Questions To Ask — To Determine The Core Values Of An Organization
Core Values define an organization’s culture. When you are starting up, you won’t be having time to define the mission, vision, or core values. However, as you scale up, you begin to realize the importance of organizational culture in building a sustainable business. By this time, you would realize that some sort of culture has already taken roots in your organization. And, Core Values play a critical role in the formation of that culture. It is essential to unearth those Core Values so that they could guide future recruits, decisions, and company growth.
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How to unearth those core values? The best method is to actively observe people’s behavior(Shadow Research) and collect insights. Surveys and Interviews(with open-ended questions) are the other methods that could help us to understand the core values. We can also mix and match them up.
Here, let’s focus on the survey method. Below is a sample list of questions that could be used to gather information about core values from your employees.
Research/Data Gathering To Identify Core Values — Preparing Questionnaire/survey
Some Notes —
- Initially, prepare a set of questions and circulate among everyone — Get everyone involved. Gather feedback/views about the questions — Encourage people to contribute additional questions. Involving your employees helps create more buy-in for your culture.
- While answering the questions, give people the choice to answer anonymously
- At the beginning of the interview/survey/online questionnaire, tell everyone that there are no right or wrong answers — it’s okay to not have an answer to a question, and all responses will remain confidential.
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Questions to every employee —
- Who are we?
- What makes you proud to work for this company?
- What is important in our company?
- What do you think are the strengths of this company? Why are they strengths?
- What do you think are the weaknesses of this company? Why?
- How would you describe our business to others outside the company?
- What do you think is our duty towards our customers?
- What do you think our business deeply cares about? Ask Why.
- What is inspiring in our business?
- What is the one present thing that offers the best chance for the company and our people to grow?
- On what basis does our business prioritizes things?
- On what basis does our business make trade-offs?
ABOUT WORKPLACE CULTURE
- What is unique about working at our company?
- What do you think is the strongest belief in our workplace? Find the reasons behind that decision.
- What does success mean in our workplace? Find the reasonings behind it.
- What do you think our workplace deeply cares about? At least three and the reasonings.
- What is inspiring in our workplace?
- What is the definition of awesome at our workplace? And the reasoning.
- How do you think our company celebrates employee success?
- How are big decisions made inside the company?
- How do you think our company rewards employees?
- What outcomes or behaviors do you think will result in promotion at our workplace? Why?
- What behaviors do you like at our workplace? Why?
- What behaviors do you think need to call for corrective action? Why?
- How do you manage your goals and responsibilities?
- What are the biggest adjustments you have to make to work here?
- Which activities bring you satisfaction regardless of monetary rewards or recognition?
- How do you make decisions at our workplace? What guides you in making decisions?
- What was a meaningful moment(memorable experience) you experienced while working? Why was that moment meaningful?
- What was the biggest challenge you faced in a project? How did you overcome it?
- What was the last idea you shared in your team meeting? What happened after sharing the idea?
- What was the last opinion you shared in your team meeting? What happened after sharing your opinion?
- Describe your team with three characteristics.
- How does your team manage goals and responsibilities?
- Write three things you like and dislike about teamwork inside your organization?
- One day, what should your team be remembered for?
- How are decisions made in your team?
- How are project trade-offs decided in your team?
- How does your team prioritize things?
- What do you like about our organizational meetings(Specific-Project or team meetings or anything else? What do you dislike?
- Three things you like/dislike about sharing ideas in our workplace?
- Three things you like about feedback culture(Employee, project, ideas)? Why?
- Three things you like/dislike about appreciating work or people in our workplace? Why?
- Freedom/Autonomy at the workplace — Three things you like/dislike.
- In team meetings, what was the one thing you asked that you did not know or did not understand? What happened after that?
- In team meetings, what happens when the team leader/manager/founder shares his/her idea?
- Can you mention one conflict you faced and how is the conflict resolved?
- What was your last failure? What happened next? How are the failures addressed?
- How are decisions made when there’s disagreement and stakes are high?
- Tell me about a time when you believed that your organization made the right decision? Why do you believe it is right?
- Can you mention one crisis or challenge faced by your team? How did your team respond to that challenge? Why did they respond that way?
- How often do you think people raised concerns/reservations about work/work methods in team meetings? What was the last such incident? What happened after that?
- How often do you take help from people from other departments?
- How often do you think your teammates take help from other departments?
- How often do you think people from other departments have sought help from you or your department people?
- When was the last time you offered a dissenting view in a team meeting? What happened after that?
- What was the difficult part of the hiring process? Why?
- The one challenge you faced in the hiring process?
- What was the interesting part of the hiring process? Why?
- What was the puzzling part of the hiring process? Why?
- What was the sweet part of the hiring process? Why?
- What did you like in the hiring process?
- What did you not like in the hiring process?
- Things you liked/disliked about communication with the company(Recruiter or anybody else from the firm) during the hiring process.
- Three things you liked/disliked about the interview process.
- The ONE THING that would have helped you to perform better in the interview process.
- Who do you admire at our workplace and why?
- What do you think about our founding team leaders? What are their core behaviors which you like? Dislike?
- How do you think founding leaders exert their authority?
- How do you think the founding leaders get the work done from others?
- What do you think are the fundamental beliefs of the organization and its leaders?
- How do you think our work culture differs from other company’s work cultures?
- Would you recommend working for this company to another person? Yes/no — Give us three reasons.
- How would you describe our workplace culture to people outside the company?
- What should we do better?
To be edited and updated….