Crafting an effective Culture Audit

Conducting a corporate culture audit is like taking the pulse of your employees’ experience working for your organisation

An audit uncovers vital information about the health of your organisation. It looks at work environment, practices, behaviours and hurdles that stand in their way of being more productive and efficient. Understanding culture factors about your organisation can help you retain key employees and guide you in what behaviours and values to look for when hiring new staff.


Culture Audit “Culture is the organisation’s immune system.” — Michael Watkins

“Culture is the organisation’s immune system.” — Michael Watkins

Elements required to ensure your culture audit is successful:

Step 1: Craft questions

Craft a list of questions to ask the organisation’s employees in an audit across the company. Ask questions such as their satisfaction with salaries and benefits, whether they feel valued as members of the organisation, access to training, openness of communication within the organisation. To ensure more honest answers make the survey anonymous.

Step 2: Observation

Observe employees as they work. You can also do this by spending time in communal employee areas, such as the canteen or break area. Do less talking, listen more to conversations as they take place and mentally note what seems to frustrate staff as well as make them happy. A culture audit is about measuring the pulse of the organisation – what is working and what is not.

Step 3: Interview

Interview employees across the organisation, invite them to have a candid discussion about how they view their experience working for the organisation. Don’t just wait for people to leave to discover what works, and what does not. Hold these interviews in a private room and ensure each staff member that their answers will remain confidential. The feedback may be both positive and negative, take notes about what is and isn’t working.

Step 4: Focus groups

Run focus groups by department to have open discussions about the corporate culture in the organisation. Encourage employees to join in and be honest about their feelings. Make it a safe space and ensure there is no retaliation based on what they say. If discussions are slow to start, pose “Yes” or “No” questions about the organisation’s corporate culture and have members raise their hands to answer. If most members raises their hands to a particular question, prod the question further by asking open questions.

Trust is key to a culture audit – and has to be earned.

Elements of a successful culture audit Infographic

Tips for Crafting an effective Culture Audit


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Richard Riche

Change Communication and Employee Engagement specialist at One Clear Message Consulting
Richard specialises in helping you build real human communication skills. Employee Engagement / Experience, Emotional Intelligence skills, building high performance teams and a great place you want to work. TED style speaking and presentation skills. Training, consulting and coaching.
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