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20 Employee Survey Questions to Help Define Your Company Values

20 Employee Survey Questions to Help Define Your Company Values

When your employees align and understand your core values, they’re more likely to feel supported and engaged. Ask these 20 questions in your next employee survey to help you understand what your employees think about your company's core values.

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With the ever-changing workplace, it's no surprise that employees and job seekers are placing more importance on mission and company values in today's work environment. In order to be successful at recruiting and attracting top talent, every business must have a defined set of authentic core values.

In a recent Cooleaf webinar on bringing core values to life, Tanya Fish, Strategy Advisor at ITA Group, said it best: “Your core values can’t just be something you post on a piece of paper or on your website. They need to be something that you help people to understand.”

But how do you help your team members understand your core values? And how do you measure if the people within your company resonate with your core values?

The easiest way to find out whether employees are aligned with your core values is by sending frequent employee engagement surveys and listening to employee feedback.

By sending thoughtful surveys to your people, you’ll be able to find out if your core values are defined and in the voice of your employees.

Cooleaf Pulse Survey On Core Values


Why are core values important?

According to research done by Hays, 47% of active job seekers are leaving their jobs because of company culture. Core values are the backbone that help support your company's culture.

When your company's values don't resonate with employees, it creates frustration and tension within your culture. On the other hand, when your employees align and understand your core values, they're more likely to feel supported and engaged. Core values need to be lived out and felt throughout the organization to ensure alignment and overall job satisfaction.

Core values are also an essential tool in creating an employee experience that's positive, supportive, and motivating.

With Cooleaf, you can create core value challenges to regularly encourage employees to reflect on core values and highlight core value examples.

See if Cooleaf is the right fit for your team

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Why you need to regularly re-examine your core values

Core values often change over time as companies grow and evolve. Or at least they should. As your core values shift and evolve, you want to ensure that your teams remain in alignment with them.

redefining core values

By regularly re-examining and re-defining your company's core values, you ensure that your values are in the voice of your employees and echoed through your organization.  

Here are five questions to add to your next employee engagement survey to help you gauge if your company values are still relevant today and if any necessary changes should be made to them.

1. What initially drew you to our organization?

This question will help you discover how your employees perceive your organization – and what makes your organization attractive to outsiders. By understanding how your company stands out from the pack, you'll be able to identify patterns that can help to shape your core values.

2. What makes you want to stay at our organization?

While it's important to understand what attracts talent to your organization, it's equally important to pinpoint why people stay. Is it the people, the culture, or maybe the perks? Finding out will help you determine what's retaining your top talent – and give you more insight into what your people truly value.

3. What's the superpower of our company?

Whether it's your laser focus on customer happiness or super speed when resolving tech issues, your company has a superpower. Identifying what it is will help you understand what your people prioritize.

4. On a scale of 1-5, how well does this company authentically demonstrate its core values?

This question will help you measure the effectiveness of your current company core values. Do your people see your current values as authentic? Follow-up this question with "why or why not?" and you'll get even more insight.

5. What do you think is missing from your company's core values?

Whenever you examine your employee experience, it's important to investigate factors that might be holding your people back in addition to those those helping your people succeed. By giving your employees the opportunity to speak to what's missing from your culture, you'll learn what your team needs to focus on in the future. By keeping this question open-ended, you'll also be able to see what words and phrases employees use when speaking openly about your culture.

Success culture

You can measure success by multiple metrics—for instance, making record profits and ensuring your employees love coming to work are not mutually exclusive goals. For a qualitative view of success that goes beyond the balance sheet and refocuses on your culture, ask your employees:

  • What does success mean in our organization?
  • What is the definition of awesome here?
  • How do you think our company celebrates employee success?

Employee culture

Building and managing a strong organizational culture helps a company achieve its business goals. A healthy, strong culture can lead to higher productivity, sales, and a competitive market presence. Happy employees are 12% more productive, and highly engaged workplaces see a 10% increase in customer ratings with a 20% increase in sales. These statistics are supported by the fact that companies with more engaged workers grew revenue 2.5 times as much as companies with less involved workers over a period of seven years. 90% of employees within a winning company culture are confident in their company’s leadership team.

  • On a scale of 1-10, how fulfilled are you? Why?
  • Which activities bring you satisfaction regardless of monetary rewards or recognition?
  • What was the last idea/opinion you shared in your team meeting or with a stakeholder and how was it received?

Team culture

When team members cooperate, share experiences and knowledge, support, and care for one another, good team culture is born People are excited to collaborate and do extraordinary things at work when they believe that the company’s core values reinforce this sentiment.

  • Describe your team in three characteristics.
  • How does your team manage goals and responsibilities?
  • What are three things you like and dislike about teamwork inside the organization?

Conflicts and failures culture

A culture of failure is a set of shared values, goals and practices that encourages learning through experimentation. Instead of fearing or punishing failures, a company that believes in failure-as-an-option (FaaO) recognizes that failure and team conflict is part of the learning process and that each unsuccessful experiment provides valuable feedback that ultimately can be used to achieve success. Failure and conflict resolution must have a place in your core values in order to reinforce that your organization cares about opportunities to grow and learn as a team.

  • How are failures addressed by your team and organization as a whole?
  • What is the decision-making process when there’s a disagreement?

Company culture

Culture is the set of behaviors and practices that evolve from the values and mission of the company. It reflects the way the leaders and employees act even when no one is watching. When leaders and employees act in alignment with core values, it is a reliable indicator of a good culture.

  • How do you think our culture differs from other company’s work cultures?
  • Would you recommend working for our company to another person? Why?
  • How would you describe our workplace culture to people outside the company?

And most important...

Feedback isn’t a comfortable thing to give or receive, especially when it’s unsolicited. That’s why the most valuable feedback is the kind you ask for. It can reveal what you’re currently doing well as an organization and which behaviors you can work on to improve. Asking this question can also serve as a model and encourage your people to feel comfortable asking for their own feedback.

  • What should we do better?

How to use these questions to define your values

People want to work for companies with strong, clearly defined values in the post-pandemic workplace environment.

If you don't have defined core values, it's hard for employees to understand what they mean and resonate with them. It also makes it hard for new employees when they’re onboarding to fit in with the corporate culture or understand why things get done a certain way.

Ask the questions above in your next pulse survey and use the survey results to:

  • Re-examine core values
  • Make necessary changes within the organizational culture to improve connection and alignment to values and mission
  • Better define your company's core values
  • Engage your employees
  • Better workplace culture
  • Improve employee satisfaction

In an ideal world, most of us want more from our jobs than just a paycheck. We want things like work satisfaction, a connection to our coworkers and the opportunity to make a difference.

What can give people the kind of feeling that makes work more than just work?

For many companies, the answer is values.

Your values tell the world what you’re about. They give your employees a reason for what they do—and your customers a reason to cheer for you.

Today, 80% of the Fortune 100 tout their values publicly, and companies with a high sense of purpose outperform others by 400%.

Feeling aligned with a company’s values, mission and philosophy is one of the top reasons employees love where they work, and the primary reason that consumers feel they have a relationship with brands.

If you want to make sure that your company is on the right track, it's important to know how your employees feel about your core values, meaning you have to ask the right questions. And the only way to truly know is to ask them directly. When you re-define them, it's important to use a tool like Cooleaf to get feedback from your team so that they have a voice in what those values should look like moving forward.

If you're ready to take action on employee engagement and employee recognition with data-driven insights, book a Cooleaf Demo today!


How to use these questions to define your values

If you don't have defined core values, it's hard for employees to understand what they mean and resonate with them. It also makes it hard for new employees when they’re onboarding to fit in with the corporate culture or understand why things get done a certain way.

Ask the questions above in your next employee engagement survey and use the survey results to:

  • Re-examine core values
  • Make necessary changes within the organizational culture to improve connection and alignment to values and mission
  • Better define your company's core values
  • Engage your employees
  • Better workplace culture
  • Improve employee satisfaction

Are you a manager or team leader that needs help starting discussions on core values with your team? This free huddle guide is perfect for you.

Downloadable Huddle Guide

Download our Huddle Guide PDF by filling out the form below. You'll get a printable huddle guide resource to assist in discussions around the organization’s mission, vision, and values with your teams.

huddle guide

If you want to make sure that your company is on the right track, it's important to know how your employees feel about your core values. When you re-define them, it's important to use a tool like Cooleaf to get feedback from your team so that they have a voice in what those values should look like moving forward.

If you're ready to take action on employee engagement and employee recognition with data-driven insights, book a Cooleaf Demo today!

Request Cooleaf demo & pricing



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