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Time for a Company Culture Audit Ask your employees what your company is getting right--and what needs to change.

By Burton Goldfield

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As the job market continues to improve, companies need to work harder to keep employees satisfied and in their seats. Whether it's promoting a positive work environment, enhancing benefits packages or sustaining top talent, a company's culture can help ensure the success of its business objectives.

Workplace culture is about more than providing snacks or offering abbreviated hours during the summer months. Culture is how employees describe where they work, understand the business and see themselves as part of the organization. Building a strong workplace culture will not guarantee a businesses success, but culture is a key determinant in attracting talent, which ultimately enables small businesses to continue upward growth.

What is a Culture Audit and What Does it Tell You?
A culture audit helps determine the culture that currently exists within a company. Surveying employee opinions helps companies determine what keeps stellar staff motivated and happy at the company and offers insights into the means to strengthen the positive traits that currently exist.

An effective workplace culture audit determines the overall working environment, identifies the unwritten norms and rules governing employee interactions and workplace practices, highlights possible barriers to effective work practices and communication and makes recommendations for addressing problems identified. Not only will it help retain top performers, it provides a blueprint of what attributes to look for in applicants.

Sample questions include:

  • Are you being compensated fairly?
  • Are your benefits comparable to those of our competitors?
  • Does the company value your work?
  • Are you getting the training you need?
  • Does open communication exist in the company?
  • Do you feel challenged?
  • What are the values of the organization?
  • How do decisions get made within the organization?
  • What are the key business priorities for the company?
  • Do your values match those of the company?

Workplace Culture and Hiring
When hiring, it's important to first find someone who have a vested interest and willingness to support and work toward the vision of the organization. If this doesn't exist, over time the individual will not be successful and could ultimately tarnish employee morale. Every organization is not the right fit for every person.

Hiring and motivating the individuals most aligned with the workplace culture eliminates costs associated with employee turnover and provides an environment for employees to flourish in because they aren't afraid of the revolving door.

Getting Creative with Workplace Culture
Growth-oriented companies are notorious for coming up with unusual ways to improve the work environment--offsite retreats, impromptu programs and the creative use of office space are all examples of how companies implement creative ideas to build their culture.

Whether it's invigorating the company environment, recruiting top talent or seeking holes in an organization's culture, it's imperative to craft and build a desired workplace culture.

Burton Goldfield

President and CEO, TriNet

Burton Goldfield is president and CEO of San Leandro, Calif.-based TriNet, an HR outsourcing partner to small businesses. He is responsible for setting TriNet's overall corporate strategy and providing guidance regarding its human capital offerings.

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