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What is a culture index survey?

Last updated

25 May 2023


Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Tanya Williams

A culture index is how your employees feel about their workplace. It gauges their satisfaction with their job and company management. It can even look at interpersonal relationships with employees. 

These surveys enable managers to determine if employees are satisfied with their work environment and determine what works and what doesn't. Managers can use the information to promote the areas that are working while improving lackluster policies or cultures.  

Culture index survey questions offer insights into how your employees feel, including their emotions and opinions. This happiness indicator can help you improve general workplace morale and productivity, which can boost profits.  

Since quantifying happiness or satisfaction is impossible, culture index surveys indicate what’s satisfying and engaging for your employees and what isn’t.  

Putting your managerial finger on creating an engaging, satisfying, and rewarding workplace is key to your business's success. Let’s learn more about culture index surveys.

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What are the benefits of measuring culture index?

Knowing if your employees are happy is important, and understanding what drives happiness is key. A culture index survey is a great way to gain these insights. Some benefits include: 

Increased customer satisfaction

Satisfied employees offer better customer service than unhappy workers. Everyone’s spoken to the cashier who obviously hates their job, making customer service fall short.  

Employees extend their job satisfaction by being more helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable when helping customers. This builds your customer retention rate, creating brand loyalty and trust.

High employee retention rate

It's no secret that onboarding and training new employees is expensive. The time an employee takes to gain product knowledge and procedure familiarity further affects your bottom line.

Cultivating a positive relationship with employees and retaining them longer cuts costs and allows for a more loyal workforce. 

During the hiring process, your reputation as a great workplace increases the likelihood of acquiring superior talent.

Improved working experience

A culture index survey is about finding what makes your employees happy and satisfied. The information from the survey allows you to improve the employment journey from start to finish.

Strategic planning

Culture index surveys are a great tool to use before introducing a new product, procedure, or any substantial change.

If your employees are happy about a change or feel they are part of the decision-making process, they are more likely to be motivated to make the change successful.

Employee engagement and productivity

Culture index surveys offer information on how employees feel. If their responses create positive change, they’ll feel more engaged.  

Engaged employees are more productive, leading to a healthier bottom line.

Hiring culturally fit employees

Not every employee is a good fit. With culture index surveys, you can determine why some of your employees perform better than others. Is it experience or knowledge?

Or perhaps the work culture doesn’t suit everyone: Some people may flourish in your working environment while others struggle.

Better conflict resolution

Sometimes, conflict arises in the workplace, with no productive way to resolve it. A culture index survey identifies the problems and can help you develop ways to resolve them in the future.

How to conduct a culture index test

Companies that conduct culture index surveys benefit in many ways. Their employees are more productive, customers are more satisfied, and they recruit and retain employees optimally.  

But how do you conduct a culture index survey? What are the steps to asking the right questions and getting the necessary results? Let’s take a look.

Create the survey

If you’ve decided what you want to know, create questions that employees can answer about how they feel about the organization.  

Make the survey brief. Employees can get bored or resentful and may drop out of a long survey, skewing the results.

Design simple, easy-to-understand questions that are open-ended enough for employees to elaborate and feel comfortable doing so. 

A few examples of questions to include are:

  • What would make this a more enjoyable place to work?

  • Do you feel that your supervisor/manager respects your opinion?

  • Do you think you can express your opinions without fear of retribution?

  • Would you recommend working here to a friend? Why or why not?

Deploy the survey

Once you’ve developed and finalized the questions, consider running them past HR. 

After that, decide how many employees you want to participate. This could include the entire company or a specific department or job title.   

You can make the survey voluntary to only include those who want to participate. 

Collect responses and analyze the data

It is best to set a deadline for the completion of your survey. When the deadline expires, collect all the responses.  

Remember, the goal of the survey is to determine what you are doing right and wrong. It’s easier said than done, but don’t take the responses personally. 

Devise a strategy for a better company culture

Turning the negative responses around takes strategic planning, so devise and implement a plan.

Let employees know that you’re responding to their suggestions. This gives them a feeling of trust and validation, knowing their opinion matters.

What are culture index personality types?

Though culture index surveys don't reveal your employee's personality type, you discover their attitudes about the job.  

Several popular methods for determining personality type exist, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the True Colors test. These can help you determine the personality types and how well distinct types fit into your workplace. 

The indicators you gain from personality tests will enable you to craft relevant culture index questions.

For example, millions of people use the MBTI test for insight into their strengths and weaknesses. MBTI personality types include:


Employees who are highly focused overachievers are considered visionaries. They are concerned with meeting goals, but they see details and company rules as unimportant.


Researchers are usually introverts who are great with detail-oriented work. They are rule followers and execute their work precisely.


Socials are very productive in the workplace, partly because they are so personable and extroverted. Like the visionaries, they’re not keen on following rules, but they make up for that by being highly productive.


Organizers are great at completing tasks promptly and diligently supporting company goals. They work efficiently and quickly.

What do my culture index survey results mean?

Your culture index survey results identify where your employees are struggling. The results show you where to improve, where you are strong, and the best-fit employee characteristics for your culture.  

Survey results can also foster employee trust if you are willing to follow their suggestions. This trust leads to better morale, higher productivity, and a healthier bottom line.

The results you get from the survey may also offer improved interview techniques, motivational skills training, and improved managerial leadership.


What is a good employee culture?

A good employee culture: 

  • Offers support to employees within an organization

  • Prioritizes employee well-being and contentment

  • Fosters trust and encouragement

  • Has high employee morale and productivity

  • Empowers and engages employees

How long does it take to complete the culture index survey?

Most culture index surveys are short and take under ten minutes to complete. If your culture index survey is too lengthy, employees may lose interest or not complete it at all.

How reliable is a culture index?

The survey construction determines the reliability of a culture index survey. 

Reliability may be lacking if you didn’t prepare the questions properly or analyze the results appropriately.  

The results will be more reliable if the questions are short and easy to understand.

Who created the culture index?

Gary and Cecilia Walstrom and psychology Professor Louis Janda, Ph.D., founded the culture index in the early 2000s.

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