In an age where technology is ubiquitous and corporate culture becomes more important every day, having a toxic workplace is one of the biggest blows to any company’s bottom line. A toxic workplace contributes to stagnating corporate phenomenon such as high turnover, low employee engagement, and sharp declines in productivity. If you are unsure if your company is exhibiting symptoms of a toxic workplace, employees are always going to be your greatest resource for measuring the culture.
Questions to Measure a Toxic Workplace
Here are some corporate culture interview questions you can ask your employees to determine whether you have a toxic workplace:
- How would you describe the company culture? This is a broad question that can give you a general sense of the company’s values and norms. Pay attention to the specific words and phrases the employee uses to describe the culture.
- What are the most and least enjoyable aspects of working here? This question can help you identify any potential areas of conflict or dissatisfaction.
- How would you describe the communication style here? Is it open and transparent, or is it more hierarchical and secretive?
- How do you feel about the level of trust and respect between employees? This is an important question to ask, as a lack of trust and respect can be a sign of a toxic workplace.
- How would you describe the work-life balance here? Do employees feel like they are able to balance their work and personal lives, or do they feel like they are constantly being overworked?
- What is the company’s approach to conflict resolution? How does the company handle disagreements and disputes? Is there a culture of open communication and problem-solving, or is conflict seen as something to be avoided?
- What is the company’s policy on harassment and discrimination? How does the company handle these issues? Do employees feel comfortable reporting harassment or discrimination, or do they feel like they will be punished for doing so?
Toxic Workplace Evaluations
It is important to ask these questions in a way that is respectful and non-judgmental. You want to create an environment where employees feel comfortable being honest with you. If you get any red flags from the answers you receive, you may want to follow up with more specific questions or conduct further investigations.
Here are some additional tips for asking corporate culture interview questions:
- Be specific. Instead of asking general questions like “What is the company culture like?”, ask more specific questions about specific aspects of the culture. For example, you could ask “How would you describe the communication style here?” or “How do you feel about the level of trust and respect between employees?”
- Listen carefully to the answers. Pay attention to the specific words and phrases the employee uses to describe the culture. This can give you a lot of insight into their experience.
- Follow up with clarifying questions. If you are not sure what an employee means by something, ask them to clarify. This will help you get a better understanding of their experience.
- Be respectful. Remember that you are asking employees about their personal experiences. Be respectful of their time and their feelings.
By asking these questions, you can get a better sense of whether your workplace is toxic or not. This information can help you take steps to improve the culture and create a more positive and supportive work environment for all employees.