Organizational Culture Assessment questions to define your Core Culture

Are you planning to conduct a culture audit? And, are you looking for organizational culture assessment questions to use? Above all, by asking the right questions, you can define the Core Culture of your organization.

To sum up, you must first define the Core Culture before you bring effective change to your organization.

  • Firstly, do you know your organization’s Purpose and its distinctive Philosophy? Purpose and Philosophy are the identity of your organization. In other words, they are the most stable part of your culture.
  • Secondly, do you know the strategic and universal Priorities you must focus on? To clarify, these are the Priorities to achieve your goals and build an engaged workforce. These values may change over time.
organizational culture assessment questions to ask for core culture
Core Culture

Use these recommendations to guide your Culture Assessment

When conducting an organizational culture assessment, use the questions below as a guide. In addition, follow these key guidelines:

  • Culture assessments are most successful when an outsider collects insider perspectives. To clarify, a person who is trained as an “outsider looking in” is essential for an authentic assessment. It is difficult to objectively see oneself. This is true for individuals as well as organizations. Therefore, this combined “outsider + insider” view produces rich and honest results.
  • Include all employees in the process to uncover and define the Core Culture. To own it, one must participate in the process.
  • Use these questions when you conduct interviews. In addition, use them in open-ended surveys or for focus groups.
  • During interviews and focus groups, be sure to ask follow-up questions. This will enrich the information you collect. Above all, encourage employees to share examples and stories.
  • Although the questions are designed to reveal particular attributes of the Core Culture, you will find that the responses are not always clear-cut. To clarify, often a person’s response does not directly answer the question. Be open to what the information you collect actually reveals. Most importantly, review the explanation of the Five Ps to ensure you understand these Core Culture concepts.
  • Some of the organizational culture assessment questions sound repetitive. Often, using a slightly different word or phrase in a question will yield either confirming or new, insightful responses.
  • When conducting an assessment to determine the organization’s identity, your objective is to find those few values that capture its essence. Nice-to-have values that do not paint the picture of your organization’s identity should not be included. Above all, your aim is to identify the fewest number of values. 

Contact Sheila to guide your culture assessment!

Workplace Culture Institute - organizational culture assessment questionsHave questions? A culture assessment is most effective using an outside perspective. Above all, use the Contact Form to email Sheila.


Use the Building a Culture of Distinction program to guide your assessment and change process

organizational culture assessment questionsUse Building a Culture of Distinction for a detailed explanation of the culture assessment process. To clarify, the Facilitator Guide is for those leading the process.



Organizational Culture Assessment questions:

Introductory questions

1. What words would you use to describe this organization? To clarify, give examples of each word.

2. What are you most proud of at this organization?

3. What do you love about this organization?

Purpose questions


4. What is the purpose of this organization?

5. Why is the work you do important? (To clarify, ask this question up to five times in an interview.)

6. What are employees here passionate about?

7. How are you making a difference to society through your work? In other words, what is your contribution to society through your work?

Philosophy questions

8. What special attribute does the founder/leader possess that has influenced the character of the organization? Explain.

9. Describe the ideals that drove the founding of this organization.

10. What value is fundamental and distinctive to this organization since its founding? Give examples.

11. What makes this organization feel different or unique from its competitors?

12. Describe the personality or character of this organization.

13. What would only happen at this organization? To clarify, describe a situation that illustrates this.

14. What is something about this organization that would surprise a visitor?

15. Above all, what is central to who we are as an organization that should never change?

Priorities questions


16. What should the organization focus on and pay attention to?

17. To effectively achieve our strategy, what principles should guide how we work? Explain.

18. Describe the things happening in the world today that could impact our organization? For example, what global events or trends should we pay attention to?

19. What should we focus on and pay attention to internally related to our employees? For example, what changes might make them feel more engaged?

20. What key values, if followed, would help this organization compete and thrive?


Contact Sheila to guide you through the process

Workplace Culture Institute - organizational culture assessment questionsAbove all, contact Sheila. Let her guide you in conducting a culture assessment and managing culture change. To clarify, her management consulting firm Workplace Culture Institute is based in Atlanta, serving clients globally.

Use the Contact Form to email Sheila.


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