Go ask each of your team members:  Walk me through what makes a good work day for you.*

This simple request will get to the heart of what’s important to your team from a culture experience – and it’s surprisingly more effective than “Do you like working here?”

Then show that you care about the answer:

Pay rapt attention. Take notes. Dig deeper.  Ask for specifics.  Ask for the top three.

Then consider and evaluate –

  • Any patterns? Interesting one-offs?
  • Is this type of work day regularly possible in your workplace?
  • Does your team’s vision of a good work day match the type of work day you want in your workplace?
  • Where is your culture out of alignment with what you would like to create on a daily basis?
  • Where are team members’ expectations out of alignment with what’s possible and desired?

Chances are you will hear a variety of responses like:

  • Start with a good strong cup of coffee with real cream.
  • Unexpected distractions, chaos or crisis are kept at bay and I’m able to get done what I set out to do.
  • We work together as team to come up with a creative solution – and potential solutions are considered.
  • Meetings result in meaningful dialogue and real deal actionable outcomes.
  • I can depend on my co-workers to carry their weight.
  • I have a chance to both get my work done and connect with my co-workers.
  • I make a difference for our clients.
  • I contribute to the team in a meaningful way.
  • People respond to my questions in a timely fashion so I can keep moving forward.
  • I end the day with a sense of accomplishment and clarity on what I need to make happen tomorrow.

*Now I’m curious — how would you answer this?

To take a more in-depth look at this and other enlightening workplace culture issues, check out Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace. Both the book and the book/workbook set are available for purchase.