Culture Diagnostic

What It is and Why Does It Matter?

Workplace culture, broadly stated, is how we interact and treateach other in our workplace. Our interactions reflect our social skills, both personal and professional. Every social outcome is preceded by situational dynamics that we can use to measure and assess the culture in any workplace.

Every company has its own unique company culture and workforce dynamics. By combining experience gleaned from years of assessing and advising a variety of work environments, employers and employees and cutting-edge technology, Emtrain has developed practical tools for identifying indicators aligned with cultural health both positive and negative, and helping organizations course correct as needed.

Emtrain makes this expertise and knowledge comprehensible in ways that impact organizations from a high-level perspective and also offers personalized, targeted solutions. High level insight is made available through Emtrain’s annual Workplace Culture Report. The Workplace Culture Report 2020 in particular uncovers new insights around universal employee behaviors and management intentions that explain the root causes of workplace culture-failures.

Our insights come from our dataset of 2.5 million responses from 40,000+ employees at 125+ companies.

More granularly, the Workplace Culture Diagnostic™ is a tool designed to allow individual organizations to meaningfully and effectively evaluate their current company culture with an eye towards remedying factors identified by the tool as contributing to a culture that is not as healthy as it could be. The strength of the Workplace Culture Diagnostic™ tool is in its approach. It presents a unique and proprietary method for evaluating the three pillars – Respect, Inclusion and Ethics – impacted by key indicators that Emtrain has identified as crucial to the existence of a healthy work environment across a broad and diverse spectrum of organization types.

Organizational Level

Every organization has its own unique culture and norms. These are the practices that constitute ”how things really work around here,” the sometimes unspoken rules about what behavior is acceptable and what is not. Organizational factors that impact workplace culture, for better or worse, include in-group/out-group dynamics, power dynamics, and norms of behavior

In/Out-Group Dynamics

This is the degree that ‘us vs. them’ mentality and behaviors drive employee acceptance, inclusion, and perceived value. In-group behaviors alienate employees and thwart productive behavior. Strong, positive cultural norms can combat these dynamics.

Power Dynamics

This refers to the ways that power and influence are used or abused at an organization. Unhealthy power disparities or hierarchies can cause employees not in power to feel constrained from speaking their mind or contributing potentially beneficial ideas. Managers play a key role in establishing healthy power dynamics.

Norms and Practices

Not just what is communicated, but what people actually do; what is acceptable workplace behavior and what is not.


Workplace Culture Diagnostic™ - Respect
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Workplace Culture Diagnostic™ - Equity & Inclusion
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Workplace Culture Diagnostic™ - Ethics
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People Level

At the same time, individual employees come into an organization with their own beliefs, biases, experiences, and capabilities. These indicators—pre-existing mindsets and behaviors, unconscious bias, and social intelligence skills—influence their internal model of what they believe is acceptable workplace behavior, how they expect to be treated, and how they interact with others.

Unconscious Bias

Unconscious biases are learned stereotypes that we unknowingly allow to form judgements that then shape our interactions with others. These biases are assumptions rooted in human characteristics such as race, socioeconomic standing, age, or gender and, at best, deepen in-group/out-group divides. At their worst, unconscious biases impact workplace diversity and prevent the most qualified individuals from climbing the corporate ladder.

Social Intelligence

The ability to recognize and negotiate the social dynamics of the workplace. Strong social intelligence quotients drive positive decision making, improve lines of communication, and solidify interpersonal relationships. Poor social intelligence skills lead to lower levels of trust and respect amongst colleagues and cause certain employees to feel uncomfortable at work.

Pre-Existing Mindsets

These are the values, behaviors, and learned beliefs that we bring to work with us. Unlike unconscious biases, these mindsets actively affect how we work with other people and shape our impressions of culture issues. For example, left to their own devices, one persons definition of sexual harassment may differ from their coworkers and those assumptions influence how they behave at the office.

What Emtrain Offers

A Proprietary, Customizable Workplace Evaluation Tool

The Workplace Culture Diagnostic provides a unique framework that allows companies to synthesize diverse, individualized data about employee experiences, observations, values and skills into a predictive assessment of the strengths and vulnerabilities of workplace culture. By identifying how key social dynamics impact and reflect the key indicators, the tool can provide a snapshot of an organization’s culture, and a path for developing targeted solutions utilizing Emtrain’s course content, and related analytical tools benchmarks for improvement.

An Insightful, High Level View of Workplace Culture Presented in the Workplace Culture Report 2020

In our analysis, strong organizational norms and practices emerged as the most significant factor in building a healthy and respectful workplace culture. They are both strongly correlated with employee assessments of cultural health and they are something that culture leaders can directly impact. The Workplace Culture Report 2020 measures the extent to which norms and practices, as well as the dynamics listed above, affect workplace culture. In addition, it provides you with the first steps needed to positively influence your workplace culture by honing in on these six key elements.

38%of employees cite “Us vs. Them” as the greatest source of conflict in their Organizations.Source: Emtrain Workplace Culture Report 2020
20%of employees indicate that in their organization, people in authority o!en get away with bad behavior.Source: Emtrain Workplace Culture Report 2020

Want to learn more?

Get the Full Workplace Culture Report 2020

Contact Us to find out how the Workplace Culture Diagnostic can be tailored to provide a meaningful assessment of your organization and can offer steps for improving it.