Organizational Climate Survey: understanding your employees

With the numerous challenges imposed by the Brazilian economy over the recent years, companies have sought to optimize their resources to the maximum. Aiming for a healthy balance between investments and expenses, a term is increasingly high in the market: productivity. Since they are pursuing an increased productivity, organizations are practically being restructured. They change their planning, review processes, make new hires, internalize technologies, and adjust other elements. Still, in many cases, a “little secret” is still set aside: the valuation of the internal climate. If you want to know the happiness level of your employees, why don’t you spread an organizational climate survey? It seems simple to produce. Sure, it just seems simple. Either way, they remain “forgotten” by many companies in the market.

Happier people in their jobs are more productive. The logic seems clear, but how much more productive are they? Researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky, of the University of California, and Laura King, of the University of Missouri, have conducted a long study on this topic for the American Psychological Association (APA). In summary, the finding was interesting: on average, a happy professional is 31% more productive, has a creativity level three times larger and tends to register a 37% increase in sales. The data alone demonstrate the relevance of satisfied and motivated employees. Still, it is not by magic that you will have cheerful employees on a daily basis, since personal life also do interfere in their search for balance with work life. It is quite possible to identify the level of satisfaction of each of them.

Developing Organizational Climate Research

The first step is to create an internal survey, in order to understand this level of satisfaction, after its disclosure. The development of the questionnaire and its content depend greatly on each corporation, in addition to its segment. Let me exemplify: a company that works with software development in the IT industry, for example, requires a very high level of concentration from its employees. It is common to find them with headsets, listening to their favorite songs, and staring at the computer screen for much of the day. Detecting their emotions is a much more complex task than inside of a store which sells some particular product. This is a specific place where personal interactions are significant, i.e. it’s very likely that the questionnaire will have to be much more complete in the software developer company.

The survey may have different formats. The questionnaire can be via alternatives, with employees marking X for the topics they are satisfied with, or answers that they can mark “always”, “often”, “sometimes”, “rarely” or “never”. The questions can cover different topics. Here is an example of questions to be included on an organizational climate survey below:

  1. Do you like the work environment?
  2. Are you happy to work in the company?
  3. Do you think the company serves customers satisfactorily?
  4. Do you feel motivated every day when you wake up to work?
  5. Do you see opportunities to grow within the organization?
  6. Do you believe employees work collaboratively?
  7. Are you treated respectfully by your colleagues?
  8. Do you consider one or more professional colleagues as your friends?
  9. Have you received feedback on your work as often as you would like?
  10. Have you ever been praised by your boss?
  11. Have you ever been criticized by your boss?
  12. Do you think your boss is a role model for the whole team?
  13. Do you think that the company has the necessary technologies to develop its work in the best way as possible?
  14. Do you think you are currently focusing more on your work than you should?
  15. Have you managed to reconcile work life with your personal life normally?

The following steps

With the answers in your hand, it’s time to compile the data and check for the most “sensitive” answers. There are employees who deserve greater and more dedicated attention. It is time to understand how to improve the engagement of your employees – also expanding customers’, as a consequence of your future actions. In the analysis phase, it is essential that the company identifies the highest percentage answers for each question. If 75% of employees say they have never received feedback, it may be necessary to introduce this new practice into the organization. On the other hand, if 98% of employees feel motivated to wake up and go to work, the actions of valuing the internal climate are definitely on the right track.

What does this allow? Structuring the most frequent responses given by your employees in organizational climate survey allows you to reorganize your strategy and define new tactics depending on each department. Or, in an ideal landscape (or a perfect landscape, if I may say), it shows that you are taking all the exact right steps. Starting from the viewpoint of what changes will actually be needed, rank your priorities.

  1. Create periodic internal meetings to provide a feedback to your employees;
  2. Start making public compliments when the professionals do their work well;
  3. Conduct internal training, with the purpose of capacitating your employees.

These are some action tips to be taken, depending on the priority – it varies greatly depending on the answers you get. Share the results, via e-mail, newsletter or wall paper. Internal communication is important for employees to feel like an integrated part of the company. They need to note that the company where they work cares about them. It’s important to map their profiles and continue the work. How? It’s actually simple. After introducing and performing the actions, and also after a certain time (six months or a year later), do a new survey, with similar questions. Don’t forget to add some new ones, asking, for example, if the collaborators could really feel the progress within the organization.

Make frequent organizational climate survey and make your business as humane as possible. Motivate your employees to the fullest, increasing quality in the work environment. After all, happier employees will produce more and better.

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