What is an Employee Climate Survey?
Used for organizational training and development, Employee Climate Surveys provide a picture of your organization's needs. These surveys can be used to solicit employee opinions on a variety of issues such as the company's success in communicating its mission to employees, or local issues such as quality of the working environment.
These surveys often contain a series of multiple choice items grouped along one or more dimensions of the organization.
The types of items included in these surveys may concern areas such as:
- Senior Management
- Interpersonal Relations
- Functional Expertise
- Customer Service
- Obtaining Results
- Analytical Thinking
- Strategic Planning
- Staff Development
The results of this type of feedback process provide an understanding how how the employee perceives the organization along different dimensions. This process helps the organization (Human Resources Department) understand how the employees percieve them.
- is essential to facilitating development and organizational change
- allows the organization to focus on needs and leverage its strengths
- informs the organization on which actions will create problems for the employees
- provides management with employee feedback (both positive and negative) on the internal health of the organization
- measures the impact of current programs, policies and procedures
- can be used to motivate employees and improve job satisfaction
The purpose of this document is to provide a guide to assist those who are conducting an employee opinion survey.
- How it is conducted
- Benefits of using the Internet
- Item Bank
- Web Resources
- Related Pages
Principle of Employee Climate Surveys: Provides an understanding how how the employee perceives the organization and work groups.
Employee Climate Survey: Uses
Uses for Employee Climate Surveys include:
- Focusing of Employee Development Programs
- Enhancing Management/Employee Relations
- Training Needs Assessment
- Evaluation of Training
- Organizational Climate Survey
- Customer Satisfaction Survey
This process can also be a motivator of performance since it shows the employee that their opinions and views are considered important.
Provides a direct means of assessing employee opinions that would otherwise be unreported.
How Climate Surveys are Conducted
Checklist of what to do when conducting an employee survey.
- Needs Analysis Why is the survey being conducted?
Meetings are held to determine the goals and objectives, as well as the content of the project. Whether
implemented through individual interview or focus group this needs
analysis will ensure that the critical information is gathered in the manner that best fits the customer need and will assist in determining the best method of collecting the data.
- Focus Groups Structured meetings to gather qualitative
information relevant to the survey development.
- Survey Design Develop survey instrument by synthesizing
the information gathered from needs analysis, focus groups and other
Determine the rating scale to be used:
- Strongly agree | agree | (neither agree nor disagree) | disagree | strongly disagree.
- Excellent | good | fair | poor
- All of the time | most of the time | some of the time | hardly ever | never
- To a very great extent | to a great extent | to some extent | to a very little extent | to no extent at all
- Very satisfied | satisfied | (neither satisfied nor dissatisfied) | dissatisfied | very dissatisfied
- Develop questionnaire A questionnaire used for Employee Opinion Surveys typically contains items that are rated on a 5 point scale. These items may be developed to measure different dimensions of the organization (e.g., communication, teamwork, leadership, initiative, management, compensation, ...). Questionnaires also typically include one or more open-ended questions to solicit written feedback.
Questionnaires typically include from 50 to 100 items. When estimating the amount of time to complete the questionnaire you should estimate about 1 minute per questionnaire item.
If using a printed questionnaire form, you should consider using forms that can be scanned into a computer.
It should be noted that the design of a questionnaire is usually an iterative process -- questions are formulated, tested, reformulated, tested, and so on.
- Questionnaire Review Examine and critique of an existing survey. The review is conducted to improve the quality of the survey, and to increase the likelihood the customer receives actionable information. Critiques are also performed to increase the probability of high response rates.
- Instrument Pre-Test Conduct an instrument pre-test, which is an examination of the data collection instrument by potential respondents. It can be completed for paper-based, as well as electronic and phone based data capture. This may include a series of telephone interviews or focus groups designed to gather feedback on the content, clarity, readability, relevance, length, and comprehensiveness of the item set, as well as the overall experience of completing the instrument.
Pre-testing can show:
- poor question wording or sequencing, as well as errors in layout
- problems caused by the length of the questionnaire or the respondents' inability or unwillingness to answer the questions
- additional questions or response categories that can be pre-coded on the questionnaire
- non-response problems
- any negative repercussions the survey may have on employees
- Ensure confidentiality of participants Steps must be taken to ensure the confidentiality of the feedback results. For example, the feedback ratings from several employees should be combined (averaged) to mask the identity of an individual employee. Comments or written answers to questions may be summarized in the results to mask the identity of the author. The confidentiality helps ensure that the results are genuine.
- Administer the questionnaire Distribute questionnaire forms (if using printed copies) with instructions. May want to prepare answers to common questions if other employees will be assisting in the administration. If possible, post the questions and answers to your website for easy access.
Administer it to everyone? Or, just a sample?
- Advantages of it to everyone:
All employees are given the opportunity to express their opinions
- Advantages of it only to a sample:
Reduced time to collect and process the data
Less data to collect
- Analyze the data Basic data analysis would include averages of ratings. More complicated analyses may include item-analysis and/or factor-analysis. Types of analyses include: Performance Dimension Summary; Summary-Performance vs. Expected; Individual Item Ratings; Item Ratings-Performance vs. Expected (normed); Highest- or Lowest-Rated Items (shows individual's strengths and weaknesses); Group & Organizational Ranking, and Recommendations for Development.
You may want to analyze the data by organizational division or department to assess group and organizational strengths and weaknesses. This can be used to support or promote training and organizational development.
- Written Interpretive Reports Examine data through written interpretive reports, which summarize the results of your study.
- Presentation of Survey Results The analysis of data in report format, or on a variety of other media, such as CD-ROM, diskette, or Internet.
- Develop and Distribute Results Feedback results should be shared with the employees.
You may want to provide individual review sessions or group workshops conducted by a facilitator to help individuals review and understand the results and develop appropriate goals and objectives.
An Employee Opinion Survey process requires a coordinated effort to collect hundreds, or even thousands, of pieces of data. In addition, the validity of the results is enhanced by ensuring confidentiality of the participants.
The survey administration may require time (to complete the questionnaires) and computer resources to analyze the data.
Benefits of using Internet
Fortunately, there are many software companies that offer tools to assist you in conducting this type of feedback process. Some links to these companies can be found at the HR-Software
- Web Access Are your employees scattered throughout the globe? Or, across different states? No problem, just use the Internet as the medium through which your feedback process is conducted.
- Confidentiality Although the data is collected by a third-party, the confidentiality is enhanced in that fewer internal employees have access to view the data.
- Simplified Data Analysis Spending time entering data into a spreadsheet or database for analysis? Use web based tools to collect, store, and analyze data.
Request a customized free online demo
If you are interested in developing an employee climate survey, this would be a good place to get started. Click the link below to access our Item Selector program. This will display a form containing a list of items. Just select the items you want included on your questionnaire and follow the instructions on the form.Item Selector
Access an item bank containing over 1,600 items.Item Bank
Here is a list of general survey questions:
- __ current activities reflect a strong focus on the customer
- __ does a good job communicating about changes or decisions that affect employees.
- __ is a good Company to work for
- __ is committed to providing competitive products and services
- __' image is that of a high quality Company
- __'s standards for business ethics are high.
- At __, my suggestions are given serious consideration.
- Being committed to excellence through continuous improvement in all activities to increase value for our customers
- Being the catalyst of change and innovation at the forefront of the industry
- Benefits available are appropriate for my needs and those of my family
- Career paths exist for someone like me in this company
- Conditions in my work area allow me to be highly productive.
- Considering everything, I am satisfied at __
- From my point of view the five most important issues raised in this survey are:
- Having a clear corporate "culture" (a clear set of values, a clear style of management, etc.)
- Having a minimum of "corporate politics" (favoritism in handling conflict, advancement based on "looking good," etc.)
- How long have you worked for __?
- How long have you worked for the company?
- I am able to balance work priorities with my personal life.
- I am able to contact Senior Management as needed.
- I am adequately recognized for my good work.
- I am aware of available training and development activities.
- I am committed to producing the highest quality work for our customers/members.
- I am compensated fairly for the work I do.
- I am expected to find new and better ways to get the job done.
- I am given a real opportunity to improve my skills in this Company
- I am given the training I need to do my job effectively
- I am happy to encourage friends and colleagues to work at __
- I am involved in decisions that affect my work
- I am made to feel that I am an important part of __
- I am proud to work for __.
- I am provided with opportunities to improve my skills.
- I am recognized by my manager for my contributions.
- I am satisfied with the increases in compensation.
- I am satisfied with the information I receive from Management on what's going on in the Company
- I am treated fairly by my supervisor.
- I believe __ will use this survey's feedback to make improvements
- I believe real changes can be made in my Department/Function as a result of this survey
- I believe that the HR department heeds my opinion with regard to Work and Family benefit needs
- I believe that the IT department asks my opinion with regard to technology needs
- I can clearly explain the business goals of my local Business Unit to others
- I can get the information I need to do my job
- I can see the link between my work and __ objectives
- I feel encouraged to come up with new and better ways of doing things
- I feel favoritism is not a problem in my department.
- I feel I have job security.
- I feel the company values honest answers.
- I feel the company's benefits meet my needs.
- I find my work challenging.
- I get the training I need to do a first-class job.
- I have a clear understanding of __ pay policy
- I have all the information I need to do my job well.
- I have clear measures for each of my objectives.
- I have enough information to do my job well
- I have participated in a Performance Management Process
- I have seen improvements as a result of the ____ action plans that were created.
- I have the flexibility to arrange my work schedule to meet my personal/family responsibilities.
- I have the freedom I need to meet customer needs.
- I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right
- I have the materials and equipment to do my job right.
- I have the necessary resources to perform my job.
- I have the training and support to do my job right.
- I know how my job impacts the mission of __.
- I know what is expected of me in my job.
- I participate in training and development opportunities that are available to me.
- I plan to be working for __ a year from now.
- I support the __ values in my day-to-day actions.
- I understand the criteria used to decide my compensation
- I understand the issues facing our customers/members.
- I would share the costs of an improved benefits plan.
- In general, career moves are handled fairly at __.
- In my Department/Function, decisions get made without unreasonable delay
- In my Department/Function, projects are managed well (from initiation and planning to execution and close-out)
- In my job I focus on problem solving instead of fault finding
- In my work group, we ask our internal customers what they require from us.
- In my work group, we participate in deciding how the work gets done.
- In the last 12 months my Manager has talked to me about my progress
- Job promotions are fair and equitable.
- Managers communicate a clear sense of direction for my organisation
- My co-workers and I work well together to accomplish our organization's goals.
- My department works well together to accomplish our organization's goals.
- My fellow employees are committed to doing quality work
- My group works well together to accomplish our organization's goals.
- My job is enjoyable and challenging
- My job makes good use of my skills and abilities
- My manager assists me to identify my training and development needs
- My Manager delegates work effectively
- My manager encourages my professional development
- My manager gets input and buy-in from me when making key decisions that impact my section.
- My manager has enough authority to get the work done.
- My Manager has set performance goals for my job
- My Manager holds me accountable for the work that I do
- My manager is available to me when I have questions or need help
- My Manager is effective in involving his/her employees in solving the problems we face as a unit
- My manager is fair and even handed in the treatment of all employees.
- My manager keeps me in the loop so that I know what is happening in the organization that impacts my work.
- My manager role models effective leadership (i.e., behavior that is ethical, moral, consistent, positive, just).
- My manager role models high standards for quality work.
- My Manager sets a good example
- My skills and abilities are utilized effectively by the company.
- My supervisor provides me with adequate feedback.
- My training meets my needs for my current job
- My work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment
- My work group focuses on fixing the problem rather than finding someone to blame.
- My workgroup looks for ways to change processes to improve productivity
- Our department staff meetings are filled with open and honest participation.
- Our organization has clearly identified the customers/members who receive our work.
- Our senior leaders establish a clear direction for the company.
- Our team's current activities reflect a strong focus on the customer
- Overall, I feel the organization is successful.
- Overall, my workload is reasonable.
- People get ahead as fast here as they do in other places
- Please comment on any other issue you would like to raise
- Rate your overall satisfaction with your job at __.
- Senior Management gives staff a clear picture of the direction in which __ is headed
- Technology available is appropriate for my needs and those of my customer
- The amount of pay you receive for your job compared to others doing similar work in our industry
- The extent to which you are kept informed about matters that affect you
- The extent to which you receive recognition when you do a good job
- The freedom you have to use your own judgment in getting the job done
- The information from this year's survey will be used constructively by management
- The internal practices of __ support my ability to deliver a high standard of quality to my customers
- The last time I asked someone from a different function for help, I got it
- The organization values diversity.
- The people I work with cooperate to get the work done
- The senior administration cares about my ideas.
- The tools and equipment I need to do my job right are readily available.
- There are opportunities for promotion in my role
- There is cooperation among team members.
- There is someone at work who encourages my development.
- Timely follow up on questions for Benefits, employee relations issues
- We have a plan to implement the organization's work.
- We have a set of values and beliefs that guide our decisions about work.
- We have prioritized our major goals.
- We know who is responsible for what, who needs to be informed, and who, if anyone, has veto power.
- We resolve conflict honestly, effectively and quickly.
- What is lacking in your work environment that might help you perform better?
- What is your level in the organization?
- What would make our organization more effective?