Company Climate Surveys: Do They Work?

Asset Management
by Guest Columnist

There is certainly an upside to company climate surveys—feedback from employees can provide valuable insight. However, these surveys are only beneficial if respondents are honest, and sometimes leaders must overcome a lot of fear among employees to get to that level of open honesty.

Mary Shacklett writes, “Company climate surveys have been conducted for years, but there is still an ongoing debate on their pros and cons, and no best practice consensus of how to make them work for every organization.

“Why is there confusion, given this lengthy history?

“First, let’s look at what a climate survey is.

“An employee climate survey usually consists of a set of multiple choice questions that employees respond to. These questions ask employees various things about how they feel about working at the company. Common question topics concern management, peers, work environment, benefits and compensation, teamwork, skills development, and advancement opportunities.

“Input from these surveys can help companies fine-tune themselves if they discover that their compensation packages are not perceived well—or physical work environments can be improved—or more investment in training and promotional advancement opportunities are needed to spearhead employee motivation and to improve employee retention.

“But there’s also a dark side to these climate surveys: employees and their managers fear them.

“So what’s to fear when these surveys are performed anonymously and by outside consultants?”

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