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Organisational Climate

The climate in an organisation is an expression of employee perceptions of the atmosphere created by the organisation through policies, practices, and rewards. It is the ‘feeling in the air’ when you enter an office or department or building and is a current expression of the organisation’s culture.

Her research described the five key themes of organisational climate as.

  • Structure
  • Rewards and Recognition
  • Cohesion
  • Warmth and Support
  • Customer Care

The measurement of organisational climate that we have developed is based on the use of a questionnaire to research these five key themes and their dimensions. For example, the high customer- retaining branches in the original study scored more highly on all five themes than the low customer-retaining branches.

More recent studies have included:-

1) In 2005, winners of the Unisys/Management Today Service Excellence Awards Scheme were assessed. This study found evidence to support a number of significant conclusions. These were:-

  • That the five key themes (and their supporting dimensions) are evident as key measures of a climate that supports best practice customer service
  • That best practice customer service organisations would score highly on all five key themes of the climate framework.
  • That best practice customer service organisations would score more highly on all five key themes than other organisations
  • That a favourable climate requires a close alignment of employee and management views about customer service.

2) In 2006, we had the opportunity to further test the climate research methodology in three disparate organisations, the financial services arm of an automotive retailer, the IT department of a local authority and a private hospital. Our conclusions included:

  • The findings confirm the value of the survey tool as an assessor of an organisations climate and have proven its effectiveness in both the public and the private sectors.
  • Departmental and Management v Non-Management analysis provides meaningful insight into issues and areas of concern in organisations where the climate is in need of improvement.
  • The organisations surveyed in this study, particularly the private hospital and the local authority department, have organisational climates that are in need of significant improvement. Service Excellence Organisations have a lot to teach organisations like these.
  • The qualitative part of the survey is extremely useful in highlighting climate issues and suggesting possible approaches to achieve improvement.

3) Since 2006 we have conducted surveys for a number of organisations to help them to assess their organisational climate and provided feedback and guidance to assist them in addressing identified issues.

  • Some organisations have used the survey to provide an annual 'health check'. Results are used to provide guidance to improvement efforts.
  • Other organisations have used the survey to assess organisational climate across a number of geograpies (e.g. on a Europe-wide basis).