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7 Keys to Creating and Maintaining a Positive Agency Climate

What is Climate?

Organizational climate, using a weather metaphor is the “atmosphere of the work place.” It answers the question of, “What is it like to work here?” Climate is a complex mixture of feelings, perceptions, expectations, norms, values, policies, and procedures which summarize the statement, “the way we do things around here.” It is, in effect, the “culture” of the organization.

Why is Climate important?

Creating a positive organizational climate is important because climate dramatically impacts individual and organizational performance. It impacts not only your “bottom- line” measured by individual performance, efficiency and effectiveness, but also contributes to all of those intangibles like the ability to attract top candidates to your organization. Climate can help to differentiate you from your competition. It can be created and/or changed through a conscious and direct effort of management.

What are the 7 key Climate dimensions?

While there are many aspects of organizational climate, the following seven dimensions were selected because they are the most critical and you have the most control over creating and/or influencing them.

Regulation. The degree to which people feel that their work activities are controlled by too many rules, unnecessary procedures and unreasonable policies which get in the way of doing the job.

Initiative. The degree to which people feel that they are encouraged to take individual initiative in running their jobs without having to constantly check with their “boss.”

Job Clarity. The degree to which people feel their jobs and the lines of authority within the organization are clearly defined and logically structured.

Standards. The degree to which people feel that management places importance on doing a good job and the continued improvement of personal performance.

Recognition. The degree to which people feel that there is an emphasis on rewards for a job well done, rather than punishment and criticism when things go wrong.

Caring. The degree to which people feel warmly but honestly supported by management, they trust that management is concerned about their well being.

Team Spirit. The degree to which people see the organization as a well functioning team that they are proud to belong to, they enjoy working together.

Give yourself and/or your organization the test!

On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is low and 10 is high, rate yourself or your organization on the above seven dimensions two times. First, based upon the ideal situation, then a second time based on how it actually is. Start with the dimensions where the greatest gap exists. Define the action steps you can take to improve in that area, then move on to the next greatest gap and continue the process.

Good luck on your journey to success.

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