Understand the concept of organizational climate and how to change it

organizational climate

The organizational climate survey is the first step towards change.

The climate in the company can influence the performance of your business. Do you know the concept of organizational climate?

Everyone has experienced this in their professional life: a certain tension in the company, the general feeling that their efforts are unrecognized. The air becomes heavy…

On the other hand, at other times, there may be a sense of overall motivation, teamwork and collaboration towards success!

Why does it happen? How can this affect your company’s results? Is there a solution?

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This issue is so important that companies like Google and Facebook have become famous for promoting the improvement of the organizational climate, providing more pleasant and colorful environments, instituting alternatives for rest, leisure and fun in the workplace itself, in addition to working with flexible hours, more autonomy and freedom for each employee to dedicate themselves to their tasks.

But of course the solution is not that simplistic. It’s not enough to put a few foosball tables in a room or paint a wall a bright color and buy a retro red fridge to alter sensations as complex as these.

To better understand this subject, let’s delve a little deeper into the concept of organizational climate, taking a quick look at the theory, with the help of some experts on the subject.

Meanings of Organizational Climate

The concept of organizational climate, contrary to what many people think, is not a recent issue.

Business administration has been paying attention to this issue for some decades, seeking to understand how the quality of the work environment felt by the members of an organization can significantly affect the performance of workers.

An unfavorable organizational climate affects your team's performance.

An unfavorable organizational climate affects your team’s performance.

It was around 1930 that the concept of organizational climate began to be discussed. And it is interesting to note how different meanings of organizational climate have been proposed throughout this period until today. Let’s meet some of them:

Concepts about organizational climate

It is the quality or property of the organizational environment, which is perceived or experienced by members of the organization and influences their behavior.

Lit win

The degree of similarity between the organization’s expectations and those of employees.”

W. Glick

Perceived organizational support.

R. Eisenberg and R. Huntington

The structure of the organization.

R. Payne and D. Pugh

It is a reflection of the state of mind or the degree of satisfaction of a company’s employees. It is the psychological atmosphere that surrounds, at a given moment, the relationship between the company and its employees.

R. Light

A set of measurable properties of the work environment perceived, directly or indirectly, by individuals who live and work in this environment and that influence the motivation and behavior of these people.

I. Chiavenato

Despite the somewhat stilted language of these organizational climate definitions, some important points should be made clear:

  • The organizational climate is something perceived, therefore it is subjective.
  • The organizational climate is a complex concept, composed of different elements that interact.
  • It has an important influence on the performance and performance of employees in organizations.
  • There is an expectation on the part of employees about what the company should offer them.

It is necessary to discover the different perceptions of the organizational climate in your company.

It is necessary to discover the different perceptions of the organizational climate in your company.

Another conclusion that most renowned authors defend is that the root of organizational climate problems lies in relationship difficulties, on three levels.

Difficulty in relationships, work and cooperation between

  • Members of the same team.
  • Between areas or departments of a company.
  • Between managers and their subordinates, their team.

Now that we’ve had a brief summary of the theory behind the concept of organizational climate, let’s look at what it’s most immediate effects are for your business.

What are the types of organizational climate?

The following are the most popular types of organizational climate. They serve as thermometers to understand the perception of employees about the company as an environment for coexistence with superiors and peers:

  • good organizational climate: the company’s environment is pleasant and conducive to attracting and retaining new talent;
  • Medium: reflects a company that is going through a crisis and is unable to establish a transparent relationship with its team of employees. Therefore, it has unmotivated and disengaged employees who can infect other employees.
  • Bad: company with a harmful environment, does not exercise values ​​such as open dialogue and transparency. It faces high turnover rates and low talent retention.

What can lead to a bad organizational climate?

There are several consequences that can affect your company when employees perceive the organization’s climate as unfavorable:

  • Loss of talent, dissatisfaction with the company.
  • Drop in productivity.
  • Increased turnover with a consequent increase in hiring, training and other expenses.
  • Low motivation and lack of engagement in the company’s projects and objectives.
  • High rate of material waste.
  • Drop in attendance at work and increase in delays.
  • Increased number of requests for sick leave due to health problems.
  • Increased production losses.
  • It reduces creativity and the search for innovative solutions.
  • Increased deviations and misappropriations.
  • Lack of commitment.

As you have seen, it is necessary to be aware and look for solutions, before a bad climate settles in your company. For this, the first step is the Organizational Climate Survey.

Organizational weather research

When we analyze the concept of organizational climate, we see that there is a key factor in this equation: the perception of employees. So if we want to figure out how to change the weather, we need to understand what’s perceived as bad. Only after that can we take steps to change this situation.

The organizational climate survey is the first step towards change.

What is analyzed in an organizational climate survey?

  • If the company seems to be a good place to work in the opinion of employees.
  • Identify what are the factors that lead employees to feel unmotivated.
  • Likewise, what drives them to feel motivated?
  • What employees think about people management practices in the company?
  • Detect if there is a correct practice of task delegation by the management.
  • See if there is a feeling of working towards a common goal.
  • If everyone is aware of the organization’s mission, vision, values ​​and objectives.
  • If managers demonstrate that they have the skills required for their functions.
  • Understand how relationships are taking place within the company.

By analyzing these and other points, the manager will be able to understand what needs to be changed, define objectives and concrete actions.

But the change process itself is neither simple nor quick. One of the most important points for success is to show everyone that there is an effective will to make the changes and that the answers given in the climate survey were heard and will be taken into account.

How to do an organizational climate survey?

In order to carry out an organizational climate survey, it is important to comply with the schedule below. It brings the 5 fundamental steps for the elaboration of an effective material that is coherent with the company’s reality.

  1. Scenario study: at this stage, it is important to identify if there is any imminent problem in the company that needs to be addressed with greater care or delicacy in the climate survey;
  2. Choice of methodology: what is the best format for the survey? Online? Physics, with filling in ballots? Through a questionnaire?
  3. Execution: at this stage, the research developed is applied to the company’s staff;
  4. Evaluation of results: the responses obtained in the Execution phase are evaluated and interpreted
  5. Diagnosis: through a report, the company consolidates the information obtained in the evaluation phase and draws action plans to overcome the identified deviations.