HCCM Organisational Climate Survey


The ‘climate’ in an organisation is an expression of employee perception of the atmosphere within the workplace, created through policies, practices, and rewards - it is the ‘feeling in the air’ when you enter an office or department, and is a current expression of the organisation’s culture.

Through research into organisational culture and objectives, the HCCM has created an assessment tool for evaluating the current climate within an organisation, providing valuable insights and expert guidance for designing interventions and directing improvements.

Below you will find an outline of the theory underpinning the HCCM Organisational Climate Survey, as well as a review of surveys conducted on behalf of a number of organisations.

If you would like to know more about the survey questionnaire or think that you might want to conduct a survey within your own organisation, please contact the HCCM team for advice on the process and associated costs.

Organisational Climate Research

An introduction to HCCM research on Organisational Climate, and how it affects the Customer Experience

In her original doctoral thesis, Professor Moira Clark suggested that the links in the literature between employee perception of organisational climate, employee satisfaction and behaviour, and customer behaviour and retention, provide the foundation for identifying the key aspects of organisational climate - these in turn may help to explain, for example, the contrasts in customer service between high customer-retaining branches and low customer-retaining branches in large retail banks.

Moira's research described the five key themes of organisational climate as:

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

The measurement of organisational climate that we 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 than the low customer-retaining branches on all five themes.

Further Studies & Surveys

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

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 vs. 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 element of the survey is extremely useful in highlighting climate issues and suggesting possible approaches to achieve improvement

Since 2006 we have conducted surveys for a number of organisations to help them 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 compared to previous surveys and used to provide guidance on improvement efforts
  • Other organisations have used the survey to assess organisational climate across a number of geographies (e.g. on a Europe-wide basis, or comparing US vs. UK operations)

To review past projects contributing to/benefiting from our research into organisational climate, please review our HCCM Research History, and for further information on the HCCM Organisational Climate Survey including advice on the process of conducting a survey within your own organisation, please contact the HCCM team.

Contact us

For more information, please contact:

Daniel Bateman
Client Relationship Executive
Email: d.bateman@henley.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)7970 929880

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