How strong and healthy is your work climate?

Back in 1999 there was a business best-seller, First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, which was based on extensive research on how some of the best managers in the world build and motivate teams of people. Thousands of interviews and some compelling data made it a popular read.

Just the other day, we stumbled across a list of a dozen questions from that book that the authors identified as their best, albeit simplest, measure of the ” . . . strength of a workplace.” “These questions don’t capture everything you may want to know about your workplace but they measure the core elements needed to attract, focus, and keep the most talented employees,” they wrote.

We got to thinking how these questions most certainly apply to a nonprofit organization and definitely could also help individual members of your team, regardless of status on the organization chart, explore the health of their own work experience. These could make for a provocative dialogue and, it seems, could lead to a different conclusion than simply “healthy” or “not healthy.” Some, certainly not all, of these questions also suggest that pursuing a positive experience is a shared responsibility of the individual and not simply the employer. What do you think?

1.   Do I know what is expected of me at work?

2.   Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

3.   At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4.   In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?

5.   Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6.   Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

7.   At work, do my opinions seem to count?

8.   Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important?

9.   Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?

10.  Do I have a best friend at work?

11.  In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone about my progress?

12.  At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?


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