HelpContact UsFOILSite Map

Custom Navigation

Living in Tompkins County linkLearning in Tompkins County linkVisiting Tompkins County linkBusiness in Tompkins County linkTompkins County Government link

You are here:

You are here

> Workplace Climate Survey FAQ

Contact Information

WORKFORCE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION COMMITTEE

Governor Daniel D. Tompkins Building
Tompkins County Legislature’s Office
121 E. Court Street, Ithaca, NY
(607) 274-5434
View Full Info

Workplace Climate Survey FAQ

  1. What’s the purpose of doing a Workplace Climate Survey?
  2. What are the goals of the Workplace Climate Survey?
  3. Is this a work satisfaction survey?
  4. Who developed the Workplace Climate Survey?
  5. Is the Workplace Climate Survey confidential?
  6. There was a survey done in 2015. What is going to be different this time?
  7. What is the role of the Kaleidoscope Group?
  8. How will the survey be administered?
  9. What if I do not have access to a computer?
  10. How long is the survey?
  11. May I use County work time to complete the survey?
  12. Is my participation voluntary?
  13. Are respondents required to answer all the questions on the survey?
  14. What are the next steps after the survey is closed?
     

1. What’s the purpose of doing a Workplace Climate Survey?
The purpose of doing a Workplace Climate Survey is to find out employees’ perspectives related to our work environment.  A survey allows for confidential collection of feedback, which isn’t always possible in other forums. A survey also allows for an analytical view of the data—a reasonably objective organization-wide picture—and lets us see trends over time.

We have made progress since our last survey. Some changes happened quickly and some will take a bit more time. Here are a few examples of the changes that have been implemented since 2015:

  • The annual employee picnic,
  • Weekly “Cup of Joe with Joe” employee conversations with the past County Administrator,
  • Quarterly emails welcoming new employees,
  • Bocce tournaments,
  • Use of online "County Corridors" newsletter to communicate with employees,
  • Deputy Directors Cabinet and other middle-management sessions,  
  • Ongoing mandatory supervisory training for professional development of new and experienced supervisors,
  • Swift911 notification system.

There are many more suggestions still in development. We know there’s opportunity for continued improvement, and your survey responses will help bring this into focus.

2. What are the goals of the Workplace Climate Survey?
The overall goal of the survey is to help Tompkins County better understand how the existing organizational culture is supporting or hindering an equitable and respectful workplace. Survey results will provide a baseline assessment of the culture’s strengths and weaknesses—for the County as a whole and at the department level.  Small departments of under 10 employees will not receive their results by department since the small size does not allow for anonymity.

3. Is this a work satisfaction survey?
There will be questions about job satisfaction, but this survey is multi-dimensional with an emphasis on employee engagement and how our employees perceive the organization. The survey takes into account a number of things that impact workplace climate and asks your opinion on several different areas: work satisfaction, commitment to the organization, leadership effectiveness, inclusiveness and diversity, effective communication, access to opportunities for professional development, and accountability.

4. Who developed the Workplace Climate Survey?
The survey was developed by The Kaleidoscope Group, LLC, a Chicago-based consulting firm with over 20 years experience designing organizational assessments. Survey questions were developed in consultation with the County. (Also see response to question #6.)

5. Is the Workplace Climate Survey confidential?
Yes, absolutely. You will not be asked to put your name on the survey and your individual feedback, including demographic data, is confidential. Our survey administrator, The Kaleidoscope Group, will not release any raw data to the County. We will only see aggregated data, not individual responses.  If an employee identifies their department and is in a department of under 10, no department report will be created.  The information will only be aggregated into a full county report.

6. There was a survey done in 2015. What is going to be different this time?
The 2018 survey will be similar to the 2015 survey with a few changes to clarify questions and make it more user-friendly.  Kaleidoscope Group and their affiliate, Walker Surveys, will compare the 2015 survey with the 2018 results. Kaleidoscope Group will in turn provide County leadership with guidance to interpret the results, and assistance in deploying and sustaining best practices for an inclusive, equitable and respectful workplace.

7. What is the role of the Kaleidoscope Group?
The Kaleidoscope Group, LLC, (KG) is a full-service, diversity and inclusion (D&I) consulting firm headquartered in Chicago with a national presence and global reach. Founded in 1993, The Kaleidoscope Group is recognized among the top 10 pioneers in the D&I industry. The Kaleidoscope Group believes that any organization, like a kaleidoscope turning, can transform its performance with equally brilliant results. See this link for more information on KG: http://kgdiversity.com/

KG will serve as the survey administrator. They will develop the survey and provide us with a report and recommendations. KG will use a third-party vendor, Walker Information, to program the survey, collect respondent feedback and analyze the data. See this link for more information on Walker: http://www.walkerinfo.com/

8. How will the survey be administered?
The survey will be administered online from May 7-May 25, 2018. An email will be sent to all employees when the survey is officially launched. All employees and members of the County Legislature are encouraged to participate.

In addition to the online survey, employees can use paper surveys, access the survey from your smart phone, or utilize kiosks in Human Resources, and possibly other departments.  Please contact your supervisor or department head for details.

9. What if I do not have access to a computer?
If you do not have access to a computer in your work area, a paper survey can be made available. Please contact your supervisor or department head for details.  Once the survey starts, a card with a QR Code will be attached to posters throughout all County buildings with a link to the survey to take it on your smart phone.

A computer kiosk will be available in Human Resources, and possibly other departments, for those without access to a computer in their work area.

10. How long is the survey?
Estimated time to complete the survey is 20-30 minutes. You must complete the survey in one sitting; you cannot start the survey, stop, and then re-start where you left off.

There are approximately 50 questions on the survey, not including voluntary demographic data. Most questions will ask you to rate your level of satisfaction or level of agreement with a particular statement. Here are a few examples (for illustrative purpose):

  • There is a spirit of cooperation among those with whom I work.
  • I am clear on my roles and responsibilities.
  • My supervisor encourages suggestions from all employees.
  • I feel valued by my employer.

The survey will also include two open-ended questions that ask for your ideas for creating a positive and inclusive work environment for every employee.

11. May I use County work time to complete the survey?
Yes, all employees are approved to use work time to complete the survey within their regularly scheduled work hours. All Department Heads have been made aware of this.

12. Is my participation voluntary?
The survey is voluntary and we encourage all employees to complete the survey. We want to hear from each and every one of you so we get an accurate understanding of what our workplace climate is likeIn 2015 we had 62% of employees participate; we are striving for a greater response in 2018.

13. Are respondents required to answer all the questions on the survey?
We need your best answer to each question, although response to all questions is not required. Your engagement in this process is one of the best mechanisms for enabling real change to occur. Again, the survey is voluntary and we encourage all employees to complete the survey in its entirety.

14. What are the next steps after the survey is closed?
After the Kaleidoscope Group and Walker Surveys compile the results, their report will be shared with you and used to develop action plans focused on areas where improvement is needed. Because our diversity policy calls for surveys to be undertaken every three years, the results will also help us track our progress over time.  We are actively working on several different ways to get the final results to all employees.