FOUR ORGANIZATIONAL ASSESSMENT TOOLS
1. The Climate or Attitude Survey
This is a method of assessing the current feeling(s) and opinion(s) within the organization regarding particular topic(s), issue(s), initiative(s), or action(s). The climate survey collects data related to “what it feels like” to work in this organization. While the climate of a country reflects things like the temperature, amount of rain and sun, and the length of the growing season, the climate of an organization reflects the same type of quantifiable surface characteristics. You can experience the climate of a country at poolside in a resort hotel while sipping Mai Tais and never meet the natives. You can obtain climate and attitude information with a survey sent out from a comfortable corner office and never know there are unaddressed issues beneath the surface or relating to other issues. However, you do not raise expectations that action will be taken to address issues other than those specifically being surveyed. If the organization is interested in what employees feel about one or more specific issues, topics, initiatives, or actions, you should conduct a climate or attitude survey.
2. The Operational Audit
This is a method of assessing the processes, procedures, methods, and activities of the organization. The operational audit gathers data on both the actual processes and procedures that are being followed and also those that are specified and prescribed in manuals, handbooks, rules and regulations, and guidelines. It compares the two to assess the level of variance or compliance between them. This method provides a snapshot of what the organization is actually doing to achieve its results. An operational audit of a country would look not only at the laws and regulations on the books, but also at the way the citizens work around those laws and the level of consistency with which they are applied. Similarly, an organization would analyze the processes and procedures that actually occur and compare them to “the rules.” This audit determines the level of consistency of procedures in actual practice throughout the organization. If an organization is interested in the level of compliance with prescribed and documented policies, procedures, and methods, you should conduct an operational audit.
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