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A person’s attitude is his or her ways of thinking and underlying assumptions. Attitude in the workplace is a factor in productivity, just as skills are. In fact, at least one survey has shown that a majority of organizations rank attitude in the workplace as being of greater concern than skills and competencies. For an employer, keeping an eye on attitudes in the workplace — both before and after hiring — can assist in decisions on choices to make in terms of benefits, compensation, and other workplace features to help a company be more productive, and not having this information makes it difficult to align decisions with employee preferences. There are several methods available to assess attitude in the workplace.
The standard way to assess attitude in the workplace is to use a survey instrument, and it’s important to know that while some surveys are concerned with attitude in the workplace in general, a survey can be specially conceived to address a particular question that relates to employee attitudes. Tracking employee attitudes over time is the best way to have a sense of the interaction between the circumstances of employment and attitude. It’s also important for surveys to evolve as the organization evolves. Another approach is to use existing data on file in the company’s human resources files, including performance reviews, perhaps along with a survey. Informal assessment of attitudes also contributes to obtaining a full picture of employee attitudes.
To determine the attitude in your workplace, you might follow these steps. First, determine what aspect of employee attitude you want to know about, for example, the response to a change in the telephone system, whether it would be significantly beneficial to add another personal day, or the general, overall attitude towards management. Second, look at information about existing attitude instruments, and ask your human resources team for recommendations. Third, search for an existing instrument, hire a consultant to construct one, or speak to your human resources department about developing an in-house tool.
Finally, prepare your employees prior to administering a survey for the first time. Let employees know what benefits or positive outcomes you hope to derive from this added task. Make arrangements so that the information gathering doesn’t interfere with their work or unnecessarily burden them with its length.