Study of Organization Climate Through a Pulse Survey Essay

Abstract: To gather an insight on the voice of their internal customers on various practices and trends in company, the Performance Management Team in the company conducted a survey which would help them realign their deliverables according to the expectations and also learn new ideas on improvement in current functioning directly from them. A pulse survey was conducted to study the organizational climate of the company in order to get an insight on what the employees feel about the different processes and practices from various branches from the Insurance Company.

The adopted methodology for the survey involved understanding of Performance Management practices followed by the company, for which a detailed study of the Performance Management System of the company was carried out along with reading of their manual. The data was collected by preparing schedules. This survey was administered by conducting discussions with employees from different clusters and branches to get accurate and detailed data from the respondents. The discussions were carried out in groups of six to seven employees from different channels.

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Primary sources of data included interactions with employees, and the HR staff. Secondary sources of data were the Standard Operating Procedures and other publications of the organization. 1. Introduction: Organizational Climate: Organizational climate is comprised of mixture of norms, values, expectations, policies and procedures that influence work motivation, commitment and ultimately, individual and work unit performance. Positive climate encourages, while negative climates inhibits discretionary effort.

Organizational climate has a major influence on human performance through its impact on individual motivation and job satisfaction. Individuals in the organization have certain expectations and fulfillment of these expectations depend upon their perception as to how the organizational climate suits to the satisfaction of their needs. Thus organizational climate provides a type of work environment in which individuals feels satisfied or dissatisfied. Since satisfaction of individual goes a long way in determining his efficiency, organizational climate can be said to be directly related with his performance in the organization.

Monitoring the Pulse of the employees: Pulse Survey: A pulse survey is a powerful means to assess the internal operating health or climate of an organization. The periodic collection of employee opinions through a pulse survey is an important management practice to view the current status of the view of employees, and also to monitor the trends in those opinions. A major advantage to the pulse survey is that, because it is routine, the mechanism is set up for the organization to get input from employees on very current or special issues.

Initiative: • The Human Resource team needed to initiate an activity promoting the essence of employment experience, and providing touch points that continue throughout the tenure of employment, extending the feeling of closeness with the organization’s culture. • It took up this initiative to build a dialogue between an employer and its employers, build a rationale for a ‘mutual working arrangement’, and establish compelling reasons to commit to the arrangement. • The company has a distributive environment with the branches spread cross various locations around Mumbai, so branding the survey will create awareness and fervor among the employees from all channels. • With this in mind the survey was given an appropriate name for the employees to associate with the purpose and objective. 1. Objectives: An organizational climate study enables a successful organization to operate more efficiently through the use of worker input and satisfaction ratings. The following major points were emphasized while conducting the study – • To understand and provide the organization with a timely, accurate record of the current working climate. To find the areas of improvement in the prevalent practices in the Performance Management Systems and the Rewards & Recognition processes followed by the company and present the findings for consideration and adoption. • To study the views of employees on the current Human Resource practices and process and Trend analysis of the employee views on the same and realign the process delivery to meet them. • To help in branding the HR department and build a point of contact between them and the internal customers. 2. Methodology: Primary sources of data included interactions with employees.

The primary data was collected through schedules, in which the proforma contained the set of questions based on the objectives. The schedules were prepared in a format to facilitate easy recording of the responses from the employees. Conducting Organizational Climate study required the preparation of a detailed set of questions which could capture all possible areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction of employees. The questions were prepared to understand the perception and views of employees on the organization and mostly on the HR issues and practices forming a major part of the survey.

Two enumerators were appointed for conducting this survey. An invitation email was circulated to the selected respondents briefing the objectives of my study. This was to create awareness among the employees about the study being conducted and how important their active participation is, to make the study a success for the organization in bringing some positive change. The schedules were carried along during the pulse meetings. The questions were asked to the respondents from the proforma in the order they were listed and the replies were recorded in the space meant for the same in the proforma.

The aims and objectives of the survey were explained to remove any difficulties which any respondent would have felt in understanding the implications of particular questions or any difficult concepts. The major sources of secondary data were the documents and records of the organization and the Standard operating procedures. 3. Company Profile: The company chosen for the research was a life insurance company. India’s insurance industry has changed significantly in the past two years, as a range of global European and US insurance companies have been launched in Mumbai and Delhi.

Previously depressed salary rates, limited employee movement and low penetration in the insurance sector have been replaced with a boom in demand for talented insurance specialists. Convergence, globalization, and consolidation – as well as new technologies and changing demographics – are impacting the pace and level of change in the insurance industry. As a result, insurance companies will be challenged to remain competitive, and ultimately, to thrive. Having talent that can both adapt to change and meet customer demands, has become a priority.

Insurance companies continue to face challenges in both recruiting skilled professionals and fully developing home-grown talent. The present situation in India’s insurance sector is a welcome development as it enhances the strength of employers as well as the career opportunities of insurance industry professionals. 4. Sample Size: The sample size for the survey consisted of 42 respondents. The respondent for the Pulse survey were chosen from different functions within the company. 5. Limitations: • The study was limited to a brief period of two months only. Due to the busy schedule of the employees, covering more number of respondents was difficult. • Opinions of the employees may be biased at times. • The other important limitations cannot be disclosed as per the company policies. 6. Analysis and Findings: After collecting the responses from all the respondent, analysis was performed using simple excel. General: Reasons given by the employees to like working in the company: The employees from different departments gave these replies as reasons for working in the company. These were the reasons why they liked to work with the organization.

The brand name brings a strong sense of trust among the people. It gives the employees a confidence required to boost their performance. The work environment observed is friendlier. People are approachable and helpful. The compliance driven processes make the work very ethical. The company focuses on the employee aspirations and gives opportunities for the employees to develop and build new skills. The training provided adds value to work. People issues: Lack of synergy between the Corporate office and the Zone: The branch staff feels that they are not respected for their work by the corporate office employees.

Corporate office is not quick in responding to important issues. The credibility of the HR staff is reduced as the corporate office is very slow in responding to their queries. Corporate office lacks a sense of urgency when it comes to the zone’s work. Unreasonable demands leads to duplication of work for the HR staff at the zone office. There needs to be some autonomy given to the people at the zone level. Lack of synergy between the different departments: The designation and status of the person is sometimes considered by the people in the company while doing the work done.

Building a rapport is important to get a work done faster. The systems in different departments are not properly linked. Work is department specific, and there is no accountability taken by the employees from different departments. People are less responsive, with no willingness to help beyond one’s call of duty. The lower level staff emails as well as interdepartmental staff’s work may be ignored at times. Sometimes the TAT is ignored when it comes to the work of lower level staff, delaying their work. There is also no inter-departmental gathering to build good relations within them.

Compliance & Time consuming processes: The joining formalities involve too much of paper work. The processes involve a lot of documentation making it very slow and tedious. Compliance makes the work very rigid. E-claims process is very slow, with no proper training given about the use and implementation on the same. The processes sometimes change with no prior intimation. Communication: Company communicates well with the employees- Response of the employees A majority of the employees replied that the company does not communicate the changes and the happenings to them regularly.

The reasons for the poor communication were given as the missing connectivity between the different branches. Structural changes are not communicated. Information about the company is not shared with the employees; as a result business may be hampered. Top management needs to know about the difficulties faced by the employees at the ground level. Alignment of roles and responsibilities with the vision of the department: The roles and responsibilities of all the employees are discussed by their supervisors along with the discussion of their career growth.

The employees get enough access to the required documents for faster completion of work. But the follow- up with the facilities department may at times be difficult. Continuous Learning: The corporate training provided in the company is very good. The employees who disagreed with more opportunities given at work said that the tedious work gave them very little time to add value to their work making it monotonous. Concern with the HR department: The employees from the HR department were dissatisfied with the opportunities that they received in the organization.

They also sensed a lack of direction from their superiors. There was a necessity to have training programmes within the department to enhance their knowledge as there was a feeling of learning becoming stagnant after a period of time as no new tasks were given to perform. Performance Management System: Process- The employees responded that they had fairly less knowledge of the way the process is conducted. They felt the necessity for the system to be conducted in a more transparent manner. The discussion regarding the ratings given to them was done before their final ratings had come.

However, the final ratings were changed without prior intimation of the same. The change in the final ratings decreased their trust on the system of rating. They felt that the rationale behind the ratings given to them should be explained in a more comprehensive way. The goal setting discussion was done with the employees, except in case of the HR staff. The HR had no goal sheet given to them, which was important to understand the expectations and the directions of their performance. Rewards and Recognition: The support functions felt the need for more recognition for their work.

There is a need to know about the criteria for the awards. The employees appreciated the communication from the HR department regarding the nominations for the rewards. Work Environment: Most of the employees felt the need for tremendous development in the IT system. The operations department finds it difficult to carry out their tasks as the IT systems are very slow. The transaction processing system requires to work faster and be upgraded. The training room in some branches is very congested causing inconvenience. 7. Conclusion:

The general picture emerging out of these findings indicate that overall a favorable climate exists in the organization. The organization has a pool of professionals which are working for a larger cause and meeting their professional satisfaction. The organization shows great deal of transparency in decision making. The employees receive adequate opportunities from the company required by them to excel in career. The management believes in having a participative approach to decision making. Also the organization offers enough scope for personal and professional growth.

There is a great emphasis on capacity building and skill enhancement of the employees. The organization needs to communicate better with the employees. The employees feel the structural changes that take place in the company are not conveyed to them on a regular basis. There is a need for more communication from the HR department to solve the daily queries. 8. Bibliography • Survey Research in Organizations – By Kenneth R. Bartlett • Organizational climate and culture – By Benjamin Schneider • Organization Behaviour – By Stephen Robbins

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