Organisational climate is about the perceptions of the climate AND about absolute measures. Climate, as a metaphor is helpful - e.g. temperature is a measurable element of geographic climate, but it is not the absolute temperature that matters as much as human perception of it (is it cold, hot, or comfortable?). It is only after knowing what temperature means in terms of human comfort, that measurement of temperature becomes useful. Complicating perception is the probability that what may be too cool for one person may be too warm for another and just right for someone else.
Similarly for organisations, the ‘climate’ may be regarded in absolute terms and measured by instruments, but is ‘felt’ differently by individuals. The absolute climate may suit one person and not another. “What it’s like to work here” or ‘How I feel when I work here”.
Climate is worthwhile to understand and measure because there are organisational and human benefits a ‘good’ climate, and powerful disadvantages of many kinds of bad climate.
NOTE: Deltapoint offers measurement services and workshops in organisational climate. Deltapoint also offers a program to facilitate “Strategic Climate Planning & Management” - a program unique to Deltapoint and with enormous potential to influence organisational performance. Our services can be provided in person or via communications technology such as video conferencing etc.
People are attracted by the organisations objective climate (‘things’ they expect)
- They leave because of the perceptual climate (the way they ‘feel’)
Optimise objective climate to ATTRACT people
- Optimise perceptual climate to KEEP people