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IMPLEMENTATION OF ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATE SURVEY FOR PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT AND COMPETITIVENESS OF AN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COMPANY


Aryel Clementino Cruza, Leandro Domingos Tavaresb

aUniversidade Cândido Mendes, bUniversidade Federal Fluminense

ABSTRACT

The organizational climate represents the organization's environment considering the staff, human relations and the resources available to carry out the work. In this concept, it is considered also the quality and the search for improved organizational performance based on people's behavior change. The reason for the research is characterized by the following question: how can the organizational climate research be an effective tool to diagnose the degree of motivation of employees and improve the performance of corporate management? This study has the general objective to analyze the organizational climate in order to improve the working conditions of the company that operates in the information technology sector, so as to diagnose the satisfaction and expectation factors and to evaluate the performance of employees. As for scientific research classification, it is a case study built on bibliographical research and analysis of the survey results that were sent to 78 employees through Google Docs. The organizational climate survey was based on theoretical basis, highlighting the following factors: leadership, interpersonal relationships, communication, T&D, pay system, quality, productivity, and working conditions. Finally, the results showed: dissatisfaction indices for the leading system for organizational communication and the compensation system; and satisfaction ratings for interpersonal relations and working conditions. This information was used for preparing an action plan for the management of organizational culture and, consequently, improving the performance and competitiveness of the company.

Descriptors: Organizational Climate, People Management, Information Technology.

1. INTRODUCTION

Studies on the organizational climate are essential for the diagnosis of the internal environment of organizations, enabling the planning of interventions and changes, regardless of the fact that the organization is public or private.

According to Luz (2003b, p.12), "organizational climate is a reflection of the mood or the degree of satisfaction of employees in a company at a given moment."

The organizational climate study opens a new dimension in the search for explanations of organizational behavior, especially when facing the identification of the aspects that influence the perception of those institutional problems, still lacking theoretical concern mainly in the federal public universities, recently hit by globalization and the reform of the state apparatus (Rizzati, 2002, p.20).

One of the parameters for analyzing the work environment is determining the level of satisfaction with which the worker performs his tasks and how this level of satisfaction can affect the quality of the activities and the effectiveness expected by the institution.

When workers enter professionally in a company, they supposedly seek satisfaction of their personal development needs as well as professional fulfillment, and the achievement of these objectives is linked directly to the importance the company gives to people management and to the scope of the effectiveness of its results.

Therefore, the good performance of these workers is the result of an effective strategy of development of quality services, or goods produced, together with the efficient development of people collaborating.

Satisfaction with the work includes the results of concepts, treatment and fair procedures. If you do not see justice in your boss, in the procedures of the company or its remuneration policy, your job satisfaction declines considerably.

However, when you realize that the company's processes and results are fair, trust is created. And when you trust your employer, you have more willingness to engage voluntarily in behaviors that exceed your regular duties (Robbins, 2002, p. 78).

The organizational climate is reflected not only individually, but also collectively, in all business spheres, influencing employee satisfaction and its performance, as well as the performance of the entire organization. According to Ewis (2015), an organizational climate development work influences significantly and positively the commitment and organizational engagement.

The rationale for this study is related to the following question: how can the organizational climate research be an effective tool to diagnose the degree of motivation of employees and improve the performance of corporate management? Based on the presented problem, the objective of this study is to analyze the organizational climate in order to improve the work environment in a company that operates in the information technology sector.

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Organizations and people management

Every institution, whether public or private, must rely on the operational support of workers for its operation and shows the need to structure and guide the activities developed by them.

During the twentieth century, following historical and conceptual changes on the so-called work, the relationships between companies and their body of workers, and the understanding in terms of the importance of the business strategic development has also been modernized.

It is understood, therefore, that the people management sector is committed to help form the type of professionals the institutions want, in order to develop both the institution and the worker, showing the subjective character of the individual within the institution.

One of the people management models that has been evolving and gaining prominence is the management model based on people skills. Still little known in the Brazilian public sector, management skills means looking for work through a lens that combines knowledge, know-how, experience and behaviors exercised in specific context (Amaral, 2006).

Thus, the foundation for the use of skills in the current personnel management policy starts to have a conceptual dynamism, which correlates the skills necessary for the success of the organization to its employees’, not prioritizing the use of competency approach solely for the design of the functions and their duties.

In this context, we believe that management skills can contribute to staffing, allowing greater identification between the duties established by law, the effective practice with the enterprise sectors and the personal wishes of each worker.

2.2 Organizational Climate

In line with the new vision of "people management", where the workforce is recognized as "active subject" of the organizational action, a major challenge faced by the institutions is to harmonize the diversity of this workforce.

People carry out activities related to their craft in different ways, as they deal with bosses and colleagues in different ways; they also differ in terms of the effort spent to perform tasks; establish different values for stability in employment, the existence of a career plan, the training received; in short, they are different people reacting in different ways to the variables that make up and characterize the relations of and at work. To better understand these variables, and the positive or negative evaluations that workers have in relation to various aspects of their work environment, the organizational climate concept becomes important in business management.

In the conception of Luz (2003b, p. 13), organizational climate is the psychological atmosphere that surrounds, at a given time, the relationship between the company and its employees."

Coda (1997) points out that the organizational climate survey can establish a channel of communication between the managers and employees of the organization, in order to guide and democratize the participation of workers in the management process.

For Litwin (apud Luz 2003b, p. 10), the organizational climate is the quality or property of the organizational environment that is perceived or experienced by the members of the organization and it influences their behavior.

Ewis (2015) points out that the organizational climate has important results for employees individually, collectively, as well as for the organization as a whole, and can significantly influence on employee satisfaction, individual performance and organizational performance. The organizational climate enhances the capabilities and efficiency of an individual, which is reflected in long-term well-being, on reputation of the organization and eventually the welfare of society.

From these concepts, we can understand the "organizational climate" as the atmosphere that will determine the work environment, environment that is permeated by a complex network of individual expectations and perceptions or groups also substantiated by organizational references that will determine the behavior of its employees, creating an environment with unique characteristics. The following groups feature a diagnosis of climate set by Bispo (2006, p. 263), which was the basis for this questionnaire survey:

Table 1. Groups of a diagnosis of the organizational climate

Table1

Source: Adapted by the Bishop (2006, p. 263)

2.3 Satisfaction at work

For Tamayo (apud Vasconcelos, 2004, p. 9), "a satisfactory job is one that offers the opportunity to get the main desired goals", enabling workers to achieve professional fulfillment.

According to Robbins (2002, p. 75), job satisfaction is "a pleasant emotional state resulting from the realization that work helps individuals to achieve valued results." This sense of well-being is promoted by interaction with colleagues and bosses, the conditions that provide support to tasks, the perception of being included in the preparation of sectoral targets, among many other factors.

People who have a high level of satisfaction with their work present positive attitudes towards it, whereas those who are dissatisfied present negative attitudes. It is understood then that job satisfaction is the set of feelings with which workers see their work: a high degree of satisfaction can translate into a more productive institution; a low degree of satisfaction, on the other hand, can translate into negligence (passive waiting for the improvement of conditions) and neglect (expressed by letting things worsen).

In this study, we analyze the concepts of satisfaction specifically linked to the professional experience of a particular group of workers, on the premise that "work is a key component in the context of human experience as it allows us to externalize our abilities and potential" (Vasconcelos 2004, p.3).

3. METHODOLOGY

The approach taken in this research has an exploratory feature that, according to Gil (1995), is developed in order to provide an overview of an approximate type, concerning a certain fact. In addition, the survey can be considered qualitative and quantitative, since we sought to quantify the responses of interviews, analyze them based on the key concepts of the theoretical foundation and establish an action plan to improve organizational performance.

The questionnaire used in this study consists of 10 questions and was structured with 08 closed and 02 open, for the diagnosis of organizational climate questions. The questions were adapted from Bispo (2006); however, the variables used were adapted to the characteristics of the company that was the study subject.

Open questions allowed respondents to manifest themselves spontaneously with criticism or suggestions regarding the company, supporting the qualitative analysis of the research. Closed questions were prepared based on the Likert scale, according to Johnson (2002), and could vary from four to eleven categories; however, the scales of four and five categories were certainly the most popular. For Selltiz (2005), the Likert scale is a method well accepted in social relations of research and consists of a set of items presented in the form of statements or judgments, for which the research subjects externalize their opinions, choosing one of the five scale points. At each point we associated a numerical value (which, in ascending order ranged from 1 to 5), namely: (01) strongly disagree; (02) disagree; (03) indifferent; (04) agree; and (05) totally agree. This classification was used in the structuring of the questionnaire in this study and the percentage of each point was used for the quantitative analysis of the responses.

The research questions were defined by the team of human resources and the company's management, based on the literature review, the organizational structure and profile of the employees. The questions were grouped into five fundamentals: Leadership, Interpersonal Relations, Communication, Compensation Systems, and Working Conditions.

The questionnaire was sent by email to 78 employees of the study subject company (directors, managers, analysts and management consultants) through a link to access to Google Docs, which is a Google application and it works entirely online directly in the browser and, currently, consists of a word processor, a presentation editor, a spreadsheet editor, and form editor. Within 30 days to reply, 38 employees answered the 10 questions. Data were collected in October 2013 and the results was compiled and presented to the board of the company, in order to structure the action plan to improve the working environment.

This action plan was set to face meetings with representatives of the department of human resources and the company's board, seeking to ratify the results of the interviews and define improvement actions. In order to systematize the relationship between the result of the analysis of the interviews and the action plan, the working team established five pillars: factors/fundamentals, actions, period between 01 and 12 months and the department responsible for implementing the action, according to Table 07.

4. CASE STUDY IN AN IT COMPANY

4.1 Company presentation

The company that has a 30-year experience in the Information Technology sector, was represented by its matrix in the city of Rio de Janeiro and by a branch in São Paulo. Because of the number of employees (78) it is classified as medium-sized company; however, it has a significant portfolio of clients and business partners, including the major national companies using Oracle's solution to develop their products and processes. Its organizational guidelines are presented below:

• Vision: to consolidate the image of first-class services company in the Information Technology sector. For this, we have developed alliances and partnerships to offer the Brazilian market world class solutions for relevant issues of corporate governance.

• Mission: To promote the development and operational and strategic excellence in client companies through the intelligent application of information technology. To use high-quality products and add value through the grounds on the best market practices for the processes in question.

• Values: Partnership with our customers, honesty in carrying out the work, dedication and competence for quality projects, sensitivity to the human and social aspects of business activity, respect for different audiences, and ethics. The company offers the partner: • Preparation and monitoring of the marketing and business plan; • Commercial structure and specialized consultants to provide support to sales in the region; • The certified staff ensures the successful implementation of ERP in the Cloud; • Templates for accelerated implementation with the best market practices and distance education tools; • Support providence to remote and scalable users (process management system).

4.2 Motivators for the implementation of an organizational climate survey

Due to the new entrants in the market, the company identified the need to retain and motivate its employees and become more competitive to meet customer requirements. To this end, the company's management decided to diagnose its performance regarding the employees (strengths and improvement opportunities) and implement a feedback culture for better decision making. We attempted to diagnose and analyze the organizational climate that allows us to evaluate and measure, objectively and systematically, as each employee is performing its responsibilities, and thus propose actions to improve the work environment.

4.3 Implementation process of an organizational climate survey The implementation process of the organizational climate survey was structured in five steps, depending on the schedule established by the company management, which defined with the Human Resources Department the period of seven months to start the implementation of the improvement plan.

• Step 01: Planning of the Organizational Climate Survey (within two months) • Identification criteria for the definition of the questions of the questionnaire • Definition of the method for the research • Definition of the employees participating in the survey

• Step 02: Filling the questionnaire (within two months) • Registration of the Research form in Google Docs • Filling the Research form by participants

• Step 03: Quiz Results of Analysis (within one month) • Consolidation of answers • Analysis of responses

• Step 04: Proposed Actions (within one month) • Identification of actions to improve the working environment, based on the analysis of the survey responses, the theoretical basis, and the company's characteristics.

• Step 05: Feedback stage for participants (within one month) • Capacitation of managers in practice feedback • Definition of feedback Plans, that is, scheduling between managers and participants

4.4 Analysis of results of the questionnaires

The results of the questionnaires were analyzed based on the number of responses by Likert scale points for each question. Then a qualitative analysis of the responses, which were correlated with the concepts presented in the theoretical foundation of the research, was conducted. Question 01) Leadership: I am told by my supervisor about what he thinks of my work?

This question is to evaluate if managers recognize and perform feedback in terms of the activities developed by the team or employee.

Chart 1: Consolidation of the Results of the Leadership Fundament

Chart1

Table 2: Analysis of the Results of the Leadership Fundament

Table2

The result obtained in this matter shows that 58% of employees are dissatisfied; employees mostly feel the need for professional recognition.

Leadership is a process of leading, guiding a group of people. Therefore, it is necessary for managers to develop skills aimed to motivate and influence professionals led to achieve the company's goals. This behavior increases motivation and ensures the employee in terms of the performance of the activities performed, corroborating Luz (2003b) and Tamayo (apud Vasconcelos, 2004) Question 02) Interpersonal Relationships: Is there a relationship of cooperation between the various departments of the company?

This question is to evaluate the integration of employees from different areas of the company in the preparation of tasks.

Chart 2: Consolidation of Results of the Interpersonal Relations Fundament

Chart2

Table 3: Analysis of the Results of the Interpersonal Relations Fundament

Table3

The research pointed out that in the question "interpersonal relations" most employees (69%) believe that there is collaboration between the areas of the company, which is very important for maintaining a good organizational climate.

In order to further improve this ratio, it is interesting that the directors and leaders continue to encourage this integration of the company by defining more internal communication activities, as reflected in the employee's behavior, according to Litwin (quoted in Light, 2003) and Bispo (2006).

Question 03) Communication: Do I feel adequately informed about decisions that affect my work?

This question aims to determine whether the disclosure of activities and organizational plans is being transmitted clearly and objectively.

Chart 3: Consolidation of the Results of the Communication Fundament

Chart3

Table 4: Consolidation of the Results of the Communication Fundament

Table4

Regarding the question "communication" it was assessed in research that there is dissatisfaction with the clarity of the information of the company's affairs for employees: 52% perceive a deficit in the objectivity and clarity of information that directly affect them.

Given this result, there is a need for a greater effort of the managers, leaders and internal communications area to communicate and inform employees in terms of what is being defined regarding investment and direction of the company.

According to Coda (1997), establishing channels of communication between managers and workers facilitates transparency with regard to the strategic decisions defined by the company.

Question 04) Remuneration System: Is my remuneration appropriate to my position? This question aims to evaluate whether this item (remuneration) is in accordance with the activities provided to the company.

Chart 4: Consolidation of the Results of the Remuneration System Fundament

Chart4

Table 5: Consolidation of the Results of the Remuneration System Fundament

Table5

In this issue, a high degree of dissatisfaction was detected. 62% of employees are not very satisfied with the salary offered by the company.

In this scenario, the company should reformulate job and salary policies, offering rewards from the achievement of targets, bonuses for attendance, as well as non-financial benefits, such as training and scholarship for technical and managerial skills. Bispo (2006) considers that the remuneration should be related to the responsibility of employees.

Question 05) Working Conditions: Are the environmental conditions of my workplace satisfactory?

This question aims to evaluate the working environment: equipment, and the material made available for the implementation of activities, safety, and cleanliness of the space.

Chart 5: Consolidation of the Results Working Conditions Fundament

Chart5

Table 6: Consolidation of the Results Working Conditions Fundament

Table6

The result shows that 50% of employees are satisfied, in the physical aspect, when it comes to furniture, lighting and safety in the work environment. It is observed in this matter, that the company has the opportunity to raise the level of satisfaction with small measures. According to Robbins (2002) and Ewis (2015), the working condition reflects the emotional state of employees, which influences the satisfaction and personal performance.

3.5 Action plan for the implementation of improvements The company is a benchmark in terms of selling business management software in the state of Rio de Janeiro and since its foundation has a history of good management practices. The Organizational Climate Survey implementation process provided a diagnosis of organizational climate and, as a result, the opportunity to define new actions to improve performance, competitiveness, as well as the motivation and retention of employees.

The consolidation of the data of this research was presented to the directors and managers of the company in this case study, aiming to identify new improvement actions that have been implemented in the short, medium and long term, depending on the cost-benefit ratio, as shown in the table below.

Table 7: Action Plan to implement improvements

Table7

Finally, it is emphasized that, according to the results of this work, the Organizational Climate Survey has generated value for the company and was established as a strategic practice, with the scheme to be implemented annually, to evaluate the performance improvement and organizational culture.

5. CONCLUSION

The results of the organizational climate survey analysis showed that this is an effective tool for improving business performance, since from it is possible to identify the issues to be implemented to adequately meet the needs of human resources, increasing not only the satisfaction of employees, but also productivity, efficiency and competitiveness. In this research, the diagnosis has allowed us to map out some important features of the company's internal environment:

• The positive points identified were the relationship of cooperation between departments and satisfactory conditions in the workplace;

• The negatives points identified were the absence or return deficiency of supervisors and inadequate remuneration.

This information was used to prepare the action plan for the management of the organizational climate, which was successfully implemented due to the engagement of the entire workforce who participated in all of the research implementation process.

Due to the results achieved, the authors consider that the organizational climate not only seeks to highlight the negative aspects of an organization, but to diagnose the current situation as a way to promote and provide grounds to actions that can gradually reverse unfavorable situations, aiming at a working environment that is suitable for everyone.

Employees also considered the implementation of climate research important, since the level of satisfaction of the company's members in terms of the different aspects of culture or apparent reality of the company object of study was identified. It is also observed that companies must continually invest in improvements, seeking to raise the level of satisfaction and thus provide a suitable environment for the development of the motivating potential of people.

Thus, it is essential that the company implements a systematic and regular basis, the analysis of the organizational climate, acting in the management of critical points, thus demonstrating concern for the future and the aspirations of its employees.


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