Taking Definitive Action on Climate Survey Results

The purpose of a climate survey is to take the temperature of an organization. It is a referendum of sorts on leadership. You can see how you are tracking against your company’s productivity goals simply by checking the scoreboard … but how do people feel about doing what they are doing and working where they are working? What is your organization’s comparative level of employee engagement? Having employees complete an anonymous survey on a recurring basis is a time-tested means of providing that insight.

As you might imagine, there are a number of different sources to consider when it comes to the task of selecting (or developing) the survey itself. But, regardless of the path chosen, there is a high probability that the following dimensions of employee engagement will be included:

  • Expectations: Do employees feel like they know what is expected of them at work?
  • Feedback: Do employees feel they receive recognition or praise for doing good work? Do they feel their immediate supervisor speaks with them regularly regarding their progress?
  • Trust: Do employees feel safe? Do they feel like their immediate supervisor cares about them as a person?
  • Development: Do employees feel encouraged to develop? Do they feel like they are provided with opportunities to learn new things and grow?

So (hypothetically of course), what happens if you are on the receiving end of less-than-ideal climate survey results with a corresponding mandate to do something about it? Where to start? Well, with bias duly noted we at The Center for Leadership Studies would strongly suggest Situational Leadership®. Why? Because from its inception, Situational Leadership® has been a road map that both leaders and followers could leverage to enhance engagement and drive productivity.

The Situational Leadership® Model is the first in the history of leadership development to combine leader behavior with follower behavior. It provides those leaders and followers with a nonvaluative, third-party language to communicate, adapt and remain aligned around performance priorities. Read more below for the Situational Leadership® Model’s role in the context of the climate survey dimensions identified.


The Situational Leadership® Model initiates with managers and employees aligning on the work to be done, how that work is going to be accomplished and the role the manager will play in that regard (i.e., Directing? Empowering? Collaborating?). That alignment is revisited and recalibrated, as needed, until the desired outcomes are achieved.


The Situational Leadership® Model is a practical, repeatable model that leaders can both understand and implement to drive performance and enhance employee engagement. Feedback—including recognition and praise for those developing as they make incremental progress and the recurring acknowledgement and gratitude for reliably high performers—is at the heart of the Situational Leadership® Model in action.


Building trust is the most critical contributing factor there is when it comes to determining leader effectiveness. But how does a leader build trust when they don’t have it? A good place to start is by matching their leadership style to the performance needs of those they influence. It is an interactive influence system. In that regard, the Situational Leadership® Model helps leaders build trust when they don’t have it and continue enhancing it once they do. The more trust a leader can build, the more effective they have the potential to be.


Leaders in organizations add value by accelerating the development and redirecting the performance slippage of those they influence. Growth and improvement are functions of balancing progress with setbacks. Situational Leaders understand that skill development is iterative and that we live in a dynamic world. As such, they thoughtfully consider the ongoing, ever-changing level of a followers’ readiness to perform before locking into a leadership style.

A climate survey is a proven method of identifying specific targets of improvement for organizations. The Situational Leadership® Model is a proven blueprint that leaders within those organizations can leverage to take definitive action and ensure that improvement is realized.