Culture/Climate Survey results show positive trend for DLA

By Kathleen T. Rhem, DLA Human Resources

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The results for the 2018 DLA Culture and Climate Survey are in, and they show overall favorable trends for the agency.

The survey, which is conducted throughout DLA every 18 months to two years, measures employee input on the Denison Model of Organizational Culture. This model includes four traits and 12 indices that are graphically represented in a results wheel called a circumplex.

“Looking at the Denison circumplex (results wheel) gives you an immediate indication of the good news found inside the survey results,” DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell K. Williams announced in an Oct. 15 blog post for agency employees.

He noted agencywide scores went up in all 12 indexes measured, scores reached into the third quartile in all 12 areas for the first time since DLA has been conducting this survey (15 years), and the average index score of 66 is also the highest ever.

Each index receives a percentile score and is benchmarked against Denison’s global database of over 1,000 other organizations. Among individual items surveyed, the highest scoring culture items were: “All members understand customer needs and wants” which received a percentile score of 85 out of 100, and “Information is widely shared so everyone gets information when it’s needed,” which received a score of 84.

The most improved culture items were: “Leaders and mangers practice what they preach,” which went up 16 percentile points, and “Different parts of the organization often cooperate to create change,” which saw a 15-percentile improvement.

A separate part of the survey measures organizational climate items specific to DLA, such as satisfaction with the agency’s telework program and the DoD Performance Management and Appraisal Program. Among climate scores, telework was the most improved climate factor. The highest scoring climate factors were: Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (90 percent), safety (88 percent), and diversity (81 percent.)

Senior leaders and culture champions in each of DLA’s major subordinate commands and headquarters staff sections received results specific to their organizations on Oct. 12. DLA Human Resources Director Brad Bunn explained organizational leaders are studying the results and sharing them with their own workforces. A full report of agencywide results will be made available to employees in the coming weeks.

DLA leaders stressed the survey is actually just the beginning of the agency’s culture action cycle. Organizational leaders and culture champions will spend the next few months analyzing results and using them to target areas for improvement, creating culture action plans in targeted areas, and then measuring and evaluating successes.

“Now the real work begins,” Williams said in his recent blog post.

The formal planning process started when more than 100 culture champions and members of culture action planning teams from throughout DLA met in person and via VTC at DLA Headquarters earlier in October to learn more about the process directly from Denison experts.

“Think of the action planning process as an opportunity,” Bunn told workshop participants. “We have this pile of data in the results, and that’s meant to be a conversation starter. The circumplex is just part of the story. Our next step is to engage the leadership and workforce in the planning process so we can make changes where they can be helpful and also build on the many successes reflected in the survey data.”