Commitment to the Company
Organizational commitment has been shown to predict motivation at work (especially motivation to do more than the minimum), and turnover, amongst other things. (Bozeman and Perrewé 2001). Standard scales are often used. We have pulled 3 relevant questions from the main scale used in over 100 studies (Mathieu and Zajac 1990) and based on seminal work by Mowday and others (Mowday, Steers, and Porter 1979).
- I am proud to tell others that I am part of this company.
- I talk up this company to my friends as a great company to work for.
- I really care about the fate of this company.
We have also added a fourth question that matches one of the three dimensions of organizational commitment: a strong belief and acceptance of an organization’s goals. ((Mowday, Porter, and Steers 1982)
- I trust the decisions of the senior leadership in the company.
Engagement is perhaps one of the most well-known predictors of job performance. Engaged employees are expected to be more productive, better at their jobs, and often more satisfied. Most constructs of work engagement attempt to capture three constructs: vigor, dedication, and absorption. If the concepts sound foreign, it is because they are used globally and have been translated many times, but make more sense when defined:
Vigor: “high levels of energy and mental resilience while working, the willingness to invest effort in one’s work, and persistence even in the face of difficulties”
Dedication: “feelings of a sense of significance, enthusiasm, inspiration, pride, and challenge”
Absorption: “being fully concentrated and deeply engrossed in one’s work, whereby time passes quickly and one has difficulties with detaching oneself”
While engagement scores are usually created with 9-question or 17-question surveys, recent evidence suggests that a shorter 3-question version captures the three main constructs and has been validated across 5 countries. (Wilmar B. Schaufeli, Bakker, and Salanova 2006)
We use three (adjusted) questions to capture the same concepts:
- Vigor: At work I feel very energetic
- Dedication: I am enthusiastic about my job
- Absorption: Time flies when I’m working
A sister concept of engagement is burnout. It is a strong predictor of mistakes but importantly, also predicts sick leave and turnover. Burnout is usually measured in the negative with commonly used validated scaled including the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory. We’ve used the positive versions of some of the questions found in the equally-validated Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (Demerouti and Bakker 2008).
- When I get up in the morning, I look forward to going to work.
- After work, I have energy for my leisure activities, friends and family.
Feeling Valued At Work
Although feeling valued at work is described in various different ways in the literature, there is no question that is a central component of the work experience. In some studies, feeling respected at work is ranked as more important than career opportunities or even income (Van Quaquebeke, Zenker, and Eckloff 2009). Feeling psychologically safe to speak up and feel heard in an organization has been shown to improve team learning and innovation in organizations. Similarly, receiving recognition or praise -- regularly -- increases employee engagement. As such, to create this category, we have combined questions from various parts of the literature.
- At work, my unique skills and talents are valued and utilized.
- In the last 7 days, I’ve received recognition or praise for my work.
- At work, my opinions seem to count.
- People notice when I go the extra mile at work.
Fit and Belonging
Perceptions of person-organization fit have been shown to be one of the strongest predictors of applicant attraction to a job, amongst other things (Chapman et al. 2005). Similarly, especially for underrepresented groups, belonging uncertainty (Walton and Cohen 2007)) -- or feeling like you may not belong -- has been shown to reduce performance.
“Fit” often captures two constructs: complementary fit or feeling that the company’s style/values/approach matches your own; and supplementary fit: feeling like the company meets your psychological needs, including feeling like you belong (Cable and Edwards 2004).
To cover complementary fit:
- I find that my values and the company’s values are similar.
- My work style matches the work style of the company.
- The mission/purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
To target feelings of belonging, we use:
- I can be myself at work.
- I feel like I belong in this company.
The measures below are summary measures of job satisfaction - job satisfaction captures many of the other concepts in this survey and may mean something different for each employee. As such, these questions aim to capture overall satisfaction with each of the key components of a job, as well as the job as a whole.
- All in all, I'm very satisfied with my job.
- All in all, I'm very satisfied with my coworkers.
- All in all, I'm very satisfied with the supervision I receive.
- All in all, I'm very satisfied with the work that I do.
Although there is a wealth of evidence on the importance of leadership and its relationship to job satisfaction, (Braun et al. 2013; Lok and Crawford 2004), much of the research on what makes a good manager has been conducted in private sector People Analytics teams (such as Google’s People Analytics team) or in public sector organizations, and so we draw on the actionable measure of what makes a good manager in this survey, rather than the broader academic literature on “leadership.”
The questions are below:
- In the last six months, someone at work has spoken to me about my progress.
- If I could choose, I would continue working with my manager.
- My manager communicates clear goals for our team.
- My manager gives me actionable feedback on a regular basis.
- My manager regularly shares relevant information from their manager and senior leadership.
- My manager has the technical expertise required to effectively manage me.
- My manager makes tough decisions effectively.
- My manager wants to see me succeed.
Feeling like you have the capacity to do your work is not only about underlying ability, or job demands, but also about a company culture that makes you feel like you have the resources to succeed within a company. Feelings of self-efficacy have linked to burnout as well as overall job satisfaction and intent to leave. Indeed, the job demands- job resources model suggests that it is not the difficulty of a job that leads to burnout but the feeling of not having the resources available to you to meet the demands of the job. Burnout is often conceptualized as the opposite of engagement, and so many of the questions below also are used in engagement surveys or burnout surveys.
The questions below aim to capture a broad range of feelings of self-efficacy, including those that are linked to seeing a future in the company (a measure correlated with intent to leave).
- I can see myself growing and developing my career in this company.
These questions are used and validated in both the private sector and the public sector Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.
- I know what is expected of me at work.
- I have the tools and the resources to do my job.
- I am proud of the work that I do.
- At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
- I find my work to be a positive challenge.
Team Culture & Psychological Safety
One of the key components of a well-functioning company is a well-functioning team. The questions below aim to capture components of an effective team. First, these include feeling psychologically safe within a team, something that is highly correlated with team learning and innovation (Edmondson 1999).
- It is safe to take a risk on this team
- Members of this team are able to bring up problems and tough issues.
To measure team learning directly, we pick one of questions correlated with innovation.
- We regularly take time to figure out ways to improve our team’s work processes.
We also list a series of questions about coworkers that mirror questions on ability and organizational commitment that we have asked about the individual employee. In so doing, we can capture any discrepancies between how an individual views their own role in the company and whether they see similar levels of commitment and ability in their teammates.
- I learn a lot from my coworkers.
- My coworkers have the skills and expertise to do their jobs well.
- My coworkers are committed to doing quality work.
Work relationships play an integral role in psychological well-being at work, which in turn predicts everything from job satisfaction to performance (Wright and Cropanzano 2000)
First, we include questions that correlate with engagement that have been validated before:
- I have a best friend at work
- My supervisor or someone at work seems to care about me.
We then include slightly more actionable questions that aim to capture components of well-being and feeling supported.
- If I’m struggling, I know who to turn to for help.
- My coworkers want to see me succeed.
And as they relate indirectly to work-life balance
- People at work know about what’s going on in my life.