2008 Air Force Climate Survey

  • Published
  • By
  • 5th Force Support Squadron Manpower Office
It's time to get ready for the Air Force Climate Survey! The 2008 survey will launch Oct. 1 and will last until Nov. 28. This survey has a huge impact on Airmen and their leadership, as evidenced by the 50 to 60 percent participation rate, which equates to over 300,000 participants per survey since 2001. The survey population includes Air Force active-duty enlisted, officers, members serving in joint organizations, appropriated fund civilians, and non-appropriated fund civilians.

The Air Force Chief of Staff's charter for the Air Force Climate Survey is to "provide actionable feedback to leaders at all levels for the purpose of improving their units." Through the user-friendly format of the survey, respondents can provide this feedback on the overall health of their organizations across the Air Force.

The 2008 Air Force Climate Survey assesses nine factors that impact units and work centers. The survey questions are grouped into statistically reliable categories, or factors, that measure organizational climate concepts and provide leadership with a summary of those particular areas for their organization. The nine factors are: Trust in Senior Leadership, Trust in Immediate Supervisor, Job, Resources, Impact of Deployment, Recognition, General Satisfaction, Unit Performance, and Unit Characteristics. In addition to a set of basic questions that show trends over time, new items were added that reflect current AF issues with open comment questions. Through the Air Force Climate Survey, each respondent can provide direct feedback to his or her unit leadership.

The climate survey is an excellent tool for leaders. First, it provides information about how members perceive their work environment. Second, it is a catalyst for dialogue between leadership and unit members. Third, it can be used as a tool to improve the unit. The goal of the survey is to arm leaders with feedback that will lead to positive improvements. Leaders are encouraged to review the feedback provided from the survey and develop an action plan for instituting changes and improvements to the unit.

When commanders receive the final reports, they should brief the results to the unit within 30 days. This quick turnaround provides opportunities for leadership to initiate improvements immediately and for unit members to recognize that action is being taken based on their participation in the survey. For example, MAJCOM commanders used results from the Air Force Climate Survey at squadron commanders' classes to demonstrate the impact of a commander's personal leadership styles on performance and satisfaction within the unit.

The CSAF approved a set of rules of engagement that allow anonymous reporting. At the unit levels, there is no "look down" in which a commander can see subordinate units' reports. They will only receive an aggregate report of his or her subordinate units, not separate reports. Additionally, on an individual level, units with fewer than 10 respondents will not receive a report. Instead their responses will be rolled up to the next organizational level.

Judging by the consistently high participation rates, Air Force members continue to be motivated to "tell it like it is." 

For further assistance on the 2008 AF Climate Survey, Airmen should contact their unit AF Climate Survey representative.