Ownership Associates announces the November, 2005, sale of the Ownership Culture Survey to the National Center for Employee Ownership.
The NCEO, a nonprofit organization serving employee-ownership companies since 1980, is now the sole source for the survey items. Companies interested in employee-ownership surveys should contact the NCEO or visit the survey resources page on the NCEO website.
Our clients have found value in the results of the Ownership Culture Survey for a variety of reasons, depending on their particular circumstances and needs.
Sample Survey Items
Our years of hands-on experience with employee-ownership companies provided the background needed to create survey items which cover the range of concerns and expectations that arise in client companies. The scope of these questions is indicated by the following sample items from the OCS:
- Company leaders really believe in employee ownership.
- I make it my job to find out how my work affects other people "down the line" from me.
- When the company does well, employees share the benefits.
- This company encourages people to participate in decisions that affect their day-to-day work.
- I feel an obligation to challenge poor performance by my fellow employees.
Benchmarking With Other Employee-Ownership Companies
The OCS also provides a unique source of data to compare the attitudes of your work force with other employee-ownership companies. This comparison can have a profound impact on the interpretation of data.
For example, in the chart at the right, our client's data looked quite positive at first glance -- but when we compared their results with the other companies in our database, they decided that they had substantial room for improvement in this respect, which is one part of what we term the "Entrepreneurial Ethic."
Comparing Employee Subgroups
Other clients have found that using the survey to compare one segment of the work force to other segments to be the most valuable aspect of the using the survey data. At this client company, management's perception of prevailing levels of trust was at sharp odds with the other members of the work force. This client took steps to increase the visibility of plant-level management and started inviting production workers to attend planning meetings as observers. (For more information about the importance of perception gaps between management and employees, see What Do Employee Owners Really Think About Ownership?)
Tracking Change Over Time
For those of our clients where the OCS has become a periodic event, the results from one year to the next serve to track the company's progress over time. In the chart to the right one client's first year results are plotted in green.
The large number of employees who felt dissatisfied with the amount of participation in decision making led this client to attempt a concerted effort to actively listen to the work force, eventually resulting in the establishment of regular large-group meetings and task forces to promote concrete change.
Just under two years later, their new results (in blue) indicate substantial progress, although the company remains determined to improve attitudes further.
More examples of survey results and what our clients have done to use them to create change are available from Ownership Associates. Contact us for more information.