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Honoring 43 Years of Mission Readiness

DEOMI Organizational Climate Survey enhancements improve commander’s opportunities to strengthen readiness through awareness


Bryan Ripple
Public Affairs Officer
Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute

     More than 3.2 million Department of Defense (DOD) and United States Coast Guard military and civilian personnel have the opportunity to impact the readiness of their organization using the newest release of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute’s Organizational Climate Survey, DEOCS 4.0.

      The DEOCS anonymously assesses perceptions of organizational effectiveness, equal opportunity, equal employment opportunity, fair treatment, and sexual assault prevention and response. Several new factors have been added, including favoritism, diversity management, organizational processes, intention to stay, help-seeking behaviors, exhaustion (burnout), demeaning behaviors, and hazing. These factors help leaders receive a well rounded picture of their organization by identifying perceived attitudes and behaviors that could affect morale and organizational performance. Scheduled to be released in January 2014, DEOCS 4.0 is a commander’s
management tool that allows military and civilian leaders to proactively assess critical organizational climate dimensions that can impact—positively or negatively— an organization’s effectiveness. The DEOCS 4.0 enhancements resulted from DEOMI working closely with each of the Services to identify their emerging requirements. The DEOCS represents the first component of an overall organizational climate assessment, which should also include focus groups, interviews with unit members, and observations.

     The DEOCS also includes a section devoted to characterizing an organization’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) environment. The SAPR section illuminates members’ views on their feelings of safety from sexual assault; chain of command support; awareness of SAPR resources; perception of whether or not the chain of command would take appropriate actions to address an Unrestricted Report of sexual assault; and the social and professional environment envisioned following a sexual assault report. The new SAPR questions meet legislative and Secretary of Defense requirements to assess the command for purposes of preventing and responding to sexual assaults. This critical information will inform commanders, the Services, and decision makers on the current status of SAPR climate within commands and across the DOD.

      Recent Defense Department directives also ensure that every command conducts climate assessments more frequently. Military commanders are now required to conduct a climate assessment within 120 days after assuming command and at least annually thereafter. This requirement ensures that leaders are apprised of members’ perceptions of how leaders respond to incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault in their units. To further bolster leadership accountability for climates of dignity and respect, the results of climate surveys will now be provided to the next senior commander in the chain of command. This mechanism provides higher echelon commanders with direct knowledge of their subordinate commands’ DEOCS climate assessment results.

      The DEOCS report has expanded to include an Executive Review section that provides an overview, highlighting the report’s three highest and three lowest factor averages. The results of each DEOCS are compared to service-wide norms. Unit averages that fall within the service average range are color-coded blue, while those falling below or above this range are respectively color-coded red and green. Additionally, the report includes a summary of all responses to each item listed by factor, providing commanders with a more detailed account of response patterns.

      The newly-developed recommendations area of the DEOCS report now includes linkage to an “Assessment to Solutions” area in the DEOMI Resource Network area on DEOMI’s website, www.deomi.org. This major improvement uses survey results to help commanders or survey administrators transition into the next stages of a comprehensive climate assessment, and offers supporting resources and tools that can improve organizational effectiveness and the overall human relations climate.

     “DEOMI continues to develop tools for commanders to help them address all aspects of their total climate assessment,” said Ms. Rebecca Marcum, Director of DEOMI’s Technology Development and Clearinghouse Management Branch.
DEOMI also offers a senior consultation service for all DEOCS surveys conducted by organizations led by flag officers or SES civilians. The consultation can include an executive summary of DEOCS reports and/or telephonic out briefs. DEOMI anticipates providing more than 700 senior consultations in FY14.

      DEOMI is located at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. and is responsible for the primary training of all DOD military and civilian personnel assigned to military equal opportunity billets and civilian equal employment opportunity positions. The institute provides specialized analysis and reports to the respective Service headquarters EO offices as part of its DOD-wide support role. For more information about the DEOCS, please contact support@deocs.net.





 
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