The term "organizational health" refers to the Department's ability to accomplish its mission now and in the foreseeable future. Organizational health depends on many factors that affect employees, including:
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The Department performed its first organizational health assessment in 1998. Researchers first used focus groups to identify issues of concern to employees, and to help develop a confidential survey that was later distributed to every permanent employee. Analysis of survey results showed that, on average, the Department scored in the "concern" range for every category or "domain" of organizational health characteristics. Only occasionally did the responses of individual offices or categories of employees score in "operational" or "strength" ranges.
After completion of the first assessment, Department managers initiated various actions to address identified concerns. Research is needed to reassess organizational health, and to determine whether it has improved in the past two years.
Findings: The concept of organizational health is defined with respect to an organization's ability to achieve its goals now and into the future. A healthy organization is well situated to face the day-to-day and long-term demands of its mission. An unhealthy organization is functionally and often operationally challenged. South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) has a clearly defined set of competencies and routines, and management can use these as a solid foundation directed at achieving the Department’s mission.
Good organizational health requires employees to be motivated and committed to their jobs. This study looked at the SDDOT in three different ways in order to develop an understanding of the motivation and commitment of the Department’s employees. First, Focus Groups were utilized to gain a broad-based feel for the issues and perception differences, if any, between the different groups (Non-Supervisors, Supervisors and Executive Team). Second, the Organizational Health Assessment (OHA) survey was administered and analyzed to look more in-depth at demographic differences between respondent groups. At the same time, this survey permitted us to confirm or refute the information supplied in the Focus Group sessions. Finally, workshops were held with Supervisors and Non-Supervisors for the purpose of reviewing and discussing the findings and potential solutions to the any major issues facing the SDDOT in the upcoming year.
The Focus Groups confirmed that the Executive Team did indeed take actions in the last two years on some issues. Several issues that are a priority for the upcoming year include communication, wages, retention of employees, maintaining the transportation system, efficiency, more staff, and pleasing the public.
The survey results showed that the SDDOT is growing and that the overall employee job satisfaction within the Department is improving. Safety and Efficiency, Work Schedule, and Communications represent the area of greatest improvement.