CheckMATE survey to gauge satisfaction

  • Published
  • By M. Gail Floyd-Sims
  • Organizational Consulting Office
In today's economically- challenged environment - company downsizing, strapped cash flow, limited resources in equipment, supplies, and people - corporate strategists are hard at work looking for ways to do more with less all the while keeping the pulse of their organizations in check.

What is the leading cause of job dissatisfaction? Why do some employees feel leadership could care less about their needs while others feel they're at the top of their game with unending support of management? How does a company go about taking steps to resolve issues at the lowest level and ensure company integrity? How do you keep stressed-out, over-worked, under-paid employees supportive of the warfighter?

At Robins, senior leaders have taken steps to address these issues and more by employing an anonymous 12-question survey that identifies areas of concern and then encourages managers, supervisors and employees to work together to come up with plans for resolution that, in the process, strengthen relationships, workforce engagement and employee commitment to the organization. The survey, called CheckMATE (mission accomplishment through engagement) focuses on looking at the emotional and psychological attachment people have to their organizations and addresses issues that enhance or detract from that engagement.

The more engaged employees are, the more prepared they are to apply their optimum efforts, talents, knowledge and skills toward organizational success.

Although supervisors convey the organization's goals and objectives and encourage employee buy-in, some, according to Mark Yancey, a Robins employee, still feel somewhat disenfranchised and detached from the day-to-day operations of their organizations.

"If management allows employees to participate in decision-making that affects them, you'll have a better run organization," Mr. Yancey said. "Throughout the years, I've watched managers and how they interact with employees. I remember one manager who worked with people, and I was amazed at how much more he got from people by making them feel at ease and a part of something that enabled them to talk and open up."

Mr. Yancy said that by not being on that 'management high stool,' the manager met employees at their level and made employees feel as if they mattered and contributed to the organization. "They actually felt something kindred to ownership," Mr. Yancy said. "He spoke to their strengths as opposed to tearing down and attacking their weaknesses. And it made employees look at what they could do to improve organizational goals."

With that in mind, Air Force Materiel Command teamed up with Gallup Corporation, a research group, to develop the methodology to raise workforce engagement by planning the CheckMATE program and administering the Q12 survey. Gallup will e-mail the questionnaire to some participants (Some organizations will receive a hardcopy of the survey due to lack of computer access) and analyze and share the results with management. Supervisors will then work with teams to develop impact/action plans to address identified issues.

The survey includes questions about expectations, opportunities, recognition, values, mentorship, job importance, commitment and evaluations.

The precisely-worded statements are used as "predictors" for productive management-employee relations.

Robins leadership recognizes the benefits of taking part in the program and members of the 402nd Maintenance Wing, 542nd Combat Sustainment Wing, 330th Aircraft Sustainment Wing, WR-ALC, Engineering Directorate, Plans and Programs, Contracting, Financial Managemnt, Judge Advocate's Office and the Equal Opportunity Office will take the survey Oct. 26 through Nov. 6.

The 402nd MXW participated in CheckMATE last year and is eager to see if areas identified then have measured improvements.