The Way We Work
December 12, 2013 by Gary Swart

Any manager worth their salt understands that they must create a work environment that empowers their employees to succeed (our own oDesk CEO has written some advice on that very topic). The more puzzling question, however, is how to best measure something as abstract as that organizational environment.

In this LinkedIn column, oDesk CEO Gary Swart discusses how a mostly anonymous team culture survey is one of the best way to gauge employee satisfaction and ability to be effective. Additionally, culture surveys with a consistent scale (e.g., a 1 to 5 rating) allow you to measure progress (or lack thereof) across time, as well as track which departments are doing poorly in specific areas. He shares oDesk’s own survey, explaining the rationale behind each question. For example, regarding the question ‘oDesk fosters a culture of transparency and honest communication,’ he writes:

"Each team has a different level of honest communication. It’s a manager’s responsibility to lead by example on this front, by being transparent in what’s happening, how progress is tracking, and how any developments will impact employees. Companies vary widely on this ability, and I’m extremely proud of the environment we’ve established at oDesk because we typically perform very well here. As a leader, your perception that open communication is happening may not be reality, so it’s very important to measure this one.”

Read the rest of Gary’s survey questions here!

Gary Swart

Chief Executive Officer

Gary Swart is the CEO of oDesk, the world’s largest online workplace. Gary is a thought leader in entrepreneurship; how best to hire and manage teams; and the future of work, including online work. He is passionate about helping small businesses thrive, fueled by his extensive experience working with startups and small businesses that use oDesk, as well as by mentoring entrepreneurs and business school… read more