Social climate is sometimes referred to as engagement, morale and teamwork. A sense of community, a shared vision and a positive outlook contribute to both individual well-being and to important organizational indicators such as customer service, innovation, employee engagement, and teamwork. Where they are noticeably absent and people don’t get along, well-being suffers and productivity slows. The Fostering Social Climate Series defines each social climate element and recommends strategies for improving the work atmosphere.
The social climate concepts featured in this series were first introduced in a journal article by Robert Allen, Ph.D. and Judd Allen, Ph.D., published in the American Journal of Health Promotion in 1987. A movie, entitled Working Well, was created to illustrate key concepts. It includes interviews from employees working at the University of Vermont, Burton Snowboards, the Vermont State Agency of Natural Resources and Fletcher-Allen Health Care. The Social Climate Training Manual features a toolkit for addressing social climate in an organizational setting. A social climate survey measures employees’ perceptions of the work climate. A management training featuring social climate strategies has been delivered in both classroom and online formats.