When you first take Company Command, you are required to conduct a Command Climate Survey.
In essence, a Command Climate Survey reveals the leader morale and Soldier morale within your company.
In addition, the Unit Climate Survey also helps identify what is working well and what areas need to be improved.
You should conduct a Command Climate Survey within your first 30-days as the new Company Commander, and they are really easy to do.
You can have someone from your battalion S1 Section administer the survey for you.
Or, you can bring in someone from outside your organization to conduct the survey (recommended).
Once you get the results from the Unit Climate Survey, you need to look for patterns and trends.
If you find 5-10 or more surveys that all say the same thing, you should conduct your due-diligence to find out what is causing the problem.
And, if possible, fix it immediately.
On the other hand, if you see “major issues” or “major concerns” brought up 1-2 times you should still look in to them.
There might be a major problem that only a few people are willing to bring up.
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Another key to success is to share the results of the Command Climate Survey with your Soldiers.
You could type up a summary sheet and give each Soldier in your unit a copy.
You could also have a short meeting with your troops to discuss your findings and inform your Soldiers on what you plan to do about it.
Personally, I think this is a wise idea.
This “positions” you as a strong leader with a solid game-plan.
Remember to follow through.
Don’t just conduct a Unit Climate Survey and forget about it.
That’s poor leadership.
Also, make sure you inform your key leaders and Soldiers about what you did to fix the problems.
As you fix the problems, keep everyone informed by sharing the information in your unit newsletter, sharing information at formation or by posting the results on the unit bulletin board.
Talk with your soldiers and subordinate leaders whenever possible.
Find out their concerns and worries.
Make sure that they know they can approach you with a personal problem, or something that affects the entire unit.
When you see one of your Soldiers, pull them aside and ask them how their morale is.
Ask them what’s working well in the unit.
You could even ask them, “If you were the Company Commander today, what one thing would you improve in the unit?”
This technique worked well for me.
Additionally, after 12 months in Company Command, you should conduct another Command Climate Survey to monitor the progress of your company.
Did unit morale improve?
What about Soldier morale?
If unit morale and performance improve drastically, great job! If not, keep working at it.
Remember, strive for progress not perfection.
If your company can continue to make small improvements every month, you will make great progress in a year’s time.
Command Climate Surveys are a very helpful resource for Company Commanders and First Sergeants.
In addition to being a mandatory requirement, these surveys also help Company Commanders improve the Soldier morale and unit morale within their company.
Do you have any comments or questions?
Please post them below and have a great day!
Former Army Major (resigned)
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