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NEWS | June 22, 2017

Air Force climate surveys, how they affect you

By Senior Airman Christian Sullivan Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

There can be misconceptions that filling out a climate survey could be a waste of an Airman’s time or that it has no real effect on their day-to-day work lives. Staff Sgt. Brian Corbin, 628th Air Base Wing equal opportunity advisor, says otherwise.

“We do feedbacks with commanders after the survey and analysis,” said Corbin. “We give suggestions to the commander when they ask about what could be improved based off survey responses. It helps the commander see what they need to improve on, or what is working well and doesn’t need to be fixed.”

While some Airmen may not know why they should fill out the survey, Corbin emphasizes that their opinions matter.

“A climate survey is a tool we use to gauge the environment of the base or squadron,” said Corbin. “We try to make sure everyone has high morale and positive workplace interactions within their units. Everyone on the base is able and encouraged to partake in the climate survey.”

Corbin stresses the fact that the surveys aren’t just for complaints and encourages everyone to participate even if it’s to give only positive reinforcement comments.

“I can’t do my job to the best of my ability if people don’t take the survey,” said Corbin. “If people have comments, positive or negative, we won’t know unless they fill out the survey. Usually we see people that do fill it out only have negative things to say, but when we ask why people didn’t fill it out they say it’s because they have no concerns; in that case they fill it out to comment on some of the positives or to let the commander know he or she is doing a good job and there doesn’t necessarily need to be change.”

Currently the Air Force average completion percentage is at 35 percent, the lowest of all military branches. Even though Joint Base Charleston is slightly above at 36 percent, Corbin knows a higher percentage is needed to make a larger impact.

“If only 35 percent of the base is giving input, that means 65 percent of the base’s opinions aren’t being heard,” Corbin said. “That’s why max participation is encouraged.”

Each commander has their own survey and are sent within 120 days of a commander taking command and then are conducted annually from that point on.