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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: SDDOT Organizational Health Assessment
Project Researcher: Mike Card, USD Business Research Bureau
Project Manager: Dave Huft
Research Period: 3/1/2002 - 10/31/2002
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:The South Dakota Department of Transportation has initiated performance measurement to measure, track, and improve the Departments performance at all levels. Performance measurement emphasizes five key measurement areas: cost, timeliness, rework, customer satisfaction, and organizational health. Each work team within the Department has developed performance measures for the first three key measurement areas, but customer satisfaction and organizational health are measured by coordinated, Department-wide efforts.

The term organizational health refers to the Departments ability to accomplish its mission now and in the foreseeable future. Organizational health depends on many factors that affect employees, including:

  • communication

  • staff morale

  • understanding of policies

  • work environment

  • staff competency

  • awareness of mission

  • work force stability

  • cooperation

  • training and professional development

  • work force demographics

  • management skills

  • reward and recognition

  • The Department performed its first two organizational health assessments in 1998 and 2000, respectively. In each case, researchers conducted focus groups to identify issues of concern to employees, then developed and distributed a confidential survey to every permanent employee. Survey results were analyzed to identify domains of organizational strength, operational capability, or concern. The findings have significantly influenced the Departments policies and actions, including development and execution of its 2001 Strategic Plan. Research is needed now to reassess the Departments organizational health, to determine how effective actions taken in the past four years have been, and to identify additional practical opportunities for improvement.


    Research Objectives:
    1  To measure the Department of Transportation’s employees’ perceptions and level of satisfaction regarding organizational health.
    2  To identify the Department of Transportation’s organizational strengths and weaknesses.
    3  To evaluate progress in making desired changes in the Department’s organizational culture, through comparison between the current assessment and baseline measurements of earlier assessments.
    4  To recommend specific actions that the Department can take to improve organizational health.
    5  To refine a survey instrument that can be used to periodically assess the Department’s organizational health.

    Research Tasks:
    1  Critically review results and methodology of the Department of Transportation’s first two organizational health assessments.
    2  Meet with the project’s technical panel to review project scope and work plan.
    3  Conduct individual or group interviews or focus groups with Department employees to identify issues and concerns about organizational health that should be quantitatively assessed through a Department-wide survey.
    4  Submit for the technical panel’s review a technical memorandum summarizing results of the previous tasks and a draft survey instrument for a Department-wide survey.
    5  Conduct a Department-wide survey using the survey instrument revised in accordance with the technical panel’s review comments.
    6  Analyze the results of the survey on a Department-wide basis and by significant category such as organizational unit and employee classification. At a minimum, analysis should be performed Department-wide, by central office division and program, by g
    7  Compare results of the survey with results obtained in the Department’s earlier organizational health assessments to identify significant changes and trends and to assess the effectiveness of the Department’s attempts to improve organizational health
    8  Submit to the project’s technical panel a technical memorandum that summarizes results, identifies key issues and improvement opportunities, and proposes workshops with distinct employee groups to explore the issues’ root causes and potential solutio
    9  Conduct workshops with distinct employee groups to present results and to explore issues’ root causes and potential solutions.
    10  Conduct a workshop with the Department’s Executive Team to present results and initiate the process of addressing organizational health concerns in the Department’s Strategic Plan.
    11  Prepare a revised survey instrument and recommendations for its use in future organizational health assessments.
    12  Prepare a final report and executive summary of the research methodology, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
    13  Make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review Board at the conclusion of the project.

    Documents Available:
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