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Exploring the Need for a Work Environment Reporting Standard – Development of a Prototype Assessment Approach

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Organizations need guidance on how to assess and report on the status of their work environments.

This case was made in an earlier research report, which highlighted the lack of consistency in how organizations define, assess, and report on their work environments. This lack of consistency makes it difficult for managers, employees, customers, and the general public to distinguish organizations that have strong work environments from those that do not.

This report presents a proposed approach to assessing a work environment. The flexibility of work environment reporting is demonstrated through a review of options and the development of a prototype approach. The prototype approach focuses on the “Job Demands” dimension of work environment reporting, one of the 12 dimensions identified in the previous report.

The prototype approach for reporting on Job Demands was the product of four iterations of development. In the proposed approach, guidelines for assessing and reporting on the Job Demands dimension of the work environment were divided into three sections:

  • process
  • outcomes, and
  • external awareness

Each section includes both qualitative descriptions with quantitative measurements focused on the state of process development, execution, and organizational awareness. The use of both qualitative and quantitative information provides the context needed to assess and report on work environment issues related to Job Demands.

The development of the prototype approach identified some challenges and provided a space for reflecting on important issues to consider moving forward. Future research involving stakeholders from a range of organizations is needed to test and refine the prototype approach, identify remaining gaps, and extend the approach beyond Job Demands to cover all aspects of the work environment. Active engagement of stakeholders and users of the approach is needed to ensure the final methodology is usable and useful to a broad range of organizations.

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