Workplace survey

This tool is designed to help employers identify potential Essential skills issues or areas of strength in the workplace. The statements included in this tool are divided into nine sections; one for each of the nine Essential skills.

Instructions:

  1. Read the statements in each section.
  2. Circle the number that corresponds to your level of agreement.
  3. Total all circled numbers for each section.
  4. Refer to the rating guide to interpret the results.

Helpful tips:

  • This survey can help you examine the Essential skills of your organization as a whole or can be applied to different individuals or groups (e.g. all employees in a certain occupation).
  • When completing the survey, think of a variety of employees instead of specific individuals.
  • Individual employees may also want to complete the survey as a self-assessment of their own skills. This will help them determine their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Some statements may not be applicable to your organization. In this case, you can replace them with the additional statements provided at the end of each section or develop new statements that better reflect your organization.
  • Please keep in mind that there may be other factors you need to consider that are not included in this tool.

Rating guide

Use the rating guide to interpret the results for each Essential skill. This will help you identify potential areas of strength or those that may require more attention.

Low scores may indicate a need to improve certain skills in the workplace. Your best course of action may be to identify problematic sections (i.e. sections with the lower scores) and to focus your training activities on those areas.

Total score (based on 5 questions)
16-20 A high score suggests that this skill is present and used effectively in your organization
11-15 A medium score suggests that there might be a vulnerability regarding this skill in your organization
1-10 A low score suggests that there might be a significant Essential skills issue within your organization

Please note that this guide is designed to help you get started with the diagnosis and improvement of Essential skills in your organization. The final score is a guideline; the results are subjective and should be considered in the context of your organization.

Section 1: Reading
Activities Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree
Employees are comfortable dealing with written materials 1 2 3 4
Employees can read and understand emails and/or memos 1 2 3 4
Employees are comfortable receiving written instructions 1 2 3 4
Employees make few or no mistakes when following clearly written instructions 1 2 3 4
Employees can read and understand safety directions in manuals and/or signs posted around the workplace 1 2 3 4
Subtotal

Total section 1:   _________________

Alternate statements:

  • Employees can evaluate, edit or critique texts.
  • Employees can obtain relevant information by scanning text.

Create your own:

Section 2: Document use
Activities Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree
Employees are comfortable using workplace documents 1 2 3 4
Employees can use and understand charts and graphs. 1 2 3 4
Employees understand timesheets and pay stubs 1 2 3 4
Employees make few or no mistakes when entering information in documents. 1 2 3 4
Employees understand gauges, clocks, manuals, blueprints or schedules 1 2 3 4
Subtotal

Total section 2:   _________________

Alternate statements:

  • Employees can create tables, schedules or log books.
  • Employees can understand and verify purchase orders.

Create your own:

Section 3: Writing
Activities Strongly disagree Disagree agree Strongly agree
Employees can request information or services in writing 1 2 3 4
Employees are comfortable writing production reports or other reports necessary for the job 1 2 3 4
Employees communicate effectively through written communication when appropriate 1 2 3 4
Employees make few or no grammar and spelling mistakes when preparing written material 1 2 3 4
Employees use appropriate sentence structure, punctuation, wording and tone when preparing written material 1 2 3 4
Subtotal

Total section 3:   _________________

Alternate statements:

  • Employees can keep records of activities in written documents such as minutes or log books.
  • Employees can complete accident reports.

Create your own:

Section 4: Numeracy
Activities Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree
Employees can complete numerical tasks such as calculations, measurements and estimations 1 2 3 4
Employees make few or no mistakes when conducting financial transactions such as handling cash, preparing bills or making payments 1 2 3 4
Employees can take measurements and record the results 1 2 3 4
Employees are willing to participate in training sessions related to numeracy 1 2 3 4
Employees understand calculations on pay stubs 1 2 3 4
Subtotal

Total section 4:   _________________

Alternate statements:

  • Employees can convert between measurement systems when necessary (e.g. centimetres to inches).
  • Employees can make entries in financial records.

Create your own:

Section 5: Oral communication
Activities Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree
Employees communicate information or instructions clearly and accurately 1 2 3 4
Employees can follow detailed oral instructions or explanations 1 2 3 4
Employees speak professionally when communicating with suppliers or clients 1 2 3 4
Employees use workplace appropriate terminology 1 2 3 4
Employees participate actively in staff meetings or training sessions 1 2 3 4
Subtotal

Total section 5:   _________________

Alternate statements:

  • Employees can present information effectively to large or small groups.
  • Employees can learn new information through oral instructions or explanations.

Create your own:

Section 6: Thinking
Activities Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree
Employees can resolve common workplace problems when required 1 2 3 4
Employees can make decisions independently 1 2 3 4
Employees’ planning skills lead to quality work, accomplished deadlines or decreased costs 1 2 3 4
When faced with a problem, employees conduct research to find information or solutions 1 2 3 4
Employees can remember routine procedures to follow 1 2 3 4
Subtotal

Total section 6:   _________________

Alternate statements:

  • Employees use assessment criteria and/or consider risk factors when solving problems.
  • Employees can remember relevant facts or information in order to make decisions.

Create your own:

Section 7: Working with others
Activities Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree
Employees coordinate work or share information with others 1 2 3 4
Employees are successful in accomplishing tasks that require organized co-operation 1 2 3 4
Employees participate in group projects or team meetings 1 2 3 4
Employees can set aside personal differences 1 2 3 4
Employees display behaviour that is conducive to good teamwork 1 2 3 4
Subtotal

Total section 7:   _________________

Alternate statements:

  • Employees are comfortable expressing their opinions in front of their peers.
  • Employees get along well with supervisors and management.

Create your own:

Section 8: Computer use
Activities Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree
Employees accept changes in technology such as new computer software 1 2 3 4
Employees are competent when performing computer-related tasks 1 2 3 4
Employees take an acceptable amount of time to complete tasks using computer software 1 2 3 4
Employees are comfortable using an electronic device when appropriate, instead of performing a task manually 1 2 3 4
Employees are comfortable operating computer accessories such as printers, fax machines and scanners 1 2 3 4
Subtotal

Total section 8:   _________________

Alternate statements:

  • Employees can send emails with attachments.
  • Employees can access and/or maintain databases and spreadsheets.

Create your own:

Section 9: Continuous learning
Activities Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree
Employees are willing to participate in various forms of training (e.g. classroom, on the job, etc.) 1 2 3 4
Employees acquire knowledge and skills by learning from co-workers 1 2 3 4
Employees are interested in developing learning plans for personal or professional development 1 2 3 4
Candidates for higher-level positions are recruited from within the organization 1 2 3 4
Employees are receptive to changes in the workplace 1 2 3 4
Subtotal

Total section 9:   _________________

Alternate statements:

  • Employees apply what they have learned in training to their job.
  • Employees have a good understanding of their own learning style.

Create your own:

Essential skills

Reading: understanding materials written in sentences or paragraphs (e.g. letters, manuals).

Document use: using and understanding labels, graphs, signs and other similar materials.

Numeracy: using and understanding numbers.

Writing: writing text or typing on a computer.

Oral communication: using speech to share thoughts and information.

Working with others: interacting with others to complete tasks.

Thinking: reviewing information to make decisions.

Computer use: using computers and other technical tools (e.g. fax machine).

Continuous learning: participating in an ongoing process of gaining skills and knowledge (e.g. workplace training).

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