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                 be an indicator of a healthy command climate. When Soldiers within a unit understand the mission and commander’s intent, they ultimately possess a mental blueprint of “why” the unit executes a particular operation. People are simply more satisfied at work when they understand the purpose of the mission or the unit. When Soldiers are given the “why” of a particular operation, this information engenders a sense of belonging – creating a sense of pride in the unit, motivating mission accomplishment. Leaders who take the time to explain the purpose of the operation can commit to the task and empower subordinates
to contribute to the solution. A simple way to gauge subordinate understanding is through routine back-briefs or merely asking if the Soldier understands the importance of the specific task or mission. If Soldiers understand the mission and purpose; it indicates that leaders are taking the time to communicate effectively to the lowest levels. When Soldiers are well-informed, they feel as though the unit’s leadership cares about them, promoting a strong command climate.
plan. Counseling takes time and deliberate effort. Soldiers understand and appreciate their leaders’ investment in their professional development, recognizing that leaders have insightful knowledge and valuable experience to share. Leaders who
take the time to counsel subordinates will develop
a healthy command climate. A way for leaders to assess the level of professional growth counseling within their organizations is to inspect counseling packets simply. One inspection method is to review a subordinate leader’s counseling packets while
that leader reports for counseling. For example, a company commander’s quarterly counseling with his/her platoon leaders can begin with the company commander reviewing the platoon leader’s subordinate’s counseling packets. This method assesses both the frequency and the quality of the counseling while also stressing its importance.
Causes of a Negative Command Climate
After understanding the positive and negative indicators mentioned above, what are some
of the causes of an adverse command climate? Commanders are ultimately responsible for an organization’s climate, but subordinate leaders may contribute to a negative command climate. Indecisive leadership and constant changes
in expectations within a unit can frustrate subordinates. Soldiers want to do right by their leadership, but leaders in an organization are duty-bound to provide the purpose, direction, and motivation required to accomplish the mission. Soldiers expect leaders to both plan and prepare before execution, not during. Soldiers do not fear hard work, but they dread having to do the same work multiple times because expectations were not clearly defined. Indecisiveness among a unit’s leadership can foster a negative command climate.
While indecision by leadership can cripple
a unit’s command climate, clearly defined –
but unachievable – expectations set by a unit’s leadership can have the same effect. In 1964, Yale School of Management Professor Victor Vroom developed “Expectancy Theory,” or the expectancy theory of motivation. This theory presumes that an individual will execute a task as long as three key variables are met; expectancy, performance, and outcome. The theory (often referred to as EPO) denotes an equation that links all three variables to determine if an individual will have the motivation
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Signs and Indicators
 Soldiers come to work to perform well; the Soldier’s leadership’s feedback is necessary for the Soldier to understand that they are executing their duties to standard. Organizations that provide regular developmental counseling to their Soldiers can indicate a healthy command climate. Routine counseling is an opportunity for leaders and subordinates to assess individual and unit strengths and weaknesses, subsequently developing a personal and organizational growth

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