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Workplace Climate and Harassment Survey

Publishing Date
December 13, 2023

In 2019, NIH administered the Workplace Climate and Harassment Survey (WCHS) to its staff as part of the NIH Anti-Harassment Program. The main goals of this in-depth, scientifically rigorous assessment of the NIH workplace were:

  • To identify any specific elements of NIH workplace climates that may be associated with harassment, including sexual harassment and other inappropriate behaviors, so that NIH can design and implement any necessary targeted initiatives based on the findings.
  • To determine the impact of harassment on career choices and on other outcomes, such as job satisfaction and psychological health.

The survey results helped assess the workplace climate and identify elements of NIH’s organizational climate associated with harassment. The findings and insights inform strategies and the development of NIH programs to improve the workplace. In addition, NIH’s experiences inform institutions about ways to assess and address workplace incivility and harassment.

The NIH Office of Human Resources (OHR) now leads ongoing workplace climate assessment efforts, deploying the NIH Workplace Civility and Equity Survey every three years.

WCHS Products

NIH created the following resources to make the survey findings accessible and actionable for the broader scientific community:

  • Survey Findings Report—Summarizes the survey purpose, methodology, key results, and conclusions.
  • Infographics (Condensed and Extended)—A collection of visuals, charts, and data highlighting the survey’s essential findings.
  • Survey Development and Methods Report—An overview of the logistical and procedural processes involved in developing and administering the WCHS.
  • Survey Implementation Guide—Describes the measures used in the WCHS to be transparent about the methodology and encourage institutions to adopt the instrument as they deem appropriate to their needs.
  • Summary Frequency Tables—Provides additional context to the survey findings and supports future administrations of the survey instrument.

NIH Staff Resources

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