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The 2012 climate survey results are in

Feb. 23, 2013 - 10:01AM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 23, 2013 - 10:01AM  |  
measures the attitudes of active-duty, reserve-component and civilian personnel and tends to focus on job satisfaction, trust in leadership, unit performance and resources.
measures the attitudes of active-duty, reserve-component and civilian personnel and tends to focus on job satisfaction, trust in leadership, unit performance and resources. (Corey Parrish / Air Force)
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Despite having to do more with less, working long hours and living under the constant threat of losing your career over your waist size, many of you trust your leaders and are satisfied with your job.

At least that's what more than 163,000 airmen who participated in the biannual Air Force climate survey said.

"This survey is one of the most valuable tools we have as a leader," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley in a Feb. 19 release. "Airmen cannot focus on mission-critical tasks in an unhealthy environment, so we use survey results to identify areas that need attention."

The survey measures the attitudes of active-duty, reserve-component and civilian personnel and tends to focus on job satisfaction, trust in leadership, unit performance and resources.

"The primary purpose of this survey is to provide actionable feedback at the unit level," said Nicole Gamez of the Air Force Personnel Center.

Here are five things to know about the 2012 climate survey:

The Air Force is on a streak. When it comes to the 10 core factors, which include questions about trust, leadership, satisfaction, unit effectiveness and resources, there was little change in how airmen felt about the service in the two years since the survey was conducted in 2010. The only area where the service slipped by a percentage point was in airman satisfaction. In 2010, 83 percent of airmen were satisfied with working for the Air Force, while only 82 percent indicated such feelings in 2012.

Respondents want more recognition and resources. Though percentage points for recognition and resources increased by 1 and 2 percentage points, respectively, airmen consistently rank the service in the mid-to-low 70 percent satisfaction range in those areas.

"Morale is affected by the ongoing struggle for limited resources," Donley said in the release. "It is my challenge every Air Force leader's challenge to find innovative ways to accomplish the mission … without overburdening our people."

Reserve components really like their jobs. When compared to their active-duty and civilian brethren, members of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve appear to be generally more satisfied in the survey's 10 core factors, including in the area of resources and recognition. Guard members rate their unit performance and alliance and their overall satisfaction with their work higher than any other group of airmen. Reserve airmen rank their trust in airmen, trust in their immediate supervisors and trust in senior unit leaders and Air Force leadership highest among all groups.

Civilians are the least satisfied. All is not well among civilian personnel. As a constituency, civilians rank only four out of 10 core measures with a rating of more than 80 percent. And only one trust in airmen is ranked higher than 90 percent. By comparison, active-duty airmen rate five core measures and reserve-component airmen rate eight of 10 measures at more than 80 percent satisfaction. Civilian respondents say they're the least recognized and have the fewest resources among the groups surveyed.

Deployments keep stress levels high. Airmen holding down the fort while their fellow airmen are deployed remain stressed out because of more work and longer duty days. While overall feelings of stress have declined from a high of nearly 60 percent in 2008, airmen are still feeling the pressure four years later, with 52 percent saying they feel on-the-job stress. Workloads have increased for 72 percent of respondents, and duty hours have increased for 53 percent.

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