Haines Borough Manager Bill Seward wants to check the pulse of the borough and establish a baseline of data about its organizational climate, or workplace culture.

Seward said climate surveys are generally viewed as a best practice and are a valuable way to gather qualitative information.

A public notice and official request for proposals were released Tuesday, Aug. 22. The documents ask for a contractor to conduct an “organizational climate survey.” The borough would like the contractor to have past experience conducting surveys and providing trend analysis.

The request for proposal document says the survey will “identify areas of strength, areas that need improvement, and clarify perceptions regarding organizational practices and values.”

The borough’s 90 full-time and part-time employees ideally would answer questions about their perceptions of the work environment.

“That will give me an idea of where I need to put emphasis,” Seward said. “It will turn into my leadership report card.”

Seward said he’d like to repeat the survey about once a year to recognize concerns, analyze improvements and discover why changes occur year to year.

He estimates the survey will cost less than $2,500. Seward, who recently completed a career in the U.S. Coast Guard, said he has conducted and participated in similar surveys in all his past appointments.

Although he had not researched if other small boroughs in Southeast Alaska have conducted climate surveys, Seward said bigger municipalities are likely to run something similar.

The borough will accept proposals until 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16. The RFP specifies that the surveys be completed and results available to the borough within 60 days.

“I’m anxious to get it going,” Seward said. “I wish we had it together earlier.”