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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Oct. 3, 2022

Civilians: New exit survey allows you to share your voice upon separation from the service

The Coast Guard, with support from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), recently rolled out an internally hosted exit survey for civilians as a tool to better understand civilian attrition within the Coast Guard. 
Prior to Sep. 1, DHS hosted the survey. The initiative to develop a Coast Guard Exit Survey was part of the Commandant’s 100-day Plan and produces near real-time data, as well as, serves as a vehicle to share your voice with our leadership. The new survey is available on desktop devices connected to the Coast Guard network, as well as, authorized mobile devices.
“The survey is a communication tool that allows  to share their experiences,” said Michael GrayWolff from the Office of Civilian Workforce Relations (CG-124). “Knowing a person’s journey helps us to learn and create an environment of growth and dynamic change. Otherwise we would continue building systems of change based on assumptions that do not address current state challenges.” 
Although the Coast Guard Exit Survey is currently optional, one of the major pushes behind it is to increase participation. It is only one of the changes coming regarding how an person separates from a command. “On average, 800 [people] leave the command each year. Of those about 8% - 12% completed the DHS/Coast Guard Exit Survey with a current response rate at 18%,” explained GrayWolff. “Increasing participation rates is important because as GrayWolff puts it, “a voice unheard is a lesson lost.” 
The survey captures data, streamed through secured channels and filtered to a dashboard, in the following main categories:  

  • Awards and Salary/Pay; 
  • Career Growth; 
  • Benefits; 
  • Work Life Balance; and 
  • Workplace. 

Each of these higher level topics are then broken into subcategories allowing the Coast Guard to capture the top three items of concern from participants with supporting evidence of the identified root cause.  
For example, the Exit Survey Team took recent action to improve the survey based on survey data in response to input from respondents believing their responses were pointless and that the data would be ignored.

“We have given voice, we have given public forum, and we have allocated resources to continue to grow, implement changes, improve systems, and develop tools that give us guidance and feedback,” said GrayWolff. “[People] demanded to be heard and we are listening in real time, in the current state, and now we are moving forward with synergy and knowledge.” 
For more information, visit the Exit Survey Team’s home page, or email the Exit Survey Team. Available only on the Coast Guard network: Coast Guard Exit Survey