The Trouble with Traditional “Engagement” Surveys
Like most novel innovations, the concept of the Employee Experience Evaluation (hereafter known as the E3) was born of frustration and disappointment with the current status quo around employee “engagement” or “satisfaction” surveys. In conversations with our consulting friends at Toolbox Training and Consulting, we realized that the most popular tools currently used globally to assess “engagement” and “satisfaction” had a number of glaring errors that made their use, in retrospect, almost entirely useless for managers and leaders. We discovered three trends across almost all of the existing evaluations:
"Engagement" Definitions are Completely Inconsistent
We’ve spoken previously about our disdain with the concept of “engagement”. Every organization has different expectations around this highly-loaded term, and the variance in definitions is even greater between different employees and departments. How can we objectively evaluate something that doesn’t have consistent definitions or expectations?
Employees are the Focus, Not the Organizational System
In nearly every tool we reviewed, we noticed a trend in how almost all the questions were written. “I understand what is expected of me at work” is a very different statement than “The organization has provided clear expectations about my work”, for example. Are employees willing to admit their downfalls? Or would they respond more honestly if the organization was the focus instead?
The Feedback Isn't Actionable
And finally, the moment comes to start planning the next steps. But when you review the data, items like, “I am proud to work for my organization” or “I feel like a member of a team” or “I am happy at work” leave you scratching your head as to where to start making changes and improvements moving forward. If you read the question and you can’t define your next steps, why ask the question to begin with?
The E3-ABA focuses on the perception of 10 distinct areas of the behavior analytic employee experience:
Onboarding and Training
Ongoing Task Support
Supervision and Oversight
Reinforcement and Recognition
Continuous Learning and Professional Development
Organizational Receptiveness to Feedback and Change
Overall Employee Experience
Critical details arise in the demographic data that we collect in the survey, asking for just enough information to maintain confidentiality for your staff members, while still being able to draw interesting and impactful conclusions about what your employees are experiencing.
Are your RBTs having more issues with technology than your BCBAs?
Are your school-based staff getting more oversight than your in-home clinicians?
Are we seeing increases in feedback quality at certain geographic locations, but not at others?
How different are the experiences of our newly-hired staff than our long-term team members?
Does length of time in the field impact how our leaders are viewed by employees?
And much more!
Survey respondents can also opt-in to have their response data included in a large-n data set from which we will be analyzing more global trends in the field of behavior analysis. These data will be dissociated from your specific organization, and be used to identify global patterns and solutions to mitigate ongoing issues with systemic burnout among ABA clinicians.
Data doesn’t mean much unless we use it to evaluate, reinforce, and change our practices. In your E3 report, we will provide graphs and updates each quarter to show how the data are changing, which enables teams to move more quickly towards effective solutions, and away from those that aren’t. Accountability is also built in: there isn’t much worse than a stagnant or decreasing trend in our data, and reviewing those trends each quarter will keep our finger on the pulse of your employee experience. And the best part is that our team does all of the response collection and data analysis for you on a schedule, so your team can focus on solution-planning and implementation, not data-mining and sending evaluation emails.