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Scannable Forms and Employee Engagement

There is no “one size fits all” survey

When a new superintendent for a Florida school district wanted to improve the culture in his district he turned to surveys. Kurt Browning wanted to implement employee engagement surveys to measure teachers’ engagement and create a “baseline” engagement benchmark from which to measure against. Browning, interviewed by the Tampa Bay Times, explained that “when teachers feel good about themselves and about coming to work, they will deliver.” Browning obviously understands the importance of employee engagement. However, I’m willing to bet that there was an easier way Browning could have surveyed his district’s employees.

The district used Gallup (of “Gallup poll” infamy) to ask faculty and staff “a dozen questions aimed at determining how they feel about their jobs.” The survey’s results varied greatly between the many different schools throughout the district. Not only were the results all over the board (see link to article below) but by contracting out the work to Gallup, the school district lost autonomy over its surveys. As the article wrote, “Gallup uses the same questions for businesses and schools across the country.” What happens if the school district wants to ask different questions at different schools? Shouldn’t a survey for kindergarten teachers be different for high school teachers? What if the school district wants to make changes to a survey? Who keeps all the data that is collected?

It’s no surprise that the results were all over the board. The reality is that there is no “one size fits all” survey when measuring employee engagement (or any dataset, for that matter). There are different questions, different ways to ask questions, and different people to ask. Who is in the best position to determine what questions to ask? A giant, third-party Corporation or the school district? We think the answer is simple.

By taking control of their own surveys, the school district would have the freedom to write their own survey questions, edit the surveys on the fly, custom tailor their surveys, and keep all of the data they collect on their own computers. A company like Gallup doesn’t provide those types of solutions. But AutoData does. AutoData’s software provides the flexibility for any organization to create custom tailored surveys specifically targeted to certain demographics ensuring results are as accurate as possible. Thus giving school district’s like Browning’s better, more accurate data and bringing them closer to their goal of improving their culture. And an improved culture in this case means the real winners are the students.


(Tampa Bay Times article cited in post:

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