Look Who's Talking: Oklahoma's Experience with an Employee Attitude Survey

By Ward, Ron J.; Evans, Edward L. et al. | Corrections Today, August 2004 | Go to article overview

Look Who's Talking: Oklahoma's Experience with an Employee Attitude Survey


Ward, Ron J., Evans, Edward L., Boyer, Deborah K., Corrections Today


Staffing shortages, employee turnover, insufficient applicant pools, changing demographics and increased competition for quality applicants, an aging workforce, shifts in employee attitudes, expectations and organizational loyalty--like many other correctional agencies, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections continues to face a critical management challenge: What can the organization do to effectively retain valuable employees?

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In an effort to proactively address employee retention issues, the Oklahoma DOC contracted with the University of Oklahoma, which then subcontracted with Charles J. Kehoe, a well-known correctional practitioner and vice president of Securicor New Century LLC, to assist agency staff with the development of a strategic plan for employee retention. It was agreed that the best way to examine employee retention issues was to gather information about employee perceptions of the DOC by simply asking employees for their feedback.

Employee surveys can be useful in assessing employee attitudes, problems and organizational conditions, evaluating the impact of organizational change, and gathering valuable input from employees regarding organizational performance.

Establishing Objectives And Obtaining Commitment

Development and administration of a customized employee attitude survey is a labor-intensive process. Before developing such a survey, it is important that the objectives for conducting the survey are clearly defined and that management is firmly committed to acting on the survey results. Management commitment at all levels in the organization is crucial to achieving a successful outcome. When employees invest time in completing the survey, they will expect a thorough explanation of the survey results and swift action taken on those results. Management must be willing to accept the survey results, share those results--both positive and negative--with employees, explain why the organization is unable to address certain issues and concerns identified, and most importantly, act promptly on areas identified as needing improvement. The agency's credibility can be damaged if a survey is administered and employees are never advised of the findings or when action is not taken as a result of the survey. Understanding these issues, the agency's work team met with the agency director and senior leadership to discuss the survey's specific objectives and obtain approval and buy-in for survey administration.

Developing the Survey

Employee attitude surveys have historically solicited feedback from employees in a variety of areas such as job satisfaction, quality of supervision, compensation and benefits, opportunities for career development and physical working environment. Surveys also may be used to solicit feedback regarding organizational strategy and direction, understanding of agency vision, mission, goals and objectives, as well as employees' understanding of their roles in fulfillment of the vision, mission, goals and objectives, and identification of work/life issues. The agency's work team deemed it necessary to obtain information about several areas within the department, including operations, job satisfaction, cooperation and teamwork, staffing and promotions, facility/unit administration, supervision, safety and security, training and human resources-related issues. Based on these survey needs, the work team developed a customized employee survey based on tested models that had been used in several adult and juvenile correctional settings.

Testing the Survey Before Distribution

Before issuing the survey, the work team felt it was important that the survey be tested on a small group of employees to ensure that the survey process was sound, the survey and instructions were easy to understand and follow, and the questions and response options were clear. The employee attitude survey was subsequently field-tested at one correctional facility with responsibility for a variety of security levels.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Look Who's Talking: Oklahoma's Experience with an Employee Attitude Survey
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.