Program Evaluations And Assessments

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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In the business world, program evaluations and assessments of employees, interventions, and policies have been staples of strategic planning for years. By examining current practices and determining their relative levels of success or failure, business leaders can make educated decisions regarding future policies and programs. Individual employee assessments are also used to determine whether or not an employee is meeting expectations.

Recently, though, businesses have begun to use program evaluations and assessments in a slightly different fashion. In the last 10 years, some companies have begun to use assessments to gauge employee morale and overall levels of motivation and dedication, with the aim of improving corporate profitability by improving the employee experience. Though different for every company, many companies have now experienced a rise in revenue, stock worth, and overall profitability that corresponds with a higher level of employee satisfaction.

For example, employees with higher degrees of satisfaction are more likely to be committed to an employer. Along with that commitment, they are more likely to offer better service to customers, recommend company products, and generally perform better in the workplace. As customer satisfaction rises, revenue may also rise, benefiting everyone in the company.

Consultant Firms that Perform Program Evaluations and Assessments

In many cases, it requires a third party to observe, collect, and analyze the employee data that is relevant to employee motivation. Consulting and assessment firms have begun to spring up, offering services such as program evaluations and assessments to businesses across America. Other firms are closely connected with academia, researching employee motivation and assessment techniques--though such firms usually offer assessment services and products to businesses as well.

There are three main tools that such firms use to collect and evaluation employee data. The most direct tool, the employee performance evaluation, investigates the performance of a single employee within the context of his/her job description. The overall aim of performance assessments is to draw connections between individual employee performances and business revenue--specifically, many evaluation firms seek to discover how employee skills such as communication, interaction, and teamwork skills directly affect corporate profitability.

Corporate program evaluations and assessments are similar to employee performance reviews, but they focus on specific corporate interventions--programs, training, equipment, or procedures--instead of individual employees. Program assessments are usually administered as surveys that ask both employees and those in leadership roles to consider the value of every aspect of the program. In many cases, program evaluations and assessments are performed over a full calendar year, in order to provide an accurate picture of the true effect of the program on the business as a whole.

Employee surveys are commonly administered annually to measure overall levels of employee motivation, commitment, and morale. During the research term (it takes generally six weeks to design and administer the survey), consultants from the assessment firm may also gather data of actual corporate performance. Once the results of the survey are tabulated and analyzed, the analysts can begin to determine the actual causal relationships between the employees and business performance.

The Reliability and Validity of Program Evaluations and Assessments

One of the goals for all surveys, program evaluations and assessments is to adhere to strict standards of reliability and validity. By using data gathering techniques and analysis methods that are scientifically proven, such as multivariate statistical analysis (a method of linking multiple independent variables and a single dependent variable), the assessment teams can provide replicable, provable information that illustrates the links between employee skills and profit. The analysts can then make well-substantiated, actionable job recommendations to the client business based on the results of the survey analysis.


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