Imagine you’re a district administrator, finally sitting down to review the results of your staff survey. Hours of meetings, dozens of phone calls, and countless survey revisions have all led to this: your final summary report.
This magnificent document contains myriad data points and recommendations just waiting to be used. This blog post aims to help anyone reviewing their survey’s results to identify standout data, interpret what these scores mean for a school or district, and develop a plan for action.
When you receive a summary report from School Perceptions, many important data points will already be highlighted. (I’ll use the Top/Bottom 5 section as an example, but the same steps will work for almost any question.)
If you received an Excel spreadsheet with your results, find percentile scores that are highlighted in green or red. These colors indicate scores in the top or bottom quartile compared to similarly sized schools.
Once you identified your strengths and weaknesses, look for similarities between them. Using the above example, several of the Bottom 5 scores could be explained by poor communication (e.g., “I feel supported by district administration.” with “Parents are included in decisions.” and “District communication”). Grouping data points that have a common cause helps develop cohesive action plans that are more likely to effectively address the issue. Additionally, solving one problem (poor communication) is less daunting than trying to solve three at the same time!
It’s important to go through this same process for your top scores as well. Highlighting positive results can improve staff morale and reinforce that their voices are being heard. Several of the Top 5 scores in the chart above indicate that respondents feel they work in an environment where staff and students are valued and respected. This is great news, and it’s worth sharing throughout the district!
Now that you know what the key issues in the district are, it’s time to act. Develop a plan of action that address the overall issue, while still making sure that each specific data point is being addressed (Employee Surveys Action Planning | Insightlink). For example, a plan to improve communication should have sub-goals of including parents and increasing district communication/support to staff. Sharing this plan throughout the district will help staff feel confident that the district is putting in effort to make a positive change and make them more likely to answer future surveys.
That’s it for this brief primer on turning results into action. There are many methods for implementing changes based on data, and this post was meant to serve as a guide to get you started.
If you have examples of what has/hasn’t worked for you in the past or have questions on this topic, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!
Datnow, A., & Park, V. (2018). Opening or closing doors for students? Equity and data use in schools. Journal of Educational Change, 19(2), 131–152. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10833-018-9323-6
Employee Surveys Action Planning | Insightlink Communications. (n.d.). Insightlink. Retrieved January 21, 2022, from http://www.insightlink.com/employee-survey-action-planning.html
Meyers, C. V., & VanGronigen, B. A. (2020). Planning for what? An analysis of root cause quality and content in school improvement plans. Journal of Educational Administration, 59(4), 437–453. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEA-07-2020-0156
The School Perceptions Blog and Resource Center features the voices of our team members. This post was written by Tom Wade, Project Manager.