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Help with survey design? Options
Epiphileon
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 6:15:28 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/2009
Posts: 3,967
Neurons: 62,004
Hi guys, As some of you know I drive a school bus now, but at one time was in training for a career in research. I've been driving a bus for 10 years now and something I've heard for all that time, is that we are always short of drivers. This year however, it got to the point in New Hampshire where 2 districts had to delay opening school because of it.

The problem seems to be getting worse and this last year I got curious enough to research the problem. I quickly discovered while there is a plethora of information on the Web about the problem, there is a dearth of actual research addressing the problem at the level from which it stems. I went to my manager and told her about my notions of how we might be able to improve strategies for recruitment and retention from a data driven perspective. Of course that meant I would have to grind the rust off of a 30 year old skill set.

I have already done one survey that was mostly basic demographics and experience history, those are easy, what I need help with are the following type of questions.

8) Does your pay allow you to meet your financial needs?
__1. Not at all __2. Barely __3. Adequately __4. Comfortably __5. Provides Surplus

9) How often is student management a problem on your bus?
__1. Never __2.Sometimes __3. Once a week __4. Regularly __5.Every Day

10) When you write a student up, the school takes appropriate and effective action?
__1. Never __2.Sometimes __3. Half the time __4. Most times __5.Every time

11) How would you describe the driver staffing level at your terminal?.__1. Critically short __2 .Somewhat short __3.Adequate __4.Very good __5.Too many drivers

12) How negatively does the driver shortage effect your job experience in general?
__1. Extremely __2 .A lot __3.Somewhat __4.A little __5.Not at all

13) How much does it bother you when due to a driver shortage there is no requested time off allowed?
__1. Extremely __2 .A lot __3.Somewhat __4.A little __5.Not at all

14) How much workplace gossip is there?
__1.None __2. A little __3.Some __4 A lot __5 ?

15) How negatively does workplace gossip affect your job experience?
__1. Extremely __2 .A lot __3.Somewhat __4.Occasionally __5.Never


What do you guys think of the wording of the questions, are they unambiguous and clear? Do the scales and their descriptors make sense?

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
leonAzul
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 6:38:10 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,170
Neurons: 26,000
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
The questions and choices of response seem clear and meaningful to me.

I assume this survey is directed at current and former drivers for the district. Could you please explain how the results would be translated into a recruitment effort?



"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 7:00:08 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 891
Neurons: 302,009
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
I would suggest changing question 9) option 4.Regularly to "Frequently". It seems to fit the pattern in the selections better.
The offering for option 5. of question 14) could be "Excessive".

I notice that a few questions offer "Never" as option 1, and other times as option 5. Please be sure you are consistent in your sequencing, if there is any chance that it could confuse the calculation of stats.
Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2018 4:37:24 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/2009
Posts: 3,967
Neurons: 62,004
leonAzul wrote:
Could you please explain how the results would be translated into a recruitment effort?


Thanks Leon. This portion of the survey has more to do with retainment, but is still very much in a beta state.

Once I have a more polished instrument we are going to pitch it to the regional manager to see if we can scale it up to a couple more terminals. I see the effort as benefiting both drivers and the company. As the driver shortage is at critical levels, and may be getting worse, the company is going to be motivated to retain drivers. It seems to me that knowing what type of things are frustrating drivers should motivate them to do what they can to ameliorate those issues.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2018 4:41:25 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/2009
Posts: 3,967
Neurons: 62,004
Wilmar (USA) wrote:
I would suggest changing question 9) option 4.Regularly to "Frequently". It seems to fit the pattern in the selections better.
The offering for option 5. of question 14) could be "Excessive".

Thanks Wilmar I will look at these.

Quote:
I notice that a few questions offer "Never" as option 1, and other times as option 5. Please be sure you are consistent in your sequencing, if there is any chance that it could confuse the calculation of stats.


Definitely, I posted these at the first draft level, I intend to look at the possibility of being able to use a cumulative score as an indicator of overall job satisfaction.


Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2018 8:49:47 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 7,603
Neurons: 43,847
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Hi Epi. If you haven't already included a question about the logistics of timing during the day, that would be a concern for me. By that I mean being available on and off during the day if that is how it works. Scheduling might suit some people and not others. Family obligations can determine that too.

I have been on field trips with students. For recruitment - Can you handle noise and distraction? Do you like children? Because they will be children.

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Epiphileon
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 4:06:46 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/2009
Posts: 3,967
Neurons: 62,004
Hope123 wrote:
Scheduling might suit some people and not others. Family obligations can determine that too.


High Hope, thanks for responding. This research is really in its infancy, I am really hoping it takes off but for now there are a number of unknowns. One of the biggest of these is how much drivers will be interested in completing these surveys, and part of that, I think, is how long they are. I have arbitrarily restricted myself to one page for now, which comes out to about 15 questions. "The Schedule" is actually one of the choices in the question about, "Why did you decide to become a school bus driver?"

The one aspect of the schedule commitment that people do not really appreciate the implications of, although they tell us upfront at the interview to expect it. Is the exceedingly high expectation of perfect attendance. This of course is an artifact to the chronic driver shortage problem. Our company even has a monthly bonus for perfect attendance. This issue is addressed in the question about "no requested time off".

Quote:
I have been on field trips with students. For recruitment - Can you handle noise and distraction? Do you like children? Because they will be children.


LOL yes there will be children, and yes you damn well better have a temperament that can deal with them in all there various manifestations or you will hate this job. This is another issue that is directly addressed multiple times in the hiring process. On the other hand I have never had a job where I have smiled so much as I do, especially with my Kindergarten-4th grade students.

Here is one example of the kind of amazement you can be in for. My route is largely in the town of Bennington, one of the roads on that route is North Bennington Road. Well Bennington didn't have a sign long enough to put that all on so they abbreviated it to "NO Bennington". Well one of my second graders apparently saw that sign for the first time a few weeks ago when I stopped at the intersection, all of sudden I hear him read it on loud as "no Bennington." Then I hear in an incredulity inflection unique to children, "What does that even mean?", "I live in Bennington". I laughed so hard I had to sit at the stop sign for a bit, it's not often you witness a child's first existential crisis.


Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
BobShilling
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 2:44:13 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/1/2018
Posts: 86
Neurons: 1,302
Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
Wilmar (USA) wrote:
I would suggest changing question 9) option 4.Regularly to "Frequently".


I'd go for: the more precise: 1. Never __2. Once a month___ 3. Once a week __4. two or three times a week __5.Every Day

Quote:
I notice that a few questions offer "Never" as option 1, and other times as option 5. Please be sure you are consistent in your sequencing, if there is any chance that it could confuse the calculation of stats.


Applause Applause Applause
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, April 16, 2018 9:39:44 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 28,446
Neurons: 161,951
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi Epi!

I've just seen this, or would have answered earlier.
The thing I notice (besides some Qs increasing 1 - 5 and others increasing 5 - 1) is that they're all asking about negatives. Driver shortages, refusal to allow time off, student management problems, not enough pay etc.

Why not throw in a few on the other side?
For example (covering be, do, have as all verbs fit into one of those three categories):

What do you enjoy about being a school bus driver?
Which part of it do you like best?
What do you do in your job that you like most?
What do you feel you gain most from driving?
What do you feel that working with children gives you?


Of course, this is not a simple 'tick the right answer' survey, but after the initial survey of this sort, you would then be able to do a narrow-down, multiple choice survey.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Epiphileon
Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 12:21:30 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/2009
Posts: 3,967
Neurons: 62,004
Thanks Drago, I did add one "How personally fulfilling is your job?" I've gotta stay away from fill in the blank questions though, the logistics are prohibitive. I do have an email up for driver input though which I gave out in a letter about "Why the recent survey." Which of course should have gone out before the survey, but like I said, "30 year old skill set."

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 12:37:06 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 28,446
Neurons: 161,951
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Yes - tabulating a "fill in your answer" survey is a real skill and is very time-consuming - if you do it wrong, you end up with as many categories as there are people surveyed. d'oh!

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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