Survey targets making QPS a better place to work

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 10, 2019 10:00 am

QUINCY -- A Quincy Public Schools committee hopes a staff survey will highlight needed resources and ways to boost attendance.

The Human Relations Committee on Wednesday reviewed a draft 2018-19 survey designed to provide feedback on making QPS a better place to work.

"One thing we talked about was hearing from everyone, giving everyone an opportunity," QPS Director of Personnel Lisa Otten said. "We've kept the survey extremely short and easy to fill out."

The anonymous survey, expected to be available March 1, targets the district's certified staff.

Otten hopes to see most of the certified staff participate. But "to me, the important part is not the numbers. It's the feedback," she said. "I'm going to assume people who didn't take the survey are happy."

Similar surveys will target other categories of staff members in coming months.

Survey findings will complement an ongoing effort by central office staff targeting how much the district asks of its staff and efforts "to differentiate what's worth it and what isn't," School Board member Carol Nichols said. "I'm looking for substance, important data, information to make board action possible or more possible."

Committee members discussed how to word questions, agreeing to ask staff members if they were "satisfied" rather than "happy" with their position at QPS and to rate the answer on a numeric scale.

"Depending on the day, I may be happy or not," committee member JoEllen Randall said. "What you're looking for is how do we make sure that we retain you in our school system."

Another question will ask about the reasons if a staff member were to think about leaving as a way "to get ahead of anyone who is thinking about leaving," Otten said.

"We really are trying to figure out why our retention rate is so poor," Superintendent Roy Webb said. "There's an argument on whether that's a compensation-based question or not. Probably some people are leaving for compensation. Some are leaving and going to jobs of less pay."

Otten said exit interviews with staff members have not provided "any consistent reason" why people are leaving the district, but all have said their experience in the district was positive.