This is the 12th of a 12 part series on Evidence Based Principles. Subscribe to our blog and get the upcoming Risk Principle Simplified series delivered right to your inbox.
Principle 8: Provide Measurement Feedback
The needle on my gas gauge provides feedback. So does my bank account statement. My teenage daughters’ eye rolls are feedback. When my mother states, “I miss your phone calls,” she is providing feedback. The scoreboard provides a variety of valuable feedback, as does the speeding ticket for driving 84 in a 45. The reminder on my iPhone is designed solely for the purpose of feedback. Feedback surrounds us, but sometimes when we need feedback the most, we cannot find it.
My community corrections contract requires me to provide an annual report to my oversight agency. Every year I create beautiful color charts and sophisticated graphs, print them on card stock paper and include a lovely cover page and wire coil binder. I work hard to make it easy to understand complex data. I present the results and trends to the oversight board, take a few insightful questions and breathe a sigh of relief that the task is completed for another year.
I am embarrassed to admit that some (which sounds better than “many”) years I do not go over the annual report with the employees who arrive at work every day giving 100% to help the offenders we serve. We talk all year about the importance of our mission and the goals we as a team want to attain. Then I create a feedback document about our successes (and failures) and fail to give it to the very people that crave it the most. (Writing this is not my proudest moment).
When I visit a web site there is usually a Facebook icon with a simple message, “Like us on Facebook.” They want my feedback. When I try to purchase a used set of golf clubs on EBay, I see the percentage of positive ratings of the seller. They are proud of their feedback. We periodically conduct a customer satisfaction survey for our CorrectTech customers. How did we do? Are you happy? Would you recommend us? How can we help? We cannot get better without feedback. Where there is a goal, there had better be feedback.
Data analysis is not just for PowerPoint presentations and annual reports. Ultimately, predictive statistics (i.e., what correlates with success), should inform training, policies, and employee feedback. Knowledge should be used to effect change, not only for knowledge in and of itself.
Key Points on Feedback:
- Make it Clear: People (offenders, employees, organizations) thrive on feedback.
Make it Matter: Feedback, accompanied by a specific goal, leads to increased motivation.
Make it Change: Organizational feedback should be reflected in the revision of policies and procedures.
We think EBP matters. We hope you do too (if you got this far, you do!). In fact, CorrectTech grew out of the need to advance Time to Change Community Corrections Programs in Denver, CO. We needed to automate and implement EBP. CorrectTech is the result. We invite you to learn more about our first hand experiences with our staff, our community corrections clients, our programs, and our experience in using technology to help enable our EBP journey. We can also introduce you to other agencies who have likewise adopted CorrectTech to streamline their operation and place more focus on what matters most. People!
In our next blog series, we will address the Risk Principles. Subscribe to our blog and get the upcoming Risk Principle Simplified series delivered right to your inbox.
This a 12 part series. Here are all 12 blogs in the series:
- An Introduction to Evidence Based Principles (EBP)
- EBP: Building the Therapeutic Relationship
- Community Corrections Interventions Must Begin with Assessment
- To Be or Not to Be: Framing Offender Motivation
- EBP: How Good is Your Aim?
- Discovering Values in Collaboration
- Practice Makes...Habit
- Structure & Accountability Still Matter!
- Catch Them Being Good!
- It Takes a Community to Transition an Offender
- What Works Anyway? Prove it!
- Feedback Please!