Ready, Aim, Target…and Measure

In last month’s post, we gave you a pop quiz. Did you learn that you needed to conduct a targeted assessment? If so, you’re in luck as we are continuing our three-part blog series on targeted assessments. This post is dedicated to identifying when and how to conduct one and then how to be sure you demonstrate ROI. Don’t miss that step!

Ready, Aim, Target. Identifying When and How

Two approaches can be taken when considering a targeted assessment – as an add-on to an annual employee survey or as a standalone assessment. Deciding between the two comes down to timing and content.

A targeted assessment can be administered during the annual employee survey as long as the timing aligns with the needs around the targeted assessment issue. If you have specific issues that need to be assessed, conducting a slightly longer annual survey can save you time and money instead of conducting two separate assessments. Many organizations have over-surveyed their employees in the past and integrating multiple surveys into one survey event can be advantageous. If this is the case, adding targeted items to the annual event can provide significant value.

Conversely, if the annual survey is not coming in the near-term, or if the targeted issue requires a longer assessment, a standalone assessment can be conducted. There are a couple of advantages to conducting a standalone assessment.

  • For one, you can comfortably ask more questions on the targeted assessment because you aren’t trying to limit the number of items for an add-on section to an annual employee survey. In this way, you can take a deep dive into the issue at hand.
  • Additionally, with a standalone assessment, the employees will be focused in on the pertinent issue and will not have to shift their attention back and forth between general broad survey topics and the specific issues of concern.
  • Lastly, having a separate standalone survey allows for an opportunity to brand the survey to show management’s commitment to spreading awareness of the change or issue and to show that management cares about the employees’ perspective on the topic.

Keeping Score: How to Demonstrate ROI

An important consideration whenever a targeted assessment is conducted is how to connect it to the bottom line. If an organization invests in targeted assessments and commits to taking action on the results, there must be a demonstration of the benefits and cost savings that result from the investment. In order to do so, a few simple steps need to be integrated into the process.

#1: Pre-assessment measures of the business outcomes that are relevant to the issue at hand should be collected. For example, if the problem indicators are things such as reduced productivity, increases in absenteeism or turnover, the current data of these outcomes should be collected for comparison purposes after the assessments and subsequent action planning takes place.

#2: Once the assessment data has been collected, it should be linked together with the outcome data so that linkage analyses can be conducted to determine which factors from the assessment are the strongest drivers of these outcomes. By honing in on the most critical factors, tailored action planning can begin that will enable leaders at all levels to understand and focus in on the aspects that matter most for improving the business outcomes.

#3: Finally, after the assessment has been conducted, linkage analysis is completed, and leaders have had sufficient time to take action, the organization once again revisits the critical business outcomes. From there, the organization can determine the extent to which it was able to positively impact those outcomes, thus determining the ROI.

Next time we’ll show you all of this in action with a case study. If you’re interested in learning more about targeted assessments, you may download our white paper or contact us at

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