Impetus for EOA Effectiveness Study • FY2010-12 Strategic Plan of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness identified Strategic Goal 1.3: need to strengthen advocacy of diversity in the forces. • The goal placed special emphasis on the effectiveness of Equal Opportunity Advisors (EOAs) and senior DOD leadership. • EOAs are critical components to ensure overall DOD EO program effectiveness because they are the primary advisors to senior leaders on all EO issues. • Therefore, DEOMI is sponsoring an effort to identify factors--barriers and enablers—that influence the performance of EOAs
Industry Best Practices • In the field of Human Performance Technology (HPT), root causes of performance problems are generally placed into categories of performance influences. • Although several models exist, the most popular is that proposed by Thomas Gilbert, i.e., the Behavioral Engineering Model (BEM) (Model presented in Gilbert, T. F. (1978). Human Competence: Engineering Worthy Performance. New York: McGraw-Hill)
Gilbert’s Behavioral Engineering Model (BEM) • Two categories within BEM: • Environmental Supports: data, resources, and motivation • These items influence the work environment, are considered external to the individual, and are primarily under the authority, support and control of the organization. • Person’s Repertory of Behavior: knowledge, capacity, and motives • These items are primarily under the control of the individual.
Gilbert’s Behavioral Engineering Model (BEM) Source: Gilbert, T.F. (1996). Human Competence Engineering Worthy Performance. (Tribute Edition). p.88.
BEM: Environmental Supports Three Categories • Data include: (1) Relevant and frequent feedback about the adequacy of performance (2) Descriptions of what is expected of performance (3) Clear and relevant guides to adequate performance (Does the performer have a clear understanding of what is expected from him/her?) • Resourcesare tools, time, and materials designed to match performance needs. (Does the worker have the right resources to perform the job?) • Incentives include: (1) Adequate financial incentives made contingent upon performance (2) Non-monetary incentives made available (3) Career-development opportunities (4) Clear consequences for poor performance. (Are appropriate incentives in place to motivate individuals to perform? )
BEM: Person’s Repertory Three Categories • Knowledge is defined as: (1) Systematically designed training that matches the requirements of exemplary performance (2) Placement (Has the correct person been placed in the job and did he or she receive the proper training to become an exemplary performer?) • Capacity is defined as: (1) Flexible scheduling of performance to match peak capacity (2) Prosthesis or visual aids; (3) Physical shaping; (4) Adaptation; (5) Selection (Does the performer have the intelligence, physical ability, and other necessary skills to do a specific task? Can he or she learn and adapt?) • Motives are defined as: (1) Assessment of people’s motives to work (2) Recruitment of people to match the realities of situation (Individual motives need to be aligned with the work environment so that individuals will have a desire to work and excel.)
Industry Best Practices • Researchers in industry and the military alike have found that approximately eighty percent (80%) of performance problems are attributed to organizational or environmental issues such as manpower, systems, and processes. • Over sixty percent (60%) of performance problems are related to lack of clear job definition or lack of sufficient tools and resources—both of which can be attributed to the organization. • Next slide presents a meta-analyses of “Human Performance Improvement” (HPI) projects conducted by Industry and by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Performance Technology Center .
Industry Findings: Percentage Distribution of Root Causes Every year, large companies spend $300-900M each hoping to “fix” just 12% of their problems! • Which misses the primary • root causes: • Clear job definition (35%) • Tools and Resources (30%) Source: Research of Edward Deming, Geary Rummler, and Alan Brache, presented by ProofPoint, 2004
U.S. Coast Guard Findings: Percentage Distribution of Root Causes Source: Quiram, T. J. (2008). U.S. Coast Guard Human Performance Technology Workshop Proceedings
Industry Best Practices • In summary, organizational issues are more likely to present a barrier to effective human performance than individual-focused issues, such as knowledge and training. “If you pit a good performer against a bad system, the system will win almost every time” Source: Rummler, G.A., & Brache, A.B. (1995). Improving performance: How to manage the white space on the organization chart (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.[p. 13].
Method • Surveys with EOAs • Graduates of 9 DEOMI EOA classes in 2008, 2009, 2010 (3 classes per year) • Web-Based, administered via Survey Monkey • 161 responses to date • Demographic characteristics (still in flux): • Army, active duty, enlisted • Male, Caucasian • Have some college or bachelor’s degree • Have 1-2 years of experience • Surveys with Commanding Officers • To gain their perspectives on same types of issues
Method • Interviews with SMEs • To validate Service-specific EO system models • Created to describe the internal and external organizational relationships and responsibilities that EOAs have within each Service • To collect additional barrier/enabler data • Data to be used to: • Establish the current state and operations for EOAs, as well as recommendations for improving both • Support the development of performance metrics to monitor and increase effectiveness of individual EOAs and the EO program
Factors that Impact Effectiveness • Data is preliminary. • Data will be presented in the following order: barriers—enablers—actions that EOAs can take to improve performance effectiveness. • Data will be organized and presented according to the categories of the BEM. • We start with the Environmental Barriers and then follow with the Individual Barriers.
Environmental Barriers • DATA (Survey Results) • For survey respondents, almost half of the EOAs indicate that there are no information barriers. • For the others, it seems that lack of feedback, information sharing, and continuity with the previous EOA are important issues. • Additionally, lack of support from senior leadership is repeatedly mentioned.
Environmental Barriers • DATA (Survey Results) • Almost half (45.6%) of the respondents indicate that when they began their rotation, their commanding officer (CO) or supervisor did not convey his/her expectations for them in terms of EO goals for the command. • More than half of respondents (55.6%) indicate that they were not debriefed by the prior EOA. • About one third (29.6%) of the respondents feel as though their interactions with their COs are not sufficient (frequent or helpful enough) to perform their job in an optimal manner.
Environmental Barriers • DATA (Interview Results) • Interview data corroborate some of the survey barriers. • There is typically no handover or transfer of lessons learned, particularly if the role remains vacant for some time before a replacement arrives. • Lack of face time with COs was a common response. • Most interaction is with the XO or someone lower in the chain of command.
Environmental Barriers • RESOURCES (Survey & Interview Results) • Lack of Budget/Funding for: • Education programs • Command assist visits • Assessment of subordinate commands • Staffing Issues • EOA vacancies awaiting replacements • EOA role is a collateral duty of short duration for some Services • Competing priorities (lack of adequate time to perform)
Environmental Barriers • INCENTIVES (Survey & Interview Results) • The majority of respondents do not see incentives as an issue.
Person’s Repertory Barriers • All Categories (Survey Results) • More than 92% felt that their own knowledge, skills, attitudes, interests, and motivation are aligned to the EOA job requirements. • Most feel as though they are well-suited to the job.
Person’s Repertory Barriers • KNOWLEDGE (Survey Results) • DEOMI training is outstanding. • More training is needed: • In the DEOMI portion of the course • In the service specific portion (e.g., “Service specific needs to be longer and more focused”) • After graduation (continuing education and local training) • Mentorship program for students leaving DEOMI would be helpful.
Person’s Repertory Barriers • CAPACITY (Survey Results) • “The physical space between units greatly affects my ability to do this job.” • MOTIVES (Survey Results) • A large number of the respondents do not perceive that there is a problem with motivation.
Environmental Enablers • DATA (Survey Results) • Three items were specifically mentioned: • A comprehensive assessment tool • A good screening process in place to recruit the best, to get the right person for the job • A mechanism in place, with set processes and standards, to ensure that the program runs smoothly • RESOURCES & INCENTIVES (Survey Results) • Insufficient data (to date)
Person’s Repertory Enablers • KNOWLEDGE / CAPACITY / MOTIVES • Next slides describe exemplary EOA performance as enablers
Exemplary EOA Performance What Should be Measured? • There are some interesting themes in the data--visibility, communication skills, commitment, proficiency, setting the example • Case Management: • Cases are managed effectively and efficiently. • There are no long standing EO cases. • There are no formal complaints due to a good working environment.
Exemplary EOA Performance What Should be Measured? • Training: • EOAs seek to continuously educate themselves. • EOAs are able to facilitate relevant and realistic training and disseminate EO information. • Communication Skills: • EOAs exhibit good speaking, writing skills, listening skills. • EOAs exhibit good interpersonal skills. • EOAs exhibit accurate record-keeping skills. • EOAs exhibit self-confidence.
Exemplary EOA Performance What Should be Measured? • Cognitive Skills: • EOAs need critical thinking skills. (Commanders and senior leaders ask them for recommendations to solve complex issues.) • High Visibility: • EOAs are sought after by leaders at all levels, both to provide advice and to conduct training. This shows confidence in their abilities. • EOAs are proactive in their job. They are social with all members and groups; they get out of the office and walk around; they represent their Service in the local community.
Exemplary EOA Performance What Should be Measured? • Job Commitment/Diligence • EOAs have commitment and dedication to getting the job done. • Job Proficiency/Skills: • EOAs are able to run an effective EO program and establish rapport with the command. • They are viewed by the command as someone who is genuinely concerned about the climate of the command and the welfare of the crew.
Exemplary EOA Performance What Should be Measured? • Setting a Good Example: • EOAs live by example every day, making on-the-spot corrections when experiencing or overhearing inappropriate conduct or expressions. • Flexibility/Resourcefulness/Independence: • EOAs will go out of their way to maximize all resources available.
EOA Actions to Improve Effectiveness • We asked the EOAs what they felt they could do to improve effectiveness. Survey responses tended to fall under three topics: • Leadership Actions: • Getting leaders trained (especially taking the leadership courses at DEOMI) • Working with leaders on the DEOCs • Ensuring that EOAs and leaders are included at meetings, when applicable
EOA Actions to Improve Effectiveness • Resource Actions: • Establishing relationships with other EOAs and command sections to get materials needed • Talking to the CO and comptroller about budgetary restraints • Working around the budget to maximize all available resources • Training, Education, Knowledge Actions: • Writing issue papers • Being a good observer/listener to pick up on things where they could provide help.
EOA Actions to Improve Effectiveness • Interview Recommendations: • An EOA should maintain high visibility with the CO and the command.
Recommended EOA Program Changes • We asked survey respondents for their ideas in terms of recommended EOA program changes. • Need to flesh out more, but briefly, the responses were related to changes in staffing, training, organizational culture, leadership, and resources. • The most common response of the EOAs is that they would use training and education to facilitate the changes to the program that they recommended. • They would create awareness, continue to educate, and continue to communicate.
Recommended EOA Program Changes Recommendations for COs: • There is a clear theme that CO endorsement and support is an important factor in making the program work. Recommendations for the Services: • It seems that the Services need to look more closely at staffing, assignment, training, and program process issues.
Next Steps • Data collection is ongoing and will continue until adequate representation is achieved for each of the Services. • Validation of the Service-specific system models via subject matter experts will also continue until all Services are satisfied with the models.
Next Steps • As a preview of the current effort, four work phases have been identified. • Phase 1: Determine EO and EOA Requirements and Organizational Level Relationships • Phase 2: Develop EO Program Effectiveness Indicators and EOA Performance Indicators • Phase 3: Develop Prototype Assessment Model • Phase 4: Testingand Transition of Prototype • The surveys and interviews represent focused efforts from Phase 1. Data obtained should provide inputs to Phase 2.
Conclusion • One remarkable finding that has emerged from the data is that there are many very dedicated and committed EOAs operating in the field. They admit that they face many barriers in the execution of their daily duties. • Specifically, when asked if they encountered any organizational conditions or issues that prevented them from providing exemplary performance, more than two-thirds (68%) of the respondents replied that they had. • When asked to what extent such barriers had interfered with their job performance, more than one-third (37.8%) indicated “somewhat” to “very much.” • It is the objective of this effort to uncover those issues that impede the effectiveness of the EOA and the EOA program and based upon those findings, to make recommendations to the Services and DOD.
QUESTIONS? THANK YOU!