U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210
May 16, 1997
|DIRECTIVE||:||TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION NOTICE NO. 31-96|
|TO||:||ALL STATE JTPA LIAISONS
ALL STATE WORKER ADJUSTMENT LIAISONS
ALL STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY AGENCIES
ALL ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER SYSTEM LEADS
|FROM||:||ROBERT S. KENYON
for Regional Management
|SUBJECT||:||Tools for Meeting ETA's Customer Satisfaction Goals|
Purpose. To inform the employment and training system's "stakeholders" of the availability of materials, training and technical assistance to help improve the quality of their program services and to increase their customers' satisfaction.
Reference. Training and Employment Information Notice No. 17-96: Employment and Training Administration PY 1996/FY 1997 Goals.
Background. The Nation's public employment and training system has lately come to realize the importance of adopting principles from the "quality revolution" that swept through the private sector during the last decade. As the Federal steward of this highly decentralized system, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) relies on its partners in State and local government and in the private sector to provide quality management and service delivery.
ETA and its partners have agreed that customer satisfaction should be a major performance goal of the nation's workforce development system. In FY 1997, this goal is to "increase to 75% or by at least 5 percentage points, the number of ETA's direct service delivery partners who use a customer satisfaction measurement system for continuous improvement, contingent upon the availability of baseline data that reflect how many ETA partners currently have such measurement systems and on an assessment of what constitutes a realistic increase."
An additional goal states that "at least 75%" of the customers of ETA's Office of Special Targeted Programs (Older Workers, Migrant Workers, Native Americans) will rate the services they receive as "very or extremely helpful in facilitating the accomplishment of their objectives."
Other FY 1997 goals deal with the satisfaction of ETA's service delivery and direct grantee customers with the services they receive from ETA.
Technical Assistance Available through the Simply Better! project. Simply Better! is a national technical assistance project designed to help employment and training professionals and organizations incorporate principles of continuous quality improvement into their daily operations. During the past year, Simply Better! has developed two products related to improving customer satisfaction in the employment and training system.
The Voice of the Customer can help quality-focused organizations to develop effective customer feedback strategies and to integrate the resulting information into program design and decision-making. This Technical Assistance Guide provides an overview of the tools and techniques available for measuring satisfaction with employment and training programs. Topics addressed include informal research techniques, focus groups, survey design, and data analysis. An accompanying workbook allows local staff quality improvement teams to design their own measurement, evaluation and action plans. Samples of survey instruments used by other employment and training agencies are provided as is an extensive bibliography of other sources of information.
Focus groups can be a valuable tool for learning how customers feel about a particular issue, and why they hold those beliefs. Customers in Focus offers a wealth of in-depth information for those interested in conducting focus group sessions. This publication discusses the relative advantages and disadvantages of focus groups, how to construct a discussion guide, how to select and recruit participants, the competencies required of focus group moderators, and tips for the analysis and presentation of focus group data.
These manuals are presently available as technical assistance guides and training workbooks. Efforts are currently underway to make them available in CD-ROM format as well.
Hard-copy publications may be obtained from Simply Better! Regional Office contacts. Text versions of Simply Better! products may also be downloaded from the Simply Better home page at http://www.ttrc.doleta.gov/simplyb.
Training. Train-the-trainer instruction has been delivered for Regional Office and State-level training staff in all ten ETA Regions during the past year. Many States have conducted "turn-around" training for local SDA and provider agencies as well. Each Regional Office has at least one Simply Better! representative who can help State and local agencies access the customer satisfaction materials and technical assistance and training services discussed in this issuance.
Action Requested. Distribute this issuance to local SDAs, SSGs, One-Stop Career Centers, Employment Service offices and other employment and training service providers. Encourage them to explore and use Simply Better! products to improve customer satisfaction and to implement continuous improvement techniques in their workforce development programs.
Inquiries. For additional information regarding The Voice of the Customer, Customers in Focus or any other Simply Better! products, please contact the appropriate Regional Office of the Employment and Training Administration and ask to speak with a Simply Better! representative. A listing of these individuals is attached.
Attachment. List of ETA Simply Better! regional contacts.