Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #223
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysis in the Workplace: An Examination of Conflict, Turnover, and Satisfaction
Sunday, May 27, 2018
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Marina Ballroom F
Area: OBM/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ginger R. Wilson-Raabe (The ABRITE Organization)
CE Instructor: Ginger R. Wilson-Raabe, Ph.D.

There are many known disadvantages to employee turnover such as decreased consumer satisfaction, increased effort to maintain clinical intergrity and increased costs to an organization to name a few. Given this, there are many advantages to knowing more about the factors associated with retention. In the presence of such information, directors of behavior analytic service organizations could begin to identify the precursors that lead to turnover and implement antecedent interventions that increase employee retention and satisfaction. The three papers in this symposium will focus on factors associated with employee turnover. Specifically, employee satisfaction, work place conflict and staff turnover will be the topics of the individual presentations. All presenters will share their data based results while highlighting the implications of their results on staff turnover and satisfaction in the workplace. In addition, each presenter will share suggestions for future research so that these important topics can continue to be addressed given the larger implications of efficient service delivery to our consumers.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): employee retention, employee satisfaction, staff turnover
Target Audience:

Graduate students, practicing behavior analysts


The Impact of Staff Satisfaction and Turnover on Caregiver Satisfaction With Behavioral Services

Sara Gershfeld Litvak (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Laura Beavin (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), CHRISTINE L. RATCLIFF (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Hannah Stark (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence)

This study took place as a post-hoc analysis in the context of a national accreditation process, designed to measure organizational health and clinical quality. A total of 68 service providers—who collectively employ approximately 6,000 clinical staff and service approximately 5,000 clients—were evaluated on over 50 clinical quality indicators. Two quality indicators explored are staff satisfaction with employment and caregiver satisfaction with behavioral treatment provided. The purpose of this analysis was to investigate the relationship of overall staff job satisfaction to compensation, career development, work engagement, relationship management, work environment, and scheduling. Staff satisfaction was also correlated with caregiver satisfaction with their child's treatment program, scheduling, staff, caregiver involvement and their child's progress. Trends in relation to caregiver ratings of providers and staff satisfaction will be discussed.


The Effects of Workplace Conflict on Voluntary Turnover and Lost Cases for BCBAs

CHELSEA CARTER (California State University, Northridge), Ellie Kazemi (California State University, Northridge), Steve Hakim (California State University, Northridge), Christina Saez (California State University, Northridge), Shelby Jones (California State University, Northridge)

Workplace conflict is prevalent in healthcare and education, and has been correlated with lowered job satisfaction and burnout. In this study, we distributed a survey to 600 Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA's) through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) to determine the rate and impact of workplace conflict for behavior analysts. Participants reported that they experienced the highest rate of workplace conflict with teachers, caregivers, colleagues, and supervisees. We found that the likelihood of voluntary turnover and lost cases are significantly related to self-reported rates of workplace conflict. BCBA's who are more likely to leave their current job report higher rates of conflict than those who are less likely to leave their job. Furthermore, BCBA's who report having lost clinical cases report higher rates of unresolved workplace conflict compared to those who have not lost a case. Also, there was no difference in the self-reported rate of workplace conflict for BCBA's who have been credentialed for a greater number of years, indicating that more years of experience in the field alone is not sufficient to reduce the likelihood of conflict. The results of our survey indicate that BCBA's would benefit from receiving formal training on how to resolve conflict that occurs in the workplace.


An Examination of Employee Satisfaction Within a Behavior Analytic Service Organization

GINGER R. WILSON-RAABE (The ABRITE Organization), Janice Doney Frederick (The ABRITE Organization), John M. Frederick (The ABRITE Organization), Cameron Milstein (The ABRITE Organization )

Employee satisfaction is a recognized factor that promotes increased retention of team members. With retention, increased consistency can be offered to consumers. Service organizations that offer services to children with autism have a particularly vested interest in producing this outcome given the deficits characteristic of learners on the spectrum. In addition, we have access to the principles of our science and tools offered by organizational behavior management (OBM) to examine employee satisfaction. Despite this, little research has examined these factors. This presentation will discuss the results of employee reported satisfaction, measured throughout the implementation of specific interventions aimed to increase satisfaction. Data were collected on satisfaction throughout baseline and intervention phases and intervention was evaluated with the use of a multiple baseline across service locations within the same organization. The data reveal that satisfaction, within our organization, was variable across the clinical positions with more senior team members reporting increased satisfaction and the specific variables that produced these outcomes were difficult to isolate. These results will be discussed in detail while reporting additional data that were collected on other measures of interest, such as attendance and retention. Future directions for those examining employee satisfaction will also be detailed.




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