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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #403
CE Offered: BACB — 
Shaping Organizational Success Through Performance Management Practices
Monday, May 27, 2024
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Marriott Downtown, Level 3, Liberty Ballroom Salon BC
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Leif Albright (Manhattanville College)
Discussant: Timothy D. Ludwig (Appalachian State University)
CE Instructor: Leif Albright, Ph.D.
Abstract: Performance management (PM) is a vital tool for addressing and changing employee behavior. The first step of PM is pinpointing, which involves identifying precise outcomes and precise behaviors that lead to those outcomes. Next, performance diagnostics is used to get to the root cause of performance concerns to devise tailored interventions. Numerous assessments, including the Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC) and its variants, serve as invaluable tools for identifying interventions likely to yield successful results. Within organizational behavior management (OBM) there are myriad interventions, each with the potential to improve employee performance. One intervention with growing support is Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT). However, there remains a deficiency in evaluating the role of assessments and corresponding interventions in producing lasting change. This symposium offers a comprehensive examination of the PM process through four presentations. The first evaluates the effects of video-based behavioral skills training (BST) on teaching supervisors to pinpoint. The second analyzes the literature on the Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC) and its variants to assess their utility. The third assesses the use of ACT to improve employee performance. Lastly, the fourth evaluates the utilization of functional assessment to promote maintenance and/or institutionalization of an indicated intervention.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): OBM, Performance Management
Target Audience: The target audience for this workshop is individuals in supervisory positions, including BCaBAs, BCBAs, and BCBA-Ds. Audience members should have foundational skills in organizational behavior management and a basic understanding of performance management.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the steps of pinpointing organizational outcomes and employee behavior that lead to those outcomes; (2) Describe the utility of the performance diagnostic checklist (PDC) and its variants and identify topics in need of additional research; (3) Discuss the need for multi-level support for maintenance and institutionalization of PDC-HS derived interventions; (4) identify three potential effects of acceptance and commitment training (ACT) that can be implemented with staff.

Evaluating the Effects of Individual Versus Group Video-Based Behavioral Skills Training on Teaching Supervisors to Pinpoint

SARA LALANI (The Chicago School; Behavior Analyst Advising, LLC ), Tyler Ré (The Chicago School), Laura A. Kruse (First Leap LLC), John Austin (Reaching Results)

In the workplace, it is important that leaders can address performance concerns with staff. However, this begins with identifying processes and behaviors that yield desirable outcomes, which is known as pinpointing. Pinpointing is essential to the performance management process, as it provides guidance and direction on what is being targeted. This study evaluated the effects of individual (3 participants) versus group (3 participants) video-based BST on teaching supervisors to pinpoint. First, participants were given fictional scenarios of performance problems to practice identifying pinpoints. After participants met mastery criteria, they went two weeks without meeting with the experimenter and then completed two novel scenarios. Following this, generalization was assessed by asking participants to pinpoint a performance problem at their current place of employment. The results from this study suggest both training methods were effective at teaching participants to identify pinpoints, with group training taking almost half the training time as individual training. Additionally, training was effective at helping participants maintain the skill to identify pinpoints and promoting generalization for participants to identify pinpoints in their current work environment.

The Performance Diagnostic Checklist and Its Variants: A Systematic Review
FRAN ECHEVERRIA (Florida Institute of Technology ), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC) is an indirect assessment tool used to identify the variables supporting problematic employee performance. The tool includes four domains; based on PDC results, an assessment-based intervention targeting one or more of these domains is evaluated. In recent years, PDC variants such as the PDC-Human Services (PDC-HS), the PDC-Safety, and the PDC-Parent have been developed. The purpose of this study is to review the research that has employed the PDC and its variants. We found twenty-eight published studies which have used the PDC or one of its variants. The PDC-HS has been most commonly used, followed by the PDC, the PDC-Safety, and PDC-Parent. The PDC and its variants have most often been completed with supervisors of employees exhibiting performance concerns. Many studies have identified multiple PDC domains as problematic, although domains representing antecedents and consequences are most commonly indicated. Interventions have typically been developed based on the highest scoring domain. Few studies have collected data on social validity or maintenance of intervention effects. Overall, results support the utility of the PDC and its variants, but also highlight PDC-related topics in need of additional research
Effects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on Direct Care Staff Psychological Flexibility, Stress, and Job Satisfaction
NANCY K MARTIN (The Chicago School), Leif Albright (Manhattanville College), Tyler Ré (The Chicago School)
Abstract: Direct-care staff who support individuals with developmental disabilities experience high turnover due to high work-related stress and low job satisfaction. Current research has shown success with indirect methods of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) training or with a combination of ACT and other components for increasing satisfaction and decreasing stress among employees. ACT is a behavior analytic psychotherapy that targets psychological flexibility across six processes (e.g., acceptance, defusion, present moment, self-as-context, values, and committed action). This study examines the direct effects of ACT training on the levels of psychological flexibility and mental well-being of direct-care staff working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Through a concurrent multiple probe design across participants, direct-care staff were provided with ACT training. Behavior change was directly measured through observations of their workplace performance. Additionally, self-reported measures included each participant’s psychological flexibility, workplace stress, and job satisfaction. Results show that ACT training was effective in increasing workplace performance, psychological flexibility, and job satisfaction for all three participants during post-training. The intervention showed an inverse relationship with workplace stress; however, the results provide a starting point for addressing decrease of workplace stress. Results support the significance of including ACT as a component of staff training, and maintenance of results should be supported with ongoing training.

The Use of Functional Assessment to Promote Maintenance and Institutionalization of a Performance Management Intervention in an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Service Delivery Setting

DANIEL J CYMBAL (Florida Tech), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Ronald J. Clark (University of Florida)

Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) interventions are often judged by both immediate effects and the long-term impact on the targeted performance, as well as the likelihood that the organization and/or its constituents will adopt the intervention (Sigurdsson & Austin, 2006). In recent literature, tools such as the Performance Diagnostic Checklist- Human Services (PDC-HS; Carr et al., 2013; Carr et al., 2016) have become popular in ABA service delivery settings with demonstrated predictive validity and reliability in empirical literature (Wilder et al., 2020). One further way to evaluate the PDC-HS is to examine its role in producing durable change. Thus, the purpose of the present experiment is to examine the predictive ability of a common OBM functional assessment tool, and how addressing supervisor behavior might contribute to maintenance and/or institutionalization. Eight registered behavior technicians (RBTs) across 4 supervisors were split into two multiple baseline designs across participants. One group of participants was exposed to a PDC-HS derived intervention alone, while the other group received the intervention in addition to their supervisors receiving a PDC-HS derived intervention to promote supervisor implementation and sustained behavior change. A mixed repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was utilized to examine the differences between these groups and an untreated control group. Overall, both PDC-HS derived interventions produced measurable behavior change without researcher led support. Ultimately, institutionalization of these interventions was inconsistent, suggesting that maintaining interventions may require support at multiple levels. Limitations and future directions will be discussed.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh