What is the EUCUSA methodology?

The EUCUSA methodology consists of a certain way of carrying out and performing employee and customer surveys. It is characterized by its systemic approach, its advanced analytical techniques and other methodical and content-related characteristics.

The base

EUCUSA has always strived for increasing employee and customer orientation in order to secure a long-lasting and sustainable corporate quality. With the help of solid scientific principles, it is possible to identify strengths and areas for improvement. The EUCUSA model is based on the publications of Kai Mertins of “Fraunhofer Gesellschaft” in Berlin as well as his research on quality orientation. Another important pillar of the EUCUSA approach is Ingwer Borg’s preliminary work and his expertise in mathematical psychology (University of Michigan) and multifaceted analysis (University of Munich). Last not least, our model has a strong practical orientation in conducting employee surveys. The EUCUSA methodology is both practicable and based on scientific knowledge.

Linking theory to practice

The EUCUSA methodology was primarily developed, to connect a solid, substantial and normative theoretical fundament to a practice-oriented and market-relevant approach, which helps to solve many specific business challenges.

Our systemic approach

The EUCUSA-method emphasizes:

the actual process of the survey
the indexing around aspects and dimensions as well as
the classification of survey results and suggestions of actions to take
 

The contracting company is the expert in the particular corporate context (as well as for the conception and interpretation of the survey). EUCUSA acts as the “methodical expert” and provides support through consulting and implementation services. The details of cooperation between EUCUSA and the customer are discussed and defined in the jointly nominated project team.

From dimensions over aspects to indices

The questions / statements are structured in so-called dimensions and aspects.

Dimensions refer to major topics or “headlines. In the case of employee surveys, it is mostly working conditions, professional development, remuneration, cooperation, corporate culture, information and communication, process and target orientation, corporate image and other company-related topics.

Aspects refer to single questions / statements. The exact wording has to match local language, cultural, national, social and other criteria. In choosing the right aspects, the greatest possible validity can be achieved for the company. At the same time, the comparability with other surveys or with results from previous surveys remains. With the EUCUSA methodology, aspects are formulated as positive statements and are measured on a 6-point scale (level of agreement).

Indices consist of several aspects of a questionnaire and help to measure pre-defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Examples: leadership, engagement, values or innovation.

With the support of EUCUSA, an individual questionnaire ideally matching with the company’s goals will be set up. Based on our experience, using standard questionnaires and standard indices is less suitable for setting up a strategic survey people will actually identify with. Neither are they really helpful to measure the actual state of the company nor can they provide sufficient insight to generate strategy-relevant recommendations based on any survey results.

 

Definition of “satisfaction”

We define the level of satisfaction as the comparison between expectation and experienced reality (according to Anton Meyer or Frank Dornach). Employee satisfaction often is a central component of many other internal surveys which have been done by others, though often without an explicit or valid definition of what satisfaction actually means.

Definition of “engagement”

With over several hundred completed survey projects EUCUSA has developed several key principles, e.g. “Engagement is a desirable state of satisfaction, caused by executing meaningful activities.”

Prerequisites for engagement:

on one hand providing an employee-friendly environment in which these activities can be executed
on the other hand, developing the required personal skills and abilities (qualifications, socialization, vitality etc.).

If requirements of work roles and individual skills match and if the purpose of the activity is well communicated, outstanding performance is likely to be the result.

Pritchard’s “say-stay-strive” model

According to him, engagement consists of the components

positive verbal comments and recommendations (support)
striving for the best for the company (motivation) and
the intention to stay within the company (loyalty).

Hygiene factors

According to Herzberg hygiene factors prevent the development of dissatisfaction, the positive counterpart, however, does not automatically lead to satisfaction. They are taken “for granted”, like for instance a satisfactory salary. If the salary is ok, people might not be dissatisfied, but it does not mean that they are automatically happy and motivated.

Motivating factors

In contrast, motivators lead to satisfaction and engagement.

Measuring motivation

EUCUSA supports you to distinguish between motivators and hygiene factors by clustering the results in extreme (positive, negative answers) and average results (“Extrema Portfolio”). The EUCUSA methodology provides deeper insights as to whether an aspect is perceived as being a hygiene factor or a motivator.

Using a scale with six answer options

EUCUSA uses a scale with six answer options. As many years of research and practical experience show, a six-point scale is the most valid and reliable scale. (Psychometric validations of the scales were made between 2001 and 2006 by Claus C. Carbon, Bamberg University).

Why do we prefer to work with the six-point scale? When using Likert scales* with elements to check, the central question has always been whether to use an even or odd number of options to answer. Using an odd number of options, implies that a psychological “middle” is displayed, and we have found out that people tend to choose this option when they are either indifferent towards answering this question or when they are not really able to answer that question due to lack of experience with that topic.

With an even number of options, the respondent has to think more carefully and take a stand. The consequence is that the answer amplitude is more differentiated.

*Definition: statements which the respondents can strongly agree with or disagree with on a given multi-level answer scale.

Asking for the importance of the aspects

In many cases the importance rating of aspects is mathematically calculated. This approach requires a sufficient number of fully completed questionnaires (minimum about 300) to obtain valid importance ratings for the group. For smaller evaluation units, like teams or departments, this statistic model must use approximation methods, which often leads to unrealistic results.

The EUCUSA methodology allows that the survey participant can mark about a fourth of all aspects that are particularly important to him/her. This way an importance ranking can be calculated for each unit as well as for the whole population. The combined results of the level of agreement and the importance rating are visualized in an action portfolio. This action portfolio shows the survey results of all participants in a very transparent and comprehensible way. Additionally, the anonymity remains guaranteed – as agreed with the client.

By measuring the level of agreement as well as the importance of aspects, EUCUSA provides actionable result reports which enable managers to set the right priorities when determining useful actions.

 

Benchmarking

EUCUSA questionnaires are tailor-made, i.e. each organization uses its individual questionnaire.

Within an organization, the same core questionnaire is used. When internal benchmarking is required, all aspects, dimensions and indices can be compared with each other. Each manager can compare the results of his or her own unit with the best and the most critical results of all the other units which form part of the internal benchmarking. Internal benchmarking allows to learn from the best. More mature organizations can use benchmarking for developing the continuous improvement process (CIP).

External benchmarking is equally available on aspect-level. It is based on several millions of data entries stored in the EUCUSA database since its beginnings in 1998. Subsequently, it is possible to directly compare results of any employee or customer survey with other surveys and to see how results can be classified between Best-in-Class and Worst-in Class.

 

Systemic development together with customers: tailor-made questionnaires

Reports that help you to come up with the right actions

Customers appreciate EUCUSA’s result reports supporting them to come up with the right actions. Our reports are attractively designed, easy to read and understandable without statistical knowledge and the starting point for an effective implementation process once the survey has been completed.