Why choose the OHEP?
Rooted in Science & Practice
The OHEP is a validated assessment grounded in a framework developed by our founder and Alberta business leader, Mac Van Wielingen. Informed by both evidence-based research and decades of experience in building sustainable, successful businesses, the assessment adheres to strict academic scale guidelines and is regularly updated to reflect new research.
Many off-the-shelf tools focus on a particular aspect of an organization (often an arbitrarily chosen factor such as employee engagement), however the OHEP offers a 360-degree evaluation of an organization by assessing a comprehensive set of 13 core health factors that directly link to performance.
No two organizations are the same, so we fine-tune our methodology for every client. Adopting a Needs-Based Approach, factor selection and analyses are tailored to fit the unique needs and areas of inquiry in an organization.
Data analysis and reporting follows a rigorous and thorough process, guided by current research practices and unique client needs. In addition to providing a quantitative breakdown of each fundamental, we conduct a qualitative analysis and combine results into larger themes. Our value-add is the rigor we apply in these analyses - our PhD trained team reviews every employee comment to help clients make sense of the data.
Why not conduct an in-house survey crafted by organizational leaders?
Stock surveys (non-customized surveys administered by third-parties) and surveys developed in-house, provide employees with a formal channel through which they can express their feedback to management and directors. Ultimately, having a formal mechanism for employee feedback is critical and not something we want to discourage, particularly if the alternative is to not offer any form of feedback channel. However, we urge organizations seeking to achieve sustainable long-term performance, higher employee retention, and generally a higher standard of excellence than competitors, to adopt a comprehensive and customized employee survey that is both evidence-based, aligned with your organization’s values, and developed by professionals who have obtained specialized skills in psychometric scale creation, such as the OHEP. Organizational psychologists trained in psychometric DEFINE scale development are trained specifically on ways to craft (or not craft) surveys and items (e.g. double-barreled questions, leading questions) in order to garner the most valid and reliable responses from respondents. Professionally trained researchers are also trained in the proper interpretation and analysis of data, e.g. how to avoid outliers, and misrepresent data.
Moreover, having a qualified third party conduct an employee survey allows organizations to circumvent issues with confidentiality, anonymity, and socially-desirable responses. That is, employees are more likely to trust that their responses will truly be kept anonymous if they are collected and analyzed by an objective third party and only presented to management in an aggregate form.
Why once per year vs. pulse?
Our recommendation is to administer of the full-scale OHEP survey in organizations every 1-2 years as it offers a comprehensive, 360-degree evaluation of an organization’s performance on key fundamentals imperative to health and effectiveness.
Though pulse surveys have gained popularity and can be a great tool to monitor progress, many leaders and managers may fall into the pitfall of believing that just monitoring is enough to maintain or improve engagement. When VRP utilizes pulse surveys (versus the fall-scale OHEP), we design the abridged assessment with specific questions and goals in mind to obtain better insights (often relating to follow-up initiatives). The shorter pulse survey, which can be administered multiple times per year, can help quickly attain a snapshot of select aspects of organizational health, and often garner higher participation rates given their shortened nature.
 Mercer (2017). Engaging today’s workforce: insights from 25 years of research.
What are the benefits of benchmarking to our external OHEP Index?
In addition to providing our clients with a score for each fundamental measured in the final report, we also include corresponding “benchmark” comparisons, captured in our OHEP Index. Index values are calculated by taking the average score for each fundamental across all organizations that have previously administered the OHEP. The purpose of the benchmark is to provide clients with context in which to interpret scores on each fundamental. Without context, it can sometimes be difficult to interpret the meaning of a numerical score.
An example of a fundamental where the benchmark values are especially helpful in facilitating interpretation is within Burnout. That is, we often find that Burnout tends to be one of the lowest scoring fundamentals across all organizations. Without having the Index value as reference for Burnout (which is quite a bit lower than that of other fundamentals), organizations may interpret a lower score on Burnout as a bigger concern than it necessarily should be. This isn’t to say that a low Burnout score isn’t alarming or worth exploring for follow-up, it simply provides clients with an opportunity to derive more meaning from the assessment, and prioritize interventions appropriately given market or industry patterns. While we see great value in including Index scores in our final report for reference, we never suggest developmental initiatives based solely on an organization’s performance in comparison to the OHEP Index. It should be noted that this point in time, our client-base is entirely represented by the energy industry.
Is it important to consider the time of year when deciding when to administer the OHEP?
Given the sheer number of extraneous factors that could be considered at any given time point, in general we do not feel that there is a universally optimal time of year for administering the OHEP. We do however work with each client on a case-by-case basis to determine, from a logistics perspective, the best time to administer the survey in the organization based on internal events or scheduling. For instance, if there are major events taking place within the organization (e.g., a re-structuring or acquisition) that require consideration, our team works with the client to determine the optimal course of action for survey implementation.
Why 10 core fundamentals? Why did you stop there?
The 10 core fundamentals chosen are based on the advanced leadership framework developed by our founder Mac Van Wielingen, which is derived from both empirical research and decades of experience in building sustainable, successful businesses. See “What is the Advanced Leadership Framework and Why is it Important?” for more information.
While most clients choose to administer more than 10, the core fundamentals are always included. Additional factors may be included based on the client’s unique needs, values and areas of interest. An exploration of possible additional fundamentals is conducted during the Needs Analysis.
How does administering a survey lead to better organizational health?
OHEP results provide organizations with a baseline upon which to measure and track performance as well as a guide for future developmental efforts. The OHEP essentially provides clients with a 360 degree view of their organization’s performance, illuminating areas where they may be struggling, as well as areas of strength. By administering the survey on an annual or bi-annual basis, progress toward developmental and follow-up initiatives can be tracked and revised as needed based.
VRP researchers are available for post-OHEP administration needs. Please contact us for more information on implementation support, including information on customized research, reports, and education opportunities.
What is the Advanced Leadership Framework and why is it important?
In 2014, Viewpoint and ARC Financial Co-founder Mac Van Wielingen and Viewpoint Research co-hosted a series of roundtables at the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership at the University of Calgary with the primary concern of developing and defining an “advanced leadership framework,” which could aid in curriculum development for students and leaders. These conversations, which involved many leading academic researchers from the business school, laid the groundwork for the OHEP by formalizing a framework that now serves as the backbone of the development tool. What resulted from the discussions was an Advanced Leadership Framework focused on 15 factors that are each related to increased organizational effectiveness. The framework is based on Mac Van Wielingen’s 35 years of experience in private equity, finance and the energy industry, and as such, represents a comprehensive approach to organizational performance and long-term sustainability. It is Van Wielingen’s view that any area significantly deficient is likely a red-flag area that if left unaddressed, could lead to a firm’s downfall.
Unlike broad, general surveys, the questions guided by the Advanced Leadership Framework yield results that are relevant and meaningful for that specific company, and directly related to proven performance factors. Think of it as real-time correlations specific to your company.
In the summer of 2017 Viewpoint undertook a research process to improve the OHEP. Integrating new fundamentals and enhancing readability, these changes reflect feedback from former clients, including CEOs, directors, and executives at various client organizations. Content was expanded and refined to include aspects such as growth, communication, recognition, and leadership. The current OHEP has retained 13 core factors (versus the original 15).
How does Viewpoint ensure that our data remains secure? How is the information stored?
As a third-party administered survey, it is especially important to provide context, including how the data will be used, the anonymity of responses, and any additional information on how to answer questions appropriately. The survey is intended to be used as a developmental tool to help organizations improve various indicators of health, and as such, it is imperative that professionals feel safe giving honest answers. Before administering the OHEP, VRP and clients enter into a services agreement, which addresses ownership of data, reporting guidelines (e.g. will not report data for groups with less than 5 employees), employee confidentiality, among others. When administering the survey, it is made clear to respondents that their participation is completely confidential and anonymous, and that their answers will in no way affect their job safety. Regular messaging ensures data quality is not compromised.
At Viewpoint Research, the integrity of the survey and results are dependent upon successful anonymity, and as such, we will never release the raw data files to clients, including management or directors. In addition, all data collected from our clients is password protected and stored on an encrypted platform to ensure that data is securely stored. We currently retain all client data in multiple, secure backup locations.
Should employee participation ever be incentivized?
No - we do not believe that participation should ever be incentivized. Employees should participate in the survey on a completely voluntary basis. Incentivizing surveys can lead to poor quality data (e.g. employees rush through to finish) and does not encourage the proper mindset of assessment takers.
Are there ways to increase survey response rate in an organization without making participation mandatory?
We strongly advise against adopting language such as “mandatory” or “obligatory” when presenting or discussing the survey with employees. This can make employees feel forced to participate and may compromise the data quality (e.g., lead to careless responding). There are several ways to increase the response rate without resulting to required participation. For example, you can ensure that all employees have easy access to the survey while at work (online on their computers, or through tablets or mobile phones), that way there are no logistical barriers to participation. Other methods used to encourage participation include careful consideration around the way the survey is introduced, administered, and reinforced (e.g. introducing at a town hall, vs. over email).
Additional areas can be explored and adopted on an as needed basis.
How long does the administration process take from start to finish? How soon can implementation happen?
The survey process generally takes 6-7 weeks in total. Survey implementation can take place rather immediately. That is, typically the survey can be launched a few weeks after we’ve scheduled an initial meeting to discuss the organization’s unique needs, as well as to provide additional information about the OHEP assessment and process. Although VRP aims to turn around final research reports within a month of survey close, this depends on a number of factors. To secure a specific time and debrief of results in a calendar year, advance notice from clients is preferred.
Why are responses kept anonymous? Why is anonymity important?
At VRP, integrity of data, and ethical process around implementation and employee confidentiality are of the utmost importance. We will never compromise our process or principles in the interest of management or ourselves. For additional information on our principles, see here, and for more on data confidentiality, see question above.
How do I know that the OHEP is grounded in current research?
We continuously update and improve our products and practices based on current research and feedback from our clients. Many assessments have remained the same since their inception, however we make sure to update our items to reflect contemporary research and learnings. In addition, we are not afraid to in a sense, let the data and research confront commonly-held beliefs or accepted research findings. We are truly evidence-based, considering all sources of legitimate science and information.
This all ties back to the fundamental principles we hold at Viewpoint Research.