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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Paper Session #385
OBM Approaches to Influencing Absenteeism and Customer Service
Monday, May 26, 2008
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Area: OBM
Chair: Matt C. Camden (Appalachian State University)
Effects of Individual and Group Contingency Interventions on Absenteeism Rates in Adolescent Part-time Employees.
Domain: Applied Research
MELODY BERKOVITS (The Graduate Center, City University of New York), Alicia M. Alvero (Queens College, City University of New York), Peter Sturmey (Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: Absenteeism in company employees presents significant challenges. Productivity losses due to employee absenteeism cost United States businesses billions of dollars each year (Gale, 2003). Most adolescents in the United States are employed at some point during their high school years (Greenberger and Steinberg, 1986). While many studies have implemented successful attendance interventions to reduce employee absenteeism, few have addressed the issue of absenteeism as it applies to part-time student employees. This study examined the effects of positive reinforcement using individual and group contingencies on absenteeism rates in adolescent part-time employees. Results indicate experimental control in both intervention phases and a consequent improvement in staff attendance. Future research should include a methodological distinction between planned and unplanned absences. Such a modification to the current investigation may indicate a discrepancy in the degree of improvement between individual and group contingencies.
Increasing Customer Service Behaviors with Task Clarification and Managerial Feedback.
Domain: Applied Research
ANNA ALAINE RICE (Western Michigan University), John Austin (Western Michigan University), Nicole E. Gravina (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The purpose of this project was to assess the effects of task clarification and verbal feedback on employee customer service behaviors with manager participation in data collection. These behaviors included correct greetings (smiling, eye contact, and verbal greeting) and correct closing behaviors (smiling, eye contact, and verbal closing). The participants included 12 (both full and part-time) workers (aged 19-70) at a small grocery store located in the Midwestern United States. This project employed a multiple baseline design applied across the behaviors of greeting and closing. During baseline, the average percentage of correct greetings was 11.5% and the average percentage of correct closing was 8%; during the intervention, a combination of task clarification and manager feedback, the mean percentage of correct greeting behaviors increased to 66%, and the mean correct closing percentage improved to 70%. The results of this project suggest that task clarification combined with manager feedback are effective interventions for increasing employee customer service behaviors.
Absenteeism in Healthcare: Using Metacontingencies to Reinforce Attendance with Certified Nursing Assistants.
Domain: Applied Research
MATT C. CAMDEN (Appalachian State University), Timothy D. Ludwig (Appalachian State University)
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to evaluate the reinforcement effects of metacontingencies designed to increase attendance and proper rescheduling among certified nursing assistants in three rural hospitals. Rescheduling was operationally defined as any change made to the month’s finalized nursing schedule. An intervention was implemented to increase attendance and authorized rescheduling that included both public and personal metacontingent feedback. A public feedback poster was placed in nursing break rooms indicating the number of extra/overtime hours worked in the past two weeks. Certified nursing assistants also received personal memos indicating the number of occurred absences in the past two weeks and the consequences of those absences.



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