Navy employs online form to help retention efforts

Navy employs online form to help retention efforts

BY MATTHEW MCLAUGHLIN | GCN STAFF

The Navy has posted on the Web a questionnaire that could help the service determine ways to improve retention of its enlisted personnel and officers.

The system, known as Argus, gives Navy leaders specific information to help them assess and evaluate factors that influence service members' career decisions.

After reaching career milestones such as promotion, transfer, re-enlistment, retirement or resignation, service members will be required to visit the site, at argus.nprdc.navy.mil, and complete the questionnaire, said Lt. Cmdr. John Banigan, the project officer for development of the system.



The information collected from the Web site will be stored on a database at the Navy Personnel Command's Center for Career Development in Millington, Tenn. The database will generate reports for all levels of Navy leaders to use in making decisions on such issues as pay, benefits, deployment schedules and work hours, Banigan said.

'Argus is an important tool that Navy leaders can use to improve their sailors' personal and professional lives,' said Capt. Jake Ross, director of CCD. 'If we are to be successful in retaining our high-quality sailors, we need measurable data to use in our efforts.'

Research and development of the project was conducted by the Navy Personnel Research, Studies and Technology unit. Contractors helped create the programs used to run the questionnaire and database, and Navy personnel will maintain the system.

The questionnaire currently takes about 30 minutes to complete, but developers hope to reduce that time to 20 minutes by tailoring the questions to fit the person filling out the questionnaire.

There are about 140 questions on the form, but some questions are skipped based on demographic factors such as whether the respondent is married or single.

Officials will review the questionnaire every three to six months to make refinements and may add issues in the interim, said Jacqueline Mottern, a statistician who helped develop the system.

'We also want to improve the query system designed for Argus to make it as useful and user-friendly as we can,' Mottern said.

Some of the issues addressed in the questionnaire include quality of service, leadership, job satisfaction, civilian employment, educational opportunities, housing and personal life.

Enlisted personnel who do not have Internet access will complete the questionnaire on CD-ROMs, which will be sent back to the career center.

'Once the database is populated, the reports eventually will be put online, so the whole Navy can see the information,' Banigan said.

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