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Are You Driving Citizen Satisfaction, Or Are You Letting It Drive You?

By Heather Bray
July 7, 2021

Citizen Satisfaction, What Does it Tell Us?

The level of citizen satisfaction with government entities is usually used to measure how the entity is doing and citizens' opinions on their organization or projects. It is also used in data meetings to show how areas are doing based on complaints and used to fund areas based on what citizens say is needed. In most of these cases, citizen satisfaction is driving what you are doing, how you are doing it, and how the citizens are perceiving it. However, in most cases, it doesn’t lead to accomplishing goals. Many agencies let it drive specific items that need to be fixed instead of accomplishing the actual goal of correctly maintaining assets or administering a program (thus driving citizen satisfaction). If we use strategic planning and logic models we can drive citizen satisfaction to show progress towards accomplishing the actual goals needed to get to the root of the problem.

Using Strategic Planning to Fix Satisfaction

By developing a strategic plan, you can start to offset the idea that citizen satisfaction should drive what you do. Truly what you do should be the driver of strong citizen satisfaction. By working to develop a strong strategic plan, you will complete the first step in directing citizen satisfaction.

Working to create a strategic plan will set the long-term outcomes needed to succeed. By using the long-term outcomes you will be able to drive citizen satisfaction. A few parts needed to drive satisfaction: Strategic Planning, Long-Term Outcomes, and Logic Modeling.

Driving Citizen Satisfaction with Logic Modeling

Your logic model is going to be your daily roadmap to driving satisfaction. Once you have your strategic plan completed and know where you want to be, your long-term outcomes will jump from there. The road map to completing these will be in your logic model:

  • Strategic Planning - Effective Strategic Planning will give your organization/program a plan forward. If done correctly it will allow you to develop where you should be in 5 years and then give you a path forward.
  • Long-term Outcomes – Your long-term outcomes will be your base goals to base your operations on. These are the how on the way you accomplish your strategic plan, they will be the driver to succeed.
  •  Logic Model- The logic model will be the bridge to connect what you do and why you were doing it to your strategic plan. It will show your long-term goals and what you need and how to accomplish them as well as what your short-term goals should be (ie. one fiscal year) and what you need to accomplish those goals (ie. people, commodities, contracts, etc…)


Logic modeling will lead you to the driver's seat. It will lay out what you need to do to get to the ultimate goal. By completing and following this, you will be proactive in what you do. Only by proactively completing your goals will you be able to drive satisfaction.

How do I create a Strategic Plan, Long-Term Outcomes, and Logic Modeling?

Assuming your strategic plan, outcomes and logic model are correct you will be able to proactively control what you do. By proactively controlling what you do, you will be able to anticipate the needs of the citizens and have a plan to complete the need before it becomes a need. Proactivity will allow an organization to solve the problem before the citizen realizes it is a problem and following your roadmap, you will complete many issues before they become complaints, and even if there are complaints, you will already have a plan on how to handle the issue and still be one step ahead of the citizen. Thus, driving citizen satisfaction, not letting it drive you.

The Performance Institute has several classes to help push your organization from being driven into the driving seat. The entry-level classes will help you create a strategic plan that will lead your organization into the future with long-term outcomes that will set you up for success. The second part of the week will help you develop performance measures to show you are headed in the right direction, or if you are not, you still have time to change what you are doing to achieve your long-term goal. Finally, you will wrap it all together with learning to set benchmarks to show your success. These classes when used together will help drive your organization into one that is high-performing and proactive thus you will drive satisfaction, instead of always chasing satisfaction.

About the author

Heather Bray

Heather has more than 19 years of experience in the government sector. She started performance management and strategic planning 17 years ago while working in the budget office. Since then she has focused her performance management efforts inside the Public Works department, bringing them from measuring random items to measuring outcomes.

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