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  • 2020 Annual Chicagoland Talent Development Community Survey: Initial Results

2020 Annual Chicagoland Talent Development Community Survey: Initial Results

September 16, 2020 11:05 AM | Leslie Scarpace

2020 Annual Chicagoland Talent Development Community Survey Initial Results

From June 16 to June 30, we conducted the annual survey of our membership, former members, and for the first time, we included talent development professionals who have never been a member of ATDChi. A comprehensive report of the survey results will be made available to ATDChi members in a few weeks, but here are a few highlights.


On June 16, we sent invitations to participate by email to 4208 talent development professionals throughout Chicagoland and Illinois. On June 23 we sent a reminder to the same group. 122 professionals clicked through the email and started the survey - one participant was disqualified (it was discovered they had answered with nonsense answers and over rode survey navigation) – so we have 121 respondents: 60 members, 28 former members, and 33 never members. The 121 respondents is the second highest for the annual survey given the records available. 141 in 2017 remains the high-water mark for participant.

Invitation to Participate

On June 16, the survey was launched with 4,208 email invitations to participate sent out. A reminder to participate was sent to the same lists on June 23.  The survey was closed on June 30.  The 121 responses represent a 2.9% participation rate which is down substantially from 2019 (11.3%).  Much of the difference has to do with the larger population sample this year (2020 average = 4179.5 per round, 746 per round.) Only 19.1% of all invited to participate actually opened the email.

Value of Member Benefits

Question 15 asked respondents to evaluate (on a scale of 1 to 100) to what extent do they feel they are getting value for their dues.

As was the case last year as well, a significant number of respondents said they were getting the value for their dues.  64.0% (32 of 50) gave a score of 70 or higher. 12 scored the value at 100.

We’ve always asked a question regarding what people think of each of the member benefits individually, but this year we changed up how we asked. In the past, we’ve asked a series of Likert Scale questions for each.  Then we’d compare the averages to each other.  Unfortunately, that usually resulted in all the benefits scoring between 4.2 and 4.5. Which really doesn’t tell us a lot.

Question 13 asked respondents to indicate which 5 benefits from a list of them they would rate as “Must Have”.  They then were asked to rate which 3 benefits they would rate as “Not Necessary”.

When we scored the “Must Have’s” with 1 point and the “Not Necessary” with -1 point and then added it all up, the result was a very articulated list of benefits ranked 1 to 15 in accordance with respondents’ preferences.  NOTE: while a ranking like this is helpful in planning, it is not the only factor used in determining which benefits the Board of Directors chooses to keep or how well to fund each.

Programming: What Are You Working On?

Finally, for several years now, we’ve asked a question about what respondents are planning on focusing on in their professional development so that we can direct our programming to meet their development needs. In the past, we’ve listed the 13 areas from the ATD Competency Model and asked respondents to indicate which areas they planned to work on in the next year. A bit unwieldy, but it worked.

This year, ATD has introduced their new Capabilities Model which has 23 capabilities divided into 3 domains. Now a multiple choice question with 23 options was way too much for us to expect we’d get quality answers. So we came up with a new approach.

So in Questions 22 & 42 (due to branching we had to ask the question twice to capture all respondents) we asked participants to prioritize up to 3 capabilities in each of the domains.  The capabilities for each domain were listed in a drop-down menu from which the participants could choose their answers.

The results were amazing. We scored 1st priorities with 3 points, 2nd with 2, and 3rd with 1. The result was a highly articulated ranked listing of all 23 capabilities. You can see them with their overall scores listed by the three domains to the right.

These are just a few of the examples of the data we’re gleaning from this year’s member survey. The full report of the survey’s findings will be available to ATDChi members only in early October. If you’d like to be included and aren’t currently a member, please renew your membership or join ATDChi by going to


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