Why you always score a 7,5 on your employee satisfaction survey

An alternative to the Likert scale when polling employees.

The input from employees is a crucial source of information for strategic decision-making in organizations. The Likert scale is the scale most often used for employee polls but results in a variety of biases - including socially acceptable answers – influencing the overall scores. Hence, to offer an alternative, we improved a Guttman scale specifically for employee polling (Guttman-Poll).  This improvement asks employees about verifiable facts and -behavior, taps actual situation and the employees' ambition, caters to target setting, and provides additional managerial insights into, e.g., organizational alignment and knowledge sharing.

We compared this scale to a Likert scale in 5 different employee polls. The answers following a Likert scale were normally distributed but were significantly more biased to the higher end of the scale: almost 80%  of questions scored higher than five on a scale from zero to ten.  The answers on the Guttman-Poll scale were normally distributed across the entire scale. The Guttman-Poll scale delivers relatively noise-free input (tallying verifiable facts/-behavior rather than averaging opinions), which may drive algorithms and A.I.

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PRAIORITIZE is the world’s first SaaS platform for Virtual Consultancy. We use artificial intelligence to help organizations digitally transform in a smart, efficient and science-based way. PRAIORITIZE is owned and operated by Transparency Lab, a Dutch employee-owned company. We started in 2008, understood patterns around 2016 and started with generative A.I. in 2020.

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