London — April 11
The results of an employee satisfaction survey can reveal important differences of opinion among different departments, locations, age groups, etc., within an organization, and employers need to look for differences to identify areas for initiatives to address these issues and improve corporate performance.
“But what if the difference is only sampling variation?” said David Lusty, principal consultant at the organizational research specialist Quantify. “Management should only act when a difference is statistically significant.”
Lusty has about 17 years’ experience in devising and conducting organization surveys — and more years as a user of their results.
This has prompted Lusty, through Quantify, to develop a new version of its subset tabulation report, that which results from an employee satisfaction survey and provides the key information employers need.
“Presenting survey results in a table with a column for each department and so on is a long-established way of showing up differences of opinion,” Lusty said. “The Quantify report goes one step further by flagging — in a matrix below each row in the report — which differences are significant. That makes it easy for the managerial eye to see which issues should be considered as possible drivers for change initiatives, and which should not.
“We know that clients don’t want to be blinded with lots of statistical mumbo-jumbo, but it is important that we should not encourage them to invest in trying to improve an apparent problem which, in reality, is merely the product of the sampling process that every survey involves. Our new tabulation report provides significance markers for individual questions and for cluster averages — where several questions are aggregated into an overall metric for one aspect or another of people’s experience at work.”
Quantify thinks this approach will help to prevent managerial misunderstandings about organization surveys and so avoid any waste of an organization’s resources in addressing issues that have no significant bearing on achieving organizational goals.