Assessing Statistical Rigor of Employee Surveys

Assessing Statistical Rigor of Employee Surveys

Let’s talk about correlations, Cronbach’s alpha and factor analysis. The human resources industry relies heavily on a wide range of assessments to support its functions.

The human resources industry relies heavily on a wide range of assessments to support its functions. In fact, to ensure unbiased and fair hiring practices the US department of labor maintains a set of guidelines (Uniform Guidelines) to aid HR professionals in their assessment development ventures.

Personality assessments are often used in selection batteries to determine cultural fit into a company. Cognitive ability (ie. IQ) tests are consistently found to be the best overall predictor of job performance across all types and levels of jobs (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). Structured interviews are used extensively in hiring decisions as they help to remove bias by standardizing the question and scoring. Performance reviews use rigorous Likert assessments that ask managers and co-workers to rate employees of their performance (ie. behaviorally anchored rating scales). Employee engagement surveys assess the extent employees feel satisfaction, passion, effort, and commitment to their employer and job. Last but not least, employee exit surveys are often employed upon the termination of an employee in order to determine how the employee felt about a range of topics related to the organization.

This extensive use of employee assessment has given rise to a multi-billion dollar industry specializing in the development of a wide range of tests. Let’s focus our attention on employee attitude surveys as they form a very large segment of this industry. If one is to purchase a survey how can you be sure you are getting a quality product? Any reputable developer should supply you with not only a manual but also a validation report which outlines the steps taken to make sure the survey is actually measuring what it’s meant to measure.

In this article, I would like to examine an employee exit survey and determine the quality of the survey based on a selected few metrics. Therefore, when you are handed a validation report from a survey vendor you will know and understand the metrics needed to make an informed purchase.

validity factor-analysis cronbachs-alpha reliability employee-surveys data analysis

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