What the Rating Scales Aim to Achieve
In creating quantitative surveys on job satisfaction, understand the rating scale and how a respondent’s choice of answer could approximate one’s genuine viewpoint. Take a look at these two sets of answers which may seem to have the same connotations. Compare which of the two sets provides a more logical answer if you were to provide the answer yourself. This may seem trivial but the objective is to get the nearest true-picture of your employees' perception about their jobs and the company:
Rating Scale A - (1) Very Satisfied, (2) Satisfied, (3) Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied, (4) Dissatisfied, and (5) Very Dissatisfied
Rating Scale B – (1) Extremely Satisfied, (2) Very Satisfied, (3) Moderately Satisfied, (4) Slightly Satisfied, and (5) Not at All Satisfied
Set B includes an answer where the highest level of satisfaction would render the topic being asked as almost faultless. If this answer garners a high number then the topic to which it is associated is the least of HR’s priorities for improvement but needs to be applied with consistency.
Where Set A’s highest level of rating is Very Satisfied, it is Set B’s second-best answer. Therefore, the degree of satisfaction could be taken at a higher level if the employee has “Extremely Satisfied" as another choice. If he or she chose to stick with the Very Satisfied answer, this denotes that there are areas that make the subject matter less than perfect.
Set A’s second best answer is simply “Satisfied", which tends to be vague. If the employer gathers a quantitative result that employees are generally satisfied, how will they use it as a basis for gauging the need for improvement?
On the other hand, in quantifying those expressing “Moderately Satisfied", the degree of satisfaction would indicate that there are areas that need improvement.
The "Slightly Satisfied" along with the “Not at All Satisfied" answers clearly depict the need for overhaul if the general sentiment borders between these two answers.
Image Credit: 4.5 stars.svg by Estoy Aqu/Wikimedia Commons