An Alternative to the Likert Scale When Polling Employees


Jan Van De Poll


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.


How to Cite
Poll, J. V. D. (2021). An Alternative to the Likert Scale When Polling Employees. The International Journal of Business & Management, 9(5).