Presenting Employee Survey Results: Introducing the Score Index

Which sounds better?

  • 25% of employees would definitely recommend their employer as a place to work
  • 60% of employees would recommend their employer as a place to work

Both figures are correct. The figures come from our UK Workplace Study (see chart below), but the first reflects the smaller group that feels much more strongly.

Survey results: How likely would you be to recommend a vacancy in your company/organisation to a friend or relative?

Which figure should you use?

That depends. What are you trying to achieve? If you have a lot of ‘fence sitters’ and the organisation is working on building greater engagement, then reporting the ‘top box’ (those definitely answers) may be seen as exclusive or hard to reach.

If you are working towards excellence (e.g. Gold accreditation for Investors in People) then using ‘top box’ might be more appropriate.

How can we present results?

There are three common ways we see organisations present results for their employee survey:

  1. Show the breakdown of answers, perhaps with colour-coding to draw out where consensus lies:
    Stacked chart - likely to recommend
  2. Show only the proportion of ‘top box’ answers, i.e. report how many are completely on-board:
    Likely to recommend - presented as a single number
  3. The third way is to convert the answers into a score, for example if there were five answer options, assign each answer a value between 1 and 5 and calculate the average score of all the answers – so on a scale of 1-5 “Recommend” scores 3.6
    Converting survey answers into a score

    At Surveylab, we use this last approach with a twist. We call it a Score Index but instead of working with a range of 1-5, we use 0-100. The least desirable answer is assigned a score of 0, then 25, 50 for the middle answer, 75, and the top box is worth 100. Using our scale, “Recommend” scores 64.1

Presenting results as a single number

I like the Score Index because it is so simple to understand and it includes all responses to the question, not just the very satisfied/happy/strongly agree/etc.

When we see a score in the 70’s or 80’s everyone instantly recognises this is a good score. Using the 1-5 range is less clear, for example, is 3.6 good?

What I also like is how the score helps to visualise the “shape of the graph”. A score of 100 would mean that all answers are in that top box. A score in the 70’s means the majority of responses are positive. For example:

Visualising the Score Index
Score Index and Answers to: “I get on well with colleagues within my team”

A high score in the 80’s or 90’s obviously means even more people have answered positively. A score close to 50 might reveal lots of people sitting on the fence but more often than not it means views are split, with roughly similar numbers falling under the positive and negative camps. For example, the score of 50.4 for “There are sufficient people to do the work required” looks like: Example of a score of 50.4
There are sufficient people to do the work required (filtered for Public Sector employees), Score Index = 50.4

The advantage of presenting a Score Index over ‘top box’ or all breakdowns is the simplicity in comparing numbers: much easier to compare a single number from each department/location/demographic. This example below shows how the scores change the longer people work for an organisation):
Comparing Score Indexes

Planning your next survey

Surveylab’s online reporting has Score Index calculations built in (shock!!) and work with any scale (e.g. 0-10 points).

If you would like help with your organisation’s next employee survey, we’d love to help. Surveylab works with a variety of organisations and customised levels of support – covering both pre-survey (understanding objectives, internal communications, project planning) and post-survey (analysis, reports, sharing results and action planning). Contact us here.

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