From the Trenches

Outliers. A recent employee feedback project had a small proportion of respondents with markedly lower satisfaction scores than the rest of the group. A couple of them just marked everything at the same low numerical value. It was clear they didn’t really read the questionnaire, they were just upset. Fortunately, they included some narrative comments giving clues as to the reason(s) for their scores.

Respondents like this presents singular challenges. Should their scores be included? In this case, we kept them in the mix since the sample size was large enough to be reliable. From the client’s perspective, this presented some managerial issues. What is the value in keeping an employee with this level of resentment? Someone like this can be a negative influence on everyone around them. It is not likely employees like this can be turned around.

The question for some organizations is “Do we have outliers among our employees?” Will they cause us to lose the good employees we have? Without regular employee feedback, how would we know?

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