Employee surveys typically use statistical significance tests in the same way as used in 'The Bell Curve' to prove that blacks were intellectually inferior to whites.
Calgary, AB (PRWEB) December 02, 2012
Voice of the Employee, has just been granted Canadian trade mark protection following an application by Converge Consulting Group. Partner Robert Gerst said the application was made in response to the flawed practice of reporting employee survey findings based on statistical significance tests.
"Employee surveys typically use statistical significance tests in the same way as used in 'The Bell Curve' (the 1994 best seller) to prove that blacks were intellectually inferior to whites." said Gerst. "You would think this junk science would have died off by now but it lives on in much of the employee survey industry."
In contrast, the consumer research industry reacted quickly when Quality pioneers Yoji Akao and Shigeru Mizuno first recognized that product disasters like the Edsel were a result of similar misuse of statistical significance. They developed Voice of the Customer (VoC) in response, replacing statistical significance with scientific significance. Voice of the Employee applies this same approach to employee engagement surveys.
"Employee survey research has been slower to recognize the problem " said Gerst. "but as HR becomes more evidence-based, the quality of evidence comes under greater scrutiny. You don't have to look too closely before seeing that the statistically significant emperor has no clothes."
This is no secret to statistical experts. When asked why statistical significance was so misused in this way, the great American statistician William Henry Kruskal said; "Well, I guess it's a cheap way to get marketable results."
"Statistical significance is pawned off as scientific or economic importance," said Gerst, "because it looks like real science but much easier to produce. Unfortunately, it gives 'Bell Curve' like results that no company or employee should or would want to tolerate. We're hoping trade mark protection for Voice of the Employee will help a little, providing a mark of quality for consumers of employee engagement research."
Converge's Voice of the Employee earned the Quality Council of Alberta Gold Standard in Employee Research Certification last year.
Converge Consulting Group Inc. is a Canadian consulting company specializing in evidenced-based organizational and operational excellence with clients in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia.