FAQ: Why is Favorability the Best Way to Look at the Data?

Favorability refers to the number of agree and strongly agree responses on your survey (out of the total number of responses).

We focus on favorability for several reasons:

  1. Favorability is inherently goal-oriented. In an ideal world, all employees would respond to every survey item favorably, so an important goal for engagement survey programs is to maximize the favorable perceptions of employees. Therefore, it is most impactful to focus on the metric that is tied to an end-goal of enhancing favorable perceptions.
  2. Differences between favorability ratings are easy to interpret and take action on because we can easily know the number of employees associated with that rating. For example, if a 100-person team achieved 75% favorability on one item, then we know that 75 team members responded with either a 5 or 6. Therefore, we also know that we need to improve perceptions for the remaining 25 team members.
  3. Related to the previous reason, favorability ratings are easy to discuss. Whether it be executives communicating survey results to an entire organization, or managers discussing results within their teams, favorability is an easily-understood metric regardless of an employee’s statistical or analytic background. Results that are easy to interpret and discuss promote more meaningful discussions around team, departmental, and organizational improvement.
  4. Focusing on one number reduces confusion. Comparing, contrasting, analyzing, sharing, and discussing only one metric is easier and more consistent than focusing on multiple metrics.