Why does Viva Glint recommend only asking one item per domain/theme/dimension?


One of Viva Glint's survey design goals is to keep measurement short and easy so that teams can be pulsed more frequently (agile) with sustained high participation rates. This means that we prefer to use single-item measures instead of multiple-item measures to avoid the survey becoming too cumbersome for employees to provide their thoughtful and candid feedback.


For most practical purposes, well-constructed single-item measures are as good as multiple-item measures when it comes to utility and reliability (i.e. they predict future behavioral outcomes, and they do so consistently over time). This approach can reduce the survey length by 3-4x, relative to more “traditional” engagement surveying methods, thereby significantly improving the employee experience and survey completion rates.


We generally choose a single-item measure over a multi-item composite/index if the single-item captures over 80% of the variance and information content in the multiple item measure.


As a Sr. People Science Consultant, I'm always having conversations with my clients around best practices for survey design, especially as they seek to be more agile in their survey approach. Keeping their surveys shorter and using single item measures is a key element in doing so, however, convincing key stakeholders and business leaders to adopt this approach may warrant additional considerations.


What are some ways in which you've convinced leadership teams and/or key decision makers to adopt a more agile surveying approach by using single item measures?

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