How to shape rated statements

Rated statements are short sentences used to assess how people feel about a topic. They are a good option if you need to track metrics. They are a great way to start a conversation because they need little time and effort.

Team members select a number between 0 and 10 to answer a rated statement. The number they select depends on how strongly they feel about a topic. We use two anchors at either end of the scale: 0 - Strongly Disagree and 10 - Strongly Agree.


Below are 6 guidelines to help you shape your rated statements:

1. Statements must be positively framed

Rated statements need to be positively worded. i.e. they describe a positive outcome that someone can agree or disagree with. This is because our scale aligns with the eNPS scoring system. Selecting a 10 must mean that team members feel positive. 

Good: It is clear how the restructure will benefit ACME.

Not so good: It is unclear how the restructure will benefit ACME.

 

2. Keep it simple and inclusive (low reading age)

Questions need to make sense to a wide audience. Use simple language so that everyone can take part. Here are a few tips to lower the reading age of your questions:

  • Avoid adverbs. These are most commonly words that end in 'ly' (e.g. efficiently, quickly)
  • Use active voice rather than passive voice
  • The fewer and simpler the words the better.
  • Don't choose 'utilise' when you can choose 'use'.

💡  Tip: Use the Hemingway App to check the reading age of your statement. Try to form a statement that has a reading age of Grade 6 or below.

Good: It is clear what the risks are if we do not change to an agile way of working.

Not so good: ACME has very clearly communicated the risks involved if we do not convert to an agile way of working.


3. Questions must be comfortable

Questions need to be comfortable to answer. They also need to be comfortable for the leaders replying to feedback. Team members should never have to rate their leader or their leader's behaviour. This is uncomfortable for team members. It also has the potential to bruise leaders' egos. Shape questions that focus on the outcomes of leader behaviour e.g. clarity.

Good: It is clear what is expected of me during the agile transformation project.

Not so good: My manager has provided me with clear expectations for the agile transformation project.


4. Ask only one thing

Avoid using 'and' or 'or' within your statements. If you have used 'and' or 'or' then your question is likely to be asking about more than one thing. Questions need to ask about one thing so that team members can rate one thing at a time. If you want team members to rate two things, use two rated statements.

Good: It is clear how ACME will carry out the agile transformation.
It is clear what my new role will be in the agile transformation.

Not so good: It is clear how ACME will carry out the agile transformation and what my new role will be.  

 

5. Avoid ambiguity

Make sure that there is only one way to interpret your question. That way, there will be consistency in the way the question gets answered. It will also avoid confusion for those answering.

Good: It is clear how to raise potential problems with the transformation project.

Not so good: It is clear how to raise potential problems.

 

6. Questions need to be relevant to everyone

Make sure your questions are relevant to all of your audience. This will avoid confusion and ensure that everyone can take part.

Good: The tools, technology, and equipment at ACME allow me to perform my role well.

Not so good: The office is equipped with everything I need to perform my role well.