PI Diagnose: How questions and categories were developed

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PI Diagnose empowers users to collect detailed, actionable feedback about the employee experience. As with any engagement platform worth its salt, Diagnose was built on science and diligent research.

In this article, you’ll learn more about the science behind PI Diagnose and the studies that helped shape the software.

Developing Diagnose’s questions

The centerpiece of Diagnose—the PI Employee Experience (XP) Survey—is a 50-item survey designed to measure a wide variety of employee engagement drivers. The survey was created by a group of Science PhDs with backgrounds in organizational psychology, psychometrics, and education.

To develop the survey, these scientists wrote a pool of nearly 100 questions, which they then administered to a sample of approximately 3,000 U.S. working adults. This sample—which included respondents representing a variety of backgrounds, ages, titles, and industries—was chosen to reflect the greater U.S. working population.

The data contained the following industries:

  • Business/Professional Services
  • Computer Software
  • Construction
  • Consulting
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Finance/Insurance
  • Government
  • Healthcare/Life Sciences
  • Hospitality/Food Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Other
  • Real Estate
  • Retail
  • Sports/Entertainment
  • Technology/Telecom
  • Transportation/Distribution

Developing Diagnose’s categories

Once PI’s science team administered its ~100 developmental questions, the team examined the results.

Through exploratory factor analyses, the team determined that the possible drivers of engagement fell into four categories: job, manager, people, and organization (JMPO). Once these categories were identified, the team refined the list of survey items to 50 questions:

  • 10 questions that measure the “Job” factor
  • 10 questions that measure the “Manager” factor
  • 10 questions that measure the “People” factor
  • 16 questions that measure the “Organization” factor
  • 4 additional questions that measure general engagement

Learn more about each of the JMPO categories below.

Diagnose’s item benchmarks

Each item in Diagnose’s XP Survey is designed to be actionable. The software allows users to see how their team or organization “scored” for each item, and how that item compares to external benchmark data. That way, users can see where their biggest strengths and caution areas lie—and take steps to level up the employee experience.

When PI Diagnose launched in 2019, its external benchmark data consisted of the same sample used during development (i.e., approximately 3,000 U.S. working adults). Benchmarks were calculated by taking the average of each item and category score across the full sample. 

In 2021, these benchmarks were updated to include the original sample, plus any user data collected since the release of Diagnose. To date, the software pulls from a sample of approximately 25,000 respondents from across 17 industries.

Note: As our sample data becomes more robust, the Diagnose team plans to roll out industry-specific benchmarks. As of now, however, we do not have adequate data across all relevant industries to formulate a holistic series of benchmarks.