Employee Review

The Employee Review (ER) is an employee screening instrument, or test. Most people agree that a company's productivity and success is largely contingent upon the quality of its employees. It is disruptive, often inconvenient and expensive to replace, retrain, and reorient new employees. Yet, even good employees have problems (employment barriers) that undermine their morale, hinder their productivity, erode their loyalty and, if unresolved, can lead to employee turnover.

Early problem identification can be advantageous to both the employer and the employee. When employment barriers (problems) are identified and remedied, employees keep their jobs and employers retain productive employees. Many say this is a win-win situation. When faced with their screening results, some employees will want to continue working, while simultaneously working through their employment barriers, whereas, some might request a medical leave of absence. Other employees, when given the choice, will quit. Employee intervention/treatment refusals, usually, result in problem(s) worsening and job loss.

Common barriers to successful employment include motivational issues, negativistic attitudes, severe stress (impaired stress management), and substance (alcohol and other drugs) abuse problems. Reciprocal, problem spin-offs include authoritarian problems, coworker conflict, impaired productivity, negative attitude change, and progressive unreliability.

The Employee Review (ER) is a research-based, multidimensional screening test. It can serve as an objective second opinion. The ER is a non-confrontational method for screening successful employment barriers. Employee Review Scales include:

Five Employee Review (ER) Scales
1. Truthfulness Scale
4. Alcohol Scale
2. Employee Orientation
5. Drug Scale
3. Stress Management

These five scales represent Employee Review (ER) areas of inquiry. The Employee Review (ER) consists of 126 items and can be completed in 20 to 25 minutes. It is available on diskettes (, or over the internet ( It can be administered on the computer monitor, or in paper-pencil, test booklet format. Paper-pencil testing is the most popular, in part because it enables group testing. Regardless of how it is administered, all tests are computer scored, with reports printed, within 3 minutes.

The Employee Review (ER) has been standardized with the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), polygraph examinations, experienced staff ratings, and other tests. Much of this research is summarized in a document titled "ER: An Inventory of Scientific Findings," which can be accessed by clicking on the Research link, on the left side of this webpage. In sum, Employee Review assessment is easy-to-do, convenient (24/7 online), affordable, and state-of-the-art. It is a reliable, valid, accurate, and meaningful test.

A discussion of the five Employee Review (ER) scales follows. ER scales are discussed in the order they were listed, in the five ER Scales links table.


The Employee Review incorporates a Truthfulness Scale that measures how truthful, the employee was while completing the ER. It would be naïve to believe that all employees are truthful when being reviewed. The Truthfulness Scale detects denial, problem minimization, or attempts to "fake good". In other words, some employees attempt to minimize or deny their problems, while being tested. Sometimes problem minimization is inadvertent, but, in most cases, it is deliberate. Regardless of the reason, it is important that ER users know how truthful the employee was, when tested. This underscores the need for a reliable, valid, and accurate, truthfulness measure.

The Employee Review (ER) Truthfulness Scale has been validated with other tests, polygraph exams, and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) L, F and K scales. Truthfulness Scale scores at or below the 89th percentile mean that all ER scales (Truthfulness, Employee Orientation, Stress Management, Alcohol and Drug) are accurate and valid. Truthfulness Scale scores at or above the 90th percentile mean all ER scales are inaccurate, or invalid, due to employee denial, problem minimization or attempts to fake good. Other possible reasons for invalidity include reading impairments (if the employee can read the newspaper they can read the Employee Review), or extreme emotional turmoil. High scoring (70th percentile and above) employees tend to be evasive, secretive, and manifest passive-aggressive tendencies. It's normal to be cautious and defensive in assessment settings, yet elevated scores don't occur by chance.

When reviewing an Employee Review report, the first thing to do is check the Truthfulness Scale score. If it's at or below the 89th percentile, all ER scales are accurate. If this score is at or above the 90th percentile, all ER scales are inaccurate and invalid, and that employee's ER report is invalid. If this occurs upon retest, that employee may not be testable at this time. Truthfulness Scale scores provide considerable insight into employee motivation, attitudes, their characterological armor, and their defense mechanisms. The ER Truthfulness Scale enables evaluators to have confidence in the information the Employee Review report provides.


The Employee Orientation Scale is an adjustment and work appraisal measure that identifies barriers to successful employment, independent of poor stress management skills and substance (alcohol and drugs) abuse problems. Employee orientation encompasses employee attitudes towards work, work identity, morale, work outlook, work related adjustment, and job/career satisfaction. Employees, with negative attitudes, poor peer relationships, and poor work performance, not only waste time and money, but they also affect the morale and productivity levels of others. Identifying negative work attitudes and work adjustment issues is just the beginning, as the employees involved have the opportunity to commit to change and, thereby, maintain successful employment. The Employee Orientation Scale incorporates a variety of factors that codetermine one's work orientation profile. Examples of these components include:

  • Work Attitude
  • Employee Identity
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Work Performance
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Motivation
  • Dependability
  • Morale
  • People Problems
  • Commitment

The Employee Review (ER) Employee Orientation Scale opens the door to discussing employment barriers. This scale is one facet, although an important one, of the Employee Review (ER) profile.


Everyone experiences stress, but some employees are able to manage stress more effectively than others. The Stress Management Scale measures how well a person handles, or manages stress. Poorly managed stress can negatively affect a person's physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Poorly managed stress can have an overwhelming and devastating impact on one's life, as well as, work performance.

Two people can have the same job and work next to each other. Yet, one person can be upbeat, do their work well, and look forward to each day. In contrast, the other person is overwhelmed by the duties and responsibilities of their job, their job performance is declining, and they dread coming to work. They both, essentially, experience the same job-related stress, yet, one person manages it well and the other person is unable to manage it. That's what is unique about the Stress Management Scale - it measures how well a person manages or handles their stress, tension, and pressure.

Individuals with effective stress management skills, are able to focus, prioritize, manage their time, and perform their work at optimum levels of performance. Stress management skills can be taught. Stress management classes, usually, focus on identifying stress and participants' stress triggers first. Then, stress reduction techniques and strategies are taught. These classes are very worthwhile to people lacking stress management skills.


Substance use and abuse is a concern for both companies and employees. The Employee Review (ER) incorporates both an Alcohol Scale and a Drug Scale. Alcohol is a legal or licit substance and refers to beer, wine, and other liquor. Drugs refer to illicit substance like marijuana, cocaine, crack, ecstasy, amphetamines, barbiturates, heroin, etc. The Drug Scale also includes prescription (legal) drug abuse.

The Alcohol Scale and Drug Scale identify substance use, and measure the severity of substance abuse. Employee substance abuse before, or during work, can contribute to accidents, low productivity, misconduct, increased absenteeism, interpersonal conflict, and other workplace problems. According to the U.S. Department of Labor/Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), of approximately 17 million illicit drug users in the United States in 2005, three quarters (74.8%) were employed either fulltime or part-time. In 2007, most people with substance (alcohol and drugs) use disorders (abuse or dependency) were employed (SAMHSA).

Employee Review (ER) Alcohol Scale and Drug Scale scores provide non-introversive, substance-related information, without having to rely upon costly and time-consuming urinalysis and blood tests. The Employee Review (ER) Alcohol Scale and Drug Scale filter out individuals with drinking and drug abuse problems. This filtering system works as follows:

Alcohol Scale and Drugs Scale
Problem Severity Problem Range Total Percent
Low Risk 0 - 39% 39%
Medium Risk 40 - 69% 30%
Problem Risk 70 - 89% 20%
Severe Problem 90 - 100% 11%

The above table is a starting point for interpreting Employee Review (ER) Alcohol Scale and Drugs Scale scores. Problematic, substance abuse is not identified, until a scale score is at or above the 70th percentile. Scale interpretation, example reports, and ER research is available on this website (


The Employee Review (ER) represents over a decade of research. The Employee Review is an accurate, reliable, and valid employee screening instrument, or test. The Employee Review is affordable and conveniently (24/7) available. Used properly, the Employee Review (ER) can help improve employee morale, efficiency, and productivity. Management and employees must understand that the ER represents a positive approach, to retaining employees with problems, who are willing to commit to working them out. The ER offers a way to retain troubled employees that might, otherwise, have been let go. The Employee Review (ER) helps owners and management show they care about their employees.

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