By Isaac Kohen, VP of R&D at Teramind, provider of behavior analytics, business intelligence and data loss prevention (“DLP”) for enterprises.
People analytics or employee metrics are ubiquitous in today’s digital-first, data-driven business environment.
The trend isn’t new, but it picked up speed in the past year as a range of challenges, including economic uncertainty, the Great Resignation and the “Quiet Quitting” trend, forced companies to improve their human resources capabilities.
As I’ve written about before, in the year ahead, people analytics could drive significant organizational change, empowering companies to become more innovative, sustainable and competitive moving forward.
However, in an environment where data is an abundant resource, not all information is created equal, and too much data can be as debilitating as less impactful insights. Therefore, here are some of the most important employee metrics for making your business better in 2023.
No. 1: Employee Well-Being
Employee well-being is in the proverbial basement, and companies should elevate morale to succeed in the next year.
For instance, in one survey from the American Psychological Association, three-fifths of employees reported experiencing negative impacts of work-related stress, and 32% reported emotional exhaustion. In total, 77% of employees surveyed by Deloitte said they’ve experienced burnout at their current job, making it an endemic problem for virtually every company.
Incredibly, an expansive survey of employees and C-level executives from Deloitte and Workplace Intelligence (via the Wall Street Journal) found that 80% of leaders believe their employees are thriving, while just 56% of workers “think their company’s executives even care about their well-being.”
Well-being metrics are also an indicator of organizational resilience. Well-being metrics can be obtained through surveys, active listening and empathy. Using employee feedback can help managers identify early signs of burnout. Some managers even use technology to track engagement and communications among employees.
Leaders should consider using intentional conversations, surveys, feedback forms and people analytics to measure employee satisfaction, turnover and engagement. They can then use this information to identify broader trends that drive business and personnel decisions.
Healthy employees are likely to be more productive and miss less work. This can have many benefits to the organization; for example, these employees may not use as much sick leave and are likely to be more motivated and enthusiastic about their work. This makes employee well-being a critical metric for building and sustaining healthy, thriving and successful teams in 2023.
No. 2: Productivity
The quasi “Quiet Quitting” trend has made productivity a critical metric for business leaders. Especially as companies make remote or hybrid work long-term arrangements, managers want to know what their teams are contributing when they’re away from the office.
In some ways, their concerns are warranted. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data reported by the Washington Post (registration required), “In the first half of 2022, productivity—the measure of how much output in goods and services an employee can produce in an hour—plunged by the sharpest rate on record going back to 1947.”
This plunge follows a productivity surge during the pandemic, creating a confusing dynamic for business leaders.
In response, many leaders are turning to employee analytics to better understand productivity levels and potential bottlenecks. Unfortunately, many are measuring ancillary, activity-based metrics, like mouse movements, messages sent or app activity, to assess employee output.
This approach incentivizes what the author John Herrman describes as “work-like non-work” that looks good on a spreadsheet but fails to further company objectives.
Instead, leaders should consider measuring broad productivity metrics and individual employee outcomes, including project completion, revenue generation and creative output. For example, they can identify peak productivity hours and work to restrict disruptive functions, like team meetings, during that time.
No. 3: Cultural Contributions
Company culture is an often-intangible element with an outsized influence on an organization’s impact, productivity and sustainability. Employees who feel that their work has a positive impact on others will likely be more engaged and creative. They can also drive higher levels of organizational alignment and employee retention, as well as team engagement.
For a successful workplace culture, employers should emphasize inclusion, respect and belonging. Employees should also be encouraged to experiment with different ways of working.
It’s important for companies to measure and reinforce their culture. Know that culture measurement is an ongoing process and regularly talk about people and culture.
Identifying and measuring cultural contributions to employee metrics isn’t always easy. Culture is an amalgamation of many influences, so one of the best ways to measure its influence is to look for specific metrics that are relevant to your business while prioritizing collaboration, connectedness and cooperation as a few of the most important cultural contributions someone can make.
A Final Word
Investing in employee analytics is the key to achieving better employee engagement and company outcomes in 2023. With the right tools and techniques, organizations can improve the performance of their employees while reducing the time spent on certain tasks.
As companies look to do more with less in the year ahead, people analytics can help identify pain points while identifying best practices for holistically engaging your workforce with a data-driven, people-focused approach that produces real results that last.