Fairwords Weekly: Making Data Work Harder for Your Organization
August 25, 2022
“Now so many tools are enabling remote work [that] are emitting new data that could be collected and analyzed systematically to improve performance. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. In this new world of the digitized workplace, managers should give employees agency in how this information is tracked and used.”
— Ben Shields, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan
The shift to remote and hybrid work has introduced an enormous amount of data on how employees work. As a result, companies are collecting and analyzing people analytics in addition to traditional performance analytics to make better decisions to improve efficiency, processes, and culture. But companies must handle this data carefully and responsibly. Failing to do so can create a toxic workplace culture where employees feel unsafe. So this week, we look at how to make data work harder for your organization.
Companies adopted digital platforms and tools to help their employees thrive in the pivot to remote work. This shift created a “deluge of data” about how employees collaborate and get things done. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Employees should have agency in how this information is tracked and used. Look to sports teams as examples of using data effectively and appropriately can improve performance. Learn how to apply the four interrelated factors of winning teams in your organization.
Almost every company is trying to capitalize on the promise of data and analytics. However, according to a recent study, only 39% of executives believe their organizations manage data as an asset, and 13% of executives believe their organizations are delivering on their data strategy. It seems companies are failing to hit the mark. What separates leaders from these lagging companies, and how can firms struggling with the analytics mandate catch up with their competitors? More than 300 senior executives were surveyed across B2B industries about data-driven decision-making in their organizations. This article lays out a framework to assess current capabilities and invest in strengthening capabilities across seven dimensions.
People analytics uses statistical methods and intelligent technologies to analyze digital records of employee behavior and employ an evidence-based approach to increase efficiency and productivity. While this approach aims to increase productivity, monitoring can also create stress, reduce trust, and cause employees to act less ethically. A system that defines people—and their value to the company—as data runs the risk of depersonalizing employees, reducing them in the eyes of their employer to the level of interchangeable objects. Moreover, it has the potential to create a work culture that denies employees’ privacy and in which people feel less safe. Despite these risks, the implementation of employee monitoring tools is increasing. Consider three key things companies that want to ethically and successfully deploy people analytics should do to mitigate these risks and support employees.