Employee analytics is not just good for employers - it’s a useful tool for empowering your employees and fostering a data-driven culture. Implementing employee analytics is increasingly important as employees go remote during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The greatest benefits will go to organizations with real-time analytics that empower employees to take action.
Accuracy is paramount to effectively employing business intelligence solutions. When information is stale, it can lose the critical accuracy and usefulness your employees need to impact the results. When employees don’t understand how to influence the outputs, they won’t take the appropriate actions to change the inputs.
Why Real-Time Employee Analytics Matter
Dynamic data has numerous benefits:
Minimize Risks: Real-time analytics can identify trends early and often, allowing you to take action before more extensive and potentially irreversible problems occur.
Greater Data Buy-In: When information is fresh, employees can see how their actions impact the data, increasing the likelihood of adoption and use of the data. Your employees will know when the data is outdated, and they will tell you.
Manage a Remote Workforce: In a remote environment, managers have less visibility of employee activity. Real-time analytics allows managers to stay engaged and useful.
Keep Employees Motivated: When employees have real-time data on their performance, they are empowered and motivated to take action to boost their productivity and will take more ownership of their work.
Stay on Task: Especially in a work-from-home scenario, distractions are ever-present. Real-time analytics are a reminder that helps keep your team focused and on task.
Foster Healthy Competition: Employees will naturally want to improve their standing when presented with their performance metrics ranking them against other employees.
How to Provide Real-Time Analytics
Centralize Your Data Sources
With numerous - and disconnected - data sources, raw data must be compiled from each source individually before performing an analysis. Whenever dynamic data is available in pockets or silos of excellence in your organization, you don’t get the full picture until it’s all compiled. Compiling takes time and delays access to insights until the data is old and irrelevant. By connecting data through a central data warehouse, the information can then be overlaid and presented together in a single real-time view.
It’s the insights, not the raw data, that allows your team to take action, and what happens inside the data warehouse to turn the data into information is equally important. The raw data from the various data sets need to be organized, processed and mapped to be useful. This process requires scrubbing the data to eliminate the noise and distill it into consumable categories to form critical insights. By automating this process through algorithms and machine learning techniques, you avoid the time consuming and isolated process of manually analyzing data to glean insights. Cleaning your data and ensuring you are collecting the most valuable data points can make all the difference in your business intelligence.
Visualize Data to Make it Consumable
Once your employee data is collected and transformed, the final step is to make it consumable. To do this, you need to take vast quantities of information and visualize it into a dashboard for quick and easy interpretation. Most employees are not data scientists, and to help avoid frustration and encourage productive use of the information presented to them, there need to be clearly defined processes. Through visualizations, alerts, and automated reports, your data is more easily understood so your team can transform real-time insights into real-time action.
Foster a Data-Driven Culture
Now that your data is combined, analyzed, and presented to your team, you have to encourage them to make use of it. So what information is useful, and what can it do?
Performance Trends Over Time
Employees want to see how they are doing, and an old-fashioned trend line can go a long way. Even with advanced analytics, there may be intangibles and outliers that are challenging to identify through data alone. By visualizing individual trends, you empower your employees to dig deep into their actions to identify causal factors that can be improved.
Productive Versus Non-Productive Activity Mapping
Classifying actions as productive or non-productive is one of the most important categories of employee productivity data. Time is productive when it directly contributes to business income and non-productive when it doesn’t. This concept is straightforward. What isn’t necessarily understood, however, is just how much time is spent on non-productive tasks - such as attending meetings or manually compiling and organizing raw data!
Most Effective Work Hours of the Day
Displaying the most effective hours of the day not only shows employees opportunities for improvement but may also help them achieve a better work-life balance. When working from home, it can be challenging to turn off, but doing so is necessary to recharge and make the most efficient use of their time. Giving your employees this type of information will allow them to reprioritize their efforts to optimize their work and life. The goal is to have more productive and more satisfied employees.
Ranked Employee Performance
Ranking employees’ productivity can be a sensitive subject. Too much focus on it can create a stressful and unpleasant work environment. Done correctly, however, it can be a valuable tool to boost performance. Consider rewarding top performers, instead of punishing the bottom performers. Focus on implementing processes to improve performance while fostering healthy competition, and recognize improvements over overall rankings.