Big Data & Analytics In Employee Monitoring: Can It Help To Boost Productivity?
Big Data and related terms have been making a buzz in the world for a while. Involving Big Data in the everyday workflows can implicate the whole company both positively, and negatively. How to use data analytics results in employee monitoring right and smart and boost desirable KPIs?
First of all, here are a few examples of Big Data & Analytics using and outcomes in the light of employee monitoring:
Using Internet of Things Big Data Analytics to enhance employees performance and work experience.
Internet of Things is growing really fast and smart buildings become more and more common along with smart chairs, floors, wearable computing etc.
IoT opportunities and possible outcomes are the following:
- capturing and transmitting data automatically using remote sensors (for example, there is a smart device warning the drivers about the patches or ice on the road ahead, which can reduce possible accidents risks);
- monitoring and reporting the voice tone one uses while talking on a mobile device (for instance, analyzing these data can warn company management about reducing employees engagement);
- monitoring and reporting employees body temperatures (this measure can warn about flu outbreak and prevent mass sick leaves);
- tracking food consumption patterns in company’s cafeteria (analyzing these data can help to predict employees at risk of heart diseases);
- using smart chairs telling an employee to get up and exercise (this prevents potential health risks);
- tracking employees interactions to analyze how they are affecting the overall productivity (for instance, Bank of America employees wore badges with sensors tracking their movements and conversation voice tones, then these data were analyzed and the result showed that employees working in a close knit team and interacting frequently were the most productive).
Using Big Data Analytics to provide employees performance and productivity insights.
It was analyzed about 121 mln of anonymous behavioral and performance records and provided the following insights:
- Hourly workers are not always reliable: only 50% of them stays with a company for 1 year +;
- Work from home employees perform better: they stay at their job 20% longer.
- Work at home employees perform a bit worse: 1.6% less than office employees.
- Browser preferences matter: Internet Explorer users miss 15% fewer work days than Chrome or Firefox users;
- The losses from underperformance are terrific: companies lose about $350 billion yearly.
These examples and number showed mostly the positive side of involving Big Data & Analytics. Here’s a short summary.
Pros of using Big Data Analytics summary:
- Productivity of teams and employees can be boosted with Big Data Analytics insights.
- Workplaces could be optimized and become cost effective.
- HR & IT costs could be significantly cut.
- Employee health and work experience could be improved.
- Employers could save a lot of money every year.
But what could be the cons? Let’s summarize the negative side of Big Data Analytics in terms of monitoring for employers and employees.
Cons of using Big Data & Analytics summary:
- Risk that employees will think of these activities as of micro-management or even ‘Big Brother’.
- Employees are quite sensitive about their privacy and company using their private data.
- Employers (read: companies) should be cautious analyzing data without context. Meaning, employees mostly know what is monitored and what is expected, and they could manipulate this knowledge delivering what they think management is looking for.
- Employees can feel the pressure to behave the certain way.
Let’s get back to topics initial questions:
- How to avoid Big Data misusing?
- How to boost employees’ productivity with Big Data Analytics help?
The answer to the first question involves answering a number of the following ones:
- Which data do you consider to collect and why exactly these data?
- Which goals / results do you want to achieve collecting them?
- Which decisions can you make using these data?
- Who will access the data collected?
- What are the risks of misusing the collected data?
If the abovementioned questions are answered properly, a company will most probably use Big Data & Analytics right.
To get the answer to the second basic question (How to enhance employees’ productivity with Big Data?) it will be good to take the following steps into consideration:
- Always announce the employees about the decision to collect data.
- Be clear and transparent of which data are being monitored and collected.
- Specify the goals which are supposed to be reached by analyzing the data collected: focus on enhancing performance, productivity and engagement.
- Suggest something valuable of being monitored for company employees: try offering lower insurance rates or regular exercises, etc.
- Establish clear opt-in policy.
- Share the results of analyzing collected data with company employees: let employees see the difference, implement the analysis outputs openly.
- Big Data & Analytics is now available and can be useful for any size company – from a small one to a big corporation.
- Involving Big Data demands clear understanding of the possible ethical and privacy issues.
- Using data analytics could both benefit and hurt company and employees.
- Saving a lot of money on IT, HR and other can be the crucial pros of engaging Big Data.
- Boosting company performance and employees productivity with data analytics is the great opportunity providing the right approach.