Gathering and analyzing workplace data has become even more important as a result of the unprecedented change and massive disruptions to organizational processes caused by the pandemic. With the transition to remote work, many organizations are striving to develop data-driven initiatives and practices for understanding and improving employee engagement and productivity. Behavioral analytics is one way to do so.
In the past, behavioral analytics was often confined to predicting attrition rates. Now, it provides organizations with myriad ways to positively influence productivity, performance, and engagement across an organization.
Adding behavioral analytics to your management strategy is a step towards enabling objective, data-driven decisions, a predictor of success in these unpredictable times. These insights help business leaders examine data over time to reveal deeper insights into the how, why and what of team behaviors. The insights generated can be used to make intelligent operational changes and influence workforce policies.
Let’s review five ways behavioral analytics can help your employees succeed.
Assembling & Empowering Teams
Behavioral analytics provides a data-driven way to assemble great teams as well as identify top-performing behaviors or trends in order to replicate them across the organization and set up all teams for success. It can help HR personnel identify the winning combination of skillsets and behaviors that will skyrocket the output or efficiency of a team or the larger organization. Analytics can help evaluate employees’ personalities, interests, and abilities to match them with roles that would benefit the most from their unique skills. It can also be used on a granular level to match employees’ profiles with teammates, line managers, and mentors within the organization that best suit their interests, background, or personality type.
In situations where personalities don’t match, business leaders can design timely interventions and implement processes to reduce the likelihood of conflicts that can negatively impact culture and employee satisfaction. For example, a skillset gap can be remedied through reallocating employees from other teams, development opportunities that enable team members to develop new skills, or a recruitment strategy designed to fill those gaps.
Improving Collaboration and Employee Engagement
With the transition to remote work, behavioral analytics can also identify new ways for teams to collaborate better by studying patterns during meeting hours, after-hours work, focus time, networking, and e-mail/IM usage. For instance, one multinational technology company implemented Humanyze’s workplace analytics solution to measure collaboration data before and after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and found that workday lengths were significantly longer after shifting to remote work.
A closer look at the data revealed that while many employees were working across a longer span of the day, some were taking smaller breaks between blocks of working time to deal with personal matters or be with their family. Without examining the data on a more granular level, the company may have misinterpreted these findings. Objective data analytics like behavioral and workplace analytics are critical to inform decision-making and gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics, such as whether employees are burning out from poor work-life balance or simply taking advantage of the ability to work more flexibly throughout the day when working remotely.
Identifying the Best Reward Mechanisms
Behavioral analytics can also be used to determine the best reward mechanisms for diligent employees. Most commonly, business leaders choose to reward high-performing employees with public commendations and awards. However, some employees may prefer subtler in-person recognition from their boss and may even become demotivated by public displays of recognition.
With most employees working from home, these rewards can come in the form of additional paid time off for child care or caregiving or more flexible work hours. Coupled with subjective information like survey responses that provide insight into employees how feel, behavioral analytics can help business leaders objectively determine the best way to recognize and reward high-performing employees for work well done.
Unlocking New Potential
One of the key factors that help businesses attract and retain quality talent is the availability of growth and professional development opportunities. A dearth of such opportunities may lead to poor morale or disengagement, low productivity, and high attrition rates. Instituting things like mentorship and development programs demonstrates a genuine interest and investment in helping employees develop new skills in their field of expertise as part of the process towards reaching their full potential.
However, analytics solutions are essential tools to help business leaders determine what programs to implement, how best to institute them, and which employees would benefit the most. Behavioral analytics can help identify the most appropriate development courses and training paths for individual employees and the best way to measure the effectiveness of such programs.
Reducing Attrition Rates
Behavioral analytics can help organizations win the war for talent. While attracting talent can be hard, retaining it is even more difficult due to the constant challenge of keeping employees motivated and engaged.
Employees join organizations for several reasons including location, career growth, branding, pay raise, management style, etc. Management is particularly important since research shows that the effectiveness of line managers is directly linked to employee attrition. A Gallup study indicates that poor management is the number one reason employees leave their jobs.
Organizations that use a one-size-fits-all approach to management usually do not perform as well as businesses that identify and leverage unique management styles best suited to their employees. Certain employees work best with minimal supervision, others need detailed instructions on how to perform key tasks, and some may need free rein over how and when they execute projects (where parameters allow). Some team members or functions may require brainstorming sessions while others come up with ideas in quiet and solitude.
The insights gained by leveraging behavioral analytics can help organizations identify the different needs of employees and inform strategies to effectively guide and train managers on the best ways to communicate, motivate, and coach employees on their teams.
Behavioral analytics enable the creation of unique managerial and operational practices for improving employee productivity and engagement, and are essential for helping organizations become more successful. Used correctly and ethically, it can also help HR personnel to place talented people in the right roles, while managing and motivating them in effective ways.
The challenge is finding the right solution for collecting, distributing, and analyzing behavioral data of employees across your entire organization. Such a solution will help organizations get the right insights to make data-driven decisions that drive employee engagement, productivity, and success.