Jun 23, 2011
Is it Gallup that has the “Do you have a best friend at work” question? We’re so into doing employee surveys to measure employee engagement. They provide us with a statistically validated measurement of our workforce once or twice a year. We can look at the engagement studies, and if we have any luck at all, capture some high level data about the organization and then correlate the data back to turnover and productivity in specific population groups. My question is this: Isn’t waiting 6 or 12 months for engagement measurements rather a long time in today’s world of real time analytics?
How about this: 1
- Measure the time of day employees log into their PC in the morning.
- Measure the time of day employees log out of their PC in the afternoon.
- Measure the cost per day per trip (expenses) calibrated to some standard.
- Measure the number of sick days on Monday and Friday.
I mean, why would you wait 6 or 12 months?
- If your employees are (on average) coming to work later or leaving earlier, they are less engaged.
- If the aggregated cost of a trip to NYC costs more per day, employees are “fudging” their expenses, and they are less engaged.
- If Monday and Friday sick time is increasing (faked sick time), they are less engaged.
I mean, come on, we want to have close to real time measures, right? I’m not saying that employee engagement actually changes on a day to day basis, but charted weekly, you could get some really cool trending data and identify exactly when the engagement curve increases or decreases. You could then correlate all of the events that happened in that timeframe and figure out what is actually causing increases or decreases in engagement. You could also isolate specific groups and populations (sample size would have to be large enough). Say a VP leaves and is replaced, and 6 months later employees are staying at work later. Or, the cost of a meal in NYC seems to be getting higher for a specific project team – are they celebrating, or are they all depressed and eating more?
How cool would it be to then look at performance in correlation with a weekly trend in engagement? This is assuming that we start managing and developing our employees on an ongoing basis rather than once a year, but the possibilities are out there.
- The idea for this post came from: Ariely, Dan. “CEO’s probably think of their employees as more like rats in a maze than as people.” Wired Magazine, UK Edition. April 11, 2011. Page 44 [back]