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How big data can drive employee engagement

Sarah K. White | Jan. 19, 2016
Big data has reshaped businesses in many ways, and now it's even changing the way HR monitors employee engagement to improve both retention and customer satisfaction.

employee engagement

What if your HR department could use data to not only predict employee engagement, but also know when an employee might be looking to jump ship? That's what Vip Sandhir, founder and CEO at HighGround, aims to do with his company's latest employee engagement products. By creating systems that mine data directly from employees, the goal is to provide business leaders with better -- and ongoing -- insights into the weaknesses and strengths within the organization.

Using big data for performance evaluation allows companies to look at real-time data, rather than just annual reviews. This way, it's easier to get an idea of the larger picture of how happy and engaged employees are across the organization. Sandhir says that annual reviews are often watered down, because the employee might not want to offend anyone or the person they're unhappy with might be the same person conducting their review.

"We think the voice of the employee is missing in the workplace today," says Sandhir. By offering a more interactive, streamlined daily process that measures employee's happiness and unhappiness, businesses can get better insights into where problems lie to avoid high turnover.

"We put the platform in everyone's hands, and we allow managers and employees to interact in a more continuous manner. On a daily basis, you might get a question asking how you feel at work today. So what our application does, is it starts to create a continuous dialogue with the employee," says Sandhir.

Minimizing flight risks

Retaining talent is difficult, and it becomes even more difficult if that talent becomes resentful or unhappy in a negative working environment. Unhappy employees can lead to high turnover, which affects the business from every angle. For one company, Echo Global Logistics, HighGround's service made a significant difference in its "flight risk," minimizing turnover by 5 percent, which lead to increased productivity, customer retention and overall cost savings, Sandhir says.

"As companies add new leaders, people, techniques and different reactions, the system will learn as you go," says Sandhir, "It becomes a method of two-way communication between manager and employee, which is key to gain insights into the overall success of the company from every employee." He points to the increased two way communication this type of software can encourage, which can give business leaders and executives the overall picture of the company.

For example, some clients have installed this software across every retail store to take daily data on employee moods. "We've seen circumstances where stores have had very stable moods, and then over a very small period of time you'll see that mood sort of drop, and we've seen companies investigate and tie that back -- in some cases -- to a particular new leader that was installed in that location."

 

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