Everybody wants to work at Google. Free food, nap pods, holidays that are paid generously, and time to pursue personal projects. That are just some of the perks that people wish they could enjoy.
But why is Google giving all these to its employees? Because data said so. Their data showed that treating people well meant that they have satisfied and productive employees and that certainly added to the bottom line.
Even before the advent of big data, companies have already been looking at data to help with their decisions. When it comes to people management, data on staff engagement and satisfaction has helped employers understand their employees. Big data only helped speed up the practice and handle more data. Companies now have more data on their own people than ever.
But the question remains: Should you even monitor and study staff and employees like this? Or would you run into trust problems and even impact morale. After all, aren’t we in that age when companies that monitor employee activities on social media and reading their emails are often frowned upon?
The benefits of knowing what makes your employees satisfied is just too much to pass on. For instance, employee retention is often on top of the list of priorities for every company. Getting the data and formulating algorithms that would help companies know when they are most likely to lose a key employee is certainly very valuable in knowing when and how to intervene.
The good news is that most experts are saying that employees are going to get used to it, and if implemented well, these data studies would even be welcome. Your employees would need to understand that the data being collected from them and the analysis of these data would mean better working conditions. After all, if the data points to free meals, sleeping on the clock and more paid vacation, nobody would complain.
Rewind to about five years ago. There were concerns that Web site collecting personal data about their site visitors. There were always articles coming out with warnings about Big Brother and consumer privacy concerns. Today, we are seeing the people are more tolerant about giving away personal data if it means a more convenient time for them, or perhaps some perks like discounts and more personalized offers.
So will your employees. If they realize in the long run that they stand to benefit because of you collecting data and analyzing it, they will agree to it.
Of course the implementation is also a big part of this acceptance. If you implement your data studies in a discriminatory manner or in a sloppy manner, then expect your employees to rise in arms. They will only resent your efforts and feel that you are intruding not just into their professional lives but also their private lives.
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Photo by deepak pal.