Measuring everything and collecting data from everywhere is the new motto of modern business. Data is the new currency that guides decision-making and enables actionable insights.
Most data analysis focuses on customers and what they want, buy, need, prefer, and do, but organizations now realize it’s critical to use data internally to measure employee performance.
How can data analytics improve the measurement of employees’ performance? In this post, we’ll examine the challenges of people analytics, what this data can do for organizations, and ways to fill the gaps.
The Challenges of People Analytics
People are the core of your business, above technology, equipment, intellectual property, and anything else. They are your most valuable asset, so understanding how they perform in terms of productivity, efficiency, and accuracy matters.
People analytics offers this visibility, but it’s not always easy to calculate. A report found that less than 10 percent of organizations have usable data for people analytics. Why is gathering this information so complicated?
It comes down to a lot of challenges in data creation, access, aggregation, and analysis. While companies have streamlined and operationalized much of the same for customers, they’ve placed less emphasis on internal data. Now, there are even more barriers with the transition to hybrid work models.
Regardless of where your employees work, quantifying their performance is vital to their success individually and to the company’s overall success. If you don’t have systems to do this, you could miss opportunities to engage and retain staff. By failing to track their performance, you may leave them unsure of their goals or how to achieve them. This disconnect can drive disengagement and, ultimately, turnover. Those are serious financial costs to your business—even more so with the current tight labor market. You’ll want to do everything you can to retain your people and keep them invested.
How Data Analytics Can Empower Organizations
When you have data and the means to analyze it, it can be powerful. It enables you to do things at scale.
1. Evaluate and measure employee performance.
Performance metrics tie to compensation, bonuses, and upward mobility. It offers context into accomplishments or failures. When performance is high, you can give much-deserved praise. When it suffers, these become coachable moments to upskill employees to be successful.
2. Identify employee trends and other factors that impact their work.
Digging deep into the numbers can reveal important trends across departments or the enterprise. You may find that productivity lulls have reasons behind them. It could also provide insights on onboarding and if it’s effective enough to enable new staff to work at a high level.
3. Establish employee benchmarks.
Once you have initial sets of data, you can use these to benchmark the future. You’ll have something to compare new numbers to determine if your changes positively impacted performance.
4. Increase employee retention and engagement.
Being transparent about performance metrics is a smart approach. Workers want to know how to get better. When they can understand metrics, they’ll have greater engagement. You can test this theory out with employee surveys that ask questions about performance metrics.
5. Understand task duration and workflow gaps.
If you want to reengineer tasks and processes, you need to know where the barriers and roadblocks are as well as when they are manual. This data can help you quantify the time of tasks accurately.
You can also find the gaps in employee workflows and close them with data to guide your people. Those gaps can represent inefficient processes. If you address those with technology and continue to measure employee performance, you could see significant results.
Filling the Gaps with Automation
Those gaps you identified have a solution: automation.
Investing in automation delivers efficiency in many facets of your business. It can boost employee performance, as well, because they’re more available to focus on deeper work. Your data informs you how long it takes for task completion and where there’s a misalignment in workflows.
The first type of automation to address these challenges is robotic process automation (RPA). It uses software bots to automate simple tasks which in turn enables your employees to focus on other functions.. It takes employees from being transactional to strategic. That change can be significant in their performance and longevity.
For example, the insurance industry is an adopter of RPA to speed up document-heavy processes such as claims registrations, adjudications, underwriting, and more. Workers often have deadlines to meet for all these tasks but spend a lot of time on manual processes. RPA accelerates these workflows so staff hit numbers and can be more strategic with their time.
RPA’s Significant Effect on the Employee Experience
RPA can make a profound impact on the employee experience. A study of companies that deployed RPA found that half saw improved engagement. Other findings included that 66 percent of respondents noted it enabled staff to have more human interactions. Another 60 percent reported it helped employees focus on more meaningful tasks.
Automation helps you innovate and change the work culture from task-driven to value-driven. That’s great for your employees and your profitability.
Improving Employee Performance Should Be Data-Driven
How employees perform has a lot to do with your company’s culture and environment.
Your employees want to feel appreciated and valued. Those are the intangibles. What’s tangible is the logistics of how they work. To understand that, you need data. Once you have it and can track it over time, you’ll be able to pinpoint areas to address and if technology like RPA is a suitable solution.
Learn more about how data analytics can improve the measurement of employees’ performance with RPA by watching our on-demand webinar, “The Evolution of RPA.”