The workplace has become a deeply integrated environment where employees utilize technology at every turn to increase productivity, improve communication, and ensure transparency. Those very same tools often have built-in systems for data collection, allowing employers to look into, collect, and analyze all kinds of employee data. Some companies are fully aware of such practices, and they do their best to prevent breaking any boundaries or even laws, whereas other companies might not even be aware of these data-collection systems.
In any scenario, your company can actually benefit from collecting certain types of data and analyzing it on a regular basis so as to find more effective processes and perhaps see if there are any negative patterns that should be addressed. That is, of course, provided that the business in question collects only legally-permitted data, at full disclosure of their employees. What you can collect and how you can do that differs from one legal system to another, but here are a few general ideas that you and your entire organization could benefit from when performed legally.
PM tools for workload distribution
Some of the least intrusive and most helpful digital tools any company can use can be unexpected sources of invaluable employee data. Take, for instance, project management (PM) software solutions that are designed to streamline daily tasks, help businesses get a bird’s-eye view of their projects, and make sure that everyone is in the loop. PM tools are a godsend in so many different ways, but they also allow companies to utilize their resources more effectively.
Simply put, you can use these tools to oversee your employee productivity, spot any gaps and bottlenecks, and reduce setbacks by allocating tasks and workload in more efficient manners. When a team leader sees that a few employees are swamped while a single person is under-utilized, this is an opportunity to grow a more productive work process. Of course, it’s also important to let your employees know what precisely you’re doing with these steps.
IAM solutions for safer online practices
There are probably very few offices nowadays that don’t rely heavily on the internet in conducting their day-to-day job. Employees often bring their own devices, too, and connect to their company network to peruse social media, stay informed, and communicate with people outside of the business. Without strict policies in place, every single such interaction is a potential security risk your business is exposed to, which is why internet access management solutions (IAM) have become a necessity for many companies.
These systems include comprehensive web filtering options that help you implement improved security measures and help employees learn better, safer practices for accessing the internet. The key here is to educate your employees and share with them your need to use such solutions, and to disclose precisely what kind of information these systems have access to, for what purpose, and how your business intends to use it. That is the only way to ensure employee trust and preserve your business security across the board.
Surveys for feedback collection
Sometimes the best and most useful information you can collect on your employees will come straight from the source – the employees themselves. For smaller and medium-sized companies, the practice of collecting feedback through automated surveys is simpler, since you can actually assign other, C-level employees to then sift through their comments and put them to good use that will ultimately better your business. Alas, larger companies might have a harder time with it, since they will need to use AI-based tools for data analyses.
Start with crafting targeted, specialized surveys for each department within your company. This will be extremely helpful to discover where your weaknesses lie, and what you can do to make a difference for your employees. Feedback is not something companies collect once and then abandon the practice, but an ongoing effort, hence the need to perfect it and ensure data protection for your employees. Still, surveys have always been a favored solution among many companies, and they have been very effective in keeping employees happy, and employers informed.
Contracts for ensuring confidentiality
Collecting data means that you need to be mindful of how you put it to use, and who within the company has access to it, or has permission to use, analyze, and store the data. Another key variable to keep in mind is the very idea of sharing this information you collect on your employees. Data leaks are a risk most companies dread, and you need to take every precaution to let your employees know that they are protected, and explain to them precisely how you intend to use that information.
The best possible practice is to create a confidentiality agreement for each and every employee. Those who will disclose their sensitive or private information will feel more comfortable knowing that they are legally covered and that you only have certain, clearly outlined rights when it comes to utilizing that data. As for those who will actually conduct the analyses, it’s in your best interest as their employer to set boundaries and protect your own reputation with equally detailed contracts.
The life of a business leader is a hectic one, but utilizing employee data can be of great benefit when done correctly. Make sure to stay within your legal rights, notify your employees, empower transparency, and you’ll be able to maximize your data collection and use for the sake of your business success.