4 Ways Big Data Can Improve Employee Engagement in Real-Time

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Real-time data and analytics are now entering the realm of HR and employee engagement, providing ongoing guidance to what used to be an annual affair.

Big data sets are composed of extremely large sets of structured and unstructured information. However, the power of big data lies not in its size, but in how organizations make use of the resource. Big data originates from many sources and provides organizations with deep insights into consumer and client characteristics as well as internal enterprise performance.

To produce reports that provide actionable information, organizations evaluate big data using powerful analytic programs, often in real-time. Enterprises use reports that are generated by big data software for many activities, such as making mission-critical decisions, researching and developing new products and services and streamlining operations.

See also: Happy at your job? HR wants to know….right now

Terabytes of data and innovative reports have no value unless enterprise leaders use the information to plan for improvement and successfully rally stakeholders to support change. Despite the amazing capabilities of big data technology, the resource has no use without the support of end users to effect change.

This circumstance highlights the importance of enterprise-wide employee engagement. Organizations with high levels of employee engagement are more likely to implement change initiatives successfully. The following narratives showcase 4 ways that big data technology can improve employee engagement.

#1: Numbers that motivate

To improve employee engagement, organizational leaders adopt a policy of making decisions based on empirical evidence generated by big data analysis. Furthermore, executives promote an organizational culture where all employees and business unit leaders participate in making data-driven decisions.

Big data emanates from a multitude of sources, so it’s important that organizational leaders limit the scope of queries to focused areas of interests. After the information technology (IT) department generates the final report, executives must share the findings. The discoveries have no value if they’re not shared with stakeholders, so executives should disseminate the information to as many relevant parties as possible to maximize the utility of the report.

Organizational leaders must train, evaluate and oversee employees in effective information gathering during consumer contact. An effective data-driven culture requires controls for gathering and storing information at all points of consumer contact. With these devices in place, enterprises can make the most of opportunities for improvement and give employees the tools that they need to succeed in the workplace.

#2: Performance analytics

Big data analytics helps employees visualize the connection between their daily activities and organizational goals, making workers feel like active participants in enterprise outcomes. The technology gives employees the data needed to establish goals and the motivation to reach for them. The information is also an effective resource that executives use to identify workers who need coaching or additional training.

Big data technology allows managers to create individualized career development plans for each employee. In a data-driven enterprise, every action completed by an employee generates logs that organizational leaders use to review and compare to desired performance goals. Big data analysis also gives department heads insights into employee capabilities that can serve the organization well in other functions. Additionally, the information generated by big data reporting allows managers to share performance outcomes and departmental benchmarks with employees and use that information to help them see the value of their personal career development goals.

#3: Self-directed career development

Nearly all employees want to advance their careers, but sometimes it’s easier to digest the insights into their professional shortcomings privately. Employees can take an active approach in this matter by using big data. To enable this, organizational leaders implement big data tracking tools and grant employees access to their performance metrics via a virtual assistant or internal career portal. This saves workers and employers from stress of micromanagement and the discomfort of openly airing workplace deficiencies.

This kind of self-directed resource allows organizational leaders to empower workers with the ability to control the quality of their work. In this kind of environment, employees also participate in making important decisions, such as when they work, how they complete assigned tasks and what work takes top priority. Organizations that provide this type of empowerment typically enjoy the highest levels of employee engagement.

#4: Career growth tracking

Whether professional training within the office or going back to school to further enhance computer science skills, employees can use big data to track their career growth through the training and track quarterly and annual progress. Using the technology, workers can choose specific areas for professional improvement and track their personal performance as well as the performance metrics of their peers, feedback which inspires employees to work more effectively.

Career growth tracking is a mutually beneficial resource for employers and workers. The practice helps staff members strengthen their weaknesses and aids employers in making the most of human capital. Finally, growth tracking tools greatly increase workplace engagement by giving employees enhanced control over their career progress.

For many employees, career development encompasses little more than taking a class or two. However, this offers a limited scope of career advancement and what forward-thinking organizations might have to offer. To successfully promote significant career development, effective organizational leaders think beyond basic class offerings and consider employee advancement alternatives that might not initially come to mind. For example, an insightful employer may provide cross-departmental training opportunities in addition to normal career advancement classes.

By thinking outside of the realm of traditional personnel training initiatives, organizational leaders can help employees grow personally and professionally.

References:

The George Washington University – The Benefits of Employee Development for Increasing Engagement

Industry Week – 5 Ways to Empower Employees for Higher Engagement

Maryville University – Going Back to School for Computer Science

RTInsights – 10 Big Data Facts You Need to Know About

About Sarah Daren

Sarah Daren has been a consultant for startups in multiple industries including business technology, IoT, big data and education. When she's not watching the New York Yankees play, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga and reading a good book on the beach.

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