Monday, April 18, 2011

Don't Ignore Your Engagement Data

I have just returned from another HR Metrics Summit hosted by ASMI. I had the pleasure to present on the topic of "Using Data to Make the Right HR Investments." This is the second time I have made that presentation and the second time I was asked a question regarding employee engagement and the confidentiality of engagement data.

How can you use employee engagement data when you have said it is confidential/anonymous?

We all know that engagement data is not anonymous due to technology but we do assure our employees that the data is confidential. We tell employees that comments and individual scores will not be revealed. And I agree this is a good best practice. I also think if you have a department or business unit that has less than 10 people, you need to aggregate those scores up to the next level as confidentiality is hard to protect when you have a small report-out group.

With all that said that does not mean you can't use the engagement data while conducting other meaningful HR analytics. I am suggesting using the data along with other variables to determine valuable insights for your organization. Here are just a few examples of how engagement data can be used:

1) Analyze your engagement data, our performance data and your turnover data to understand who is leaving in your organization. Is it your highly performing and highly engaged employees? If so, what are you going to do about that?

2) Analyze your engagement data and performance data along with quality of hire data to "predict" a profile of a successful candidate for your organization.

3) Analyze your customer satisfaction data and your employee engagement data to understand what drives customer and employee engagement so that you can replicate that experience over and over.

I am not suggesting using individual scores or comments, but using the data in a different, very meaningful way.

You have the data, you are not breaching any trust issues by using that data to make better decisions and solve business issues. You have probably paid a lot of money for the data, so get your money's worth and use it!

What are your opinions on engagement data? Use it? Shelf it?

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