Creating Value with Employee Experience Data
The Great Resignation is still raging, and companies will need to better use employee experience data if they intend to draw in -- and retain -- talent.
- By Jason Averbook
- January 18, 2023
Employees are any company's most important asset. Although collecting data about consumer behavior or marketing program outcomes is exceedingly important, employee experience data can be some of the most significant information a company can analyze while pursuing its long-term success.
Employees leave clues about how they feel about their experience on the job, even though they may never tell you directly how they feel about their time at the company. Still, with savvy data collection efforts, a company’s leaders can tap into exactly what employees may love (or loathe) about their experience.
With this data, a company can improve its workplace culture, give its employees more opportunities for advancement, and ultimately improve long-term retention. The Great Resignation is still raging, and companies need to collect and utilize employee data more efficiently if they intend to draw in talent and keep that talent happy and motivated.
Types of Employee Data
Employee experience data can run the gamut from onboarding information and how employees feel about opportunities, to personal preference information that can help a company develop a culture unique to its workforce.
Employee expectations have shifted in the wake of the pandemic. People are developing different views about what makes a healthy workplace, and many are rethinking their career trajectories and ultimate goals. Companies can help their employees by collecting data that pertains to these changing expectations and building data-driven experiences that speak to this new vision of work.
The types of data companies will want to collect can fall under various categories, as diverse and wide-ranging as people themselves. These include:
- Onboarding experience feedback
- Education information
- Data pertaining to personal preferences in everything from food to socialization, ways people prefer to work, or how people spend their time
- Structural dimensions of how people work within the company (do they prefer remote or in-office work; are they interested in joining company-sponsored events or team-building exercises?)
- Goals and roadblocks people may experience
- What matters to employees
- Day-to-day interaction data between team members and between team members and their leaders
- General level of satisfaction and specific employee complaints
- Health and wellness data
- Feedback and assistance processes
This list of types of potential employee experience data to be collected is far from exhaustive. After all, the employee experience is threaded through every move your business makes, from startup structuring to massive scaling or eventual mergers and acquisitions.
The life cycle of each employee holds a wealth of information and valuable data. Collecting that data and using it to create data-driven experiences that genuinely speak to the needs and desires of your workforce is key to truly creating significant value.
Once a company learns what kind of employee experience data is essential, how do they go about collecting this data in a meaningful and nondisruptive way? There are a number of ways for companies to approach data collection.
Employee surveys, especially those that are anonymous, can get to the heart of how your employees feel about their workplace or their roles. Surveys can work at several points along the employee life cycle. For example, onboarding surveys can tap into how new employees feel about their orientation process and their feedback can be used to improve processes for future new employees. Employee engagement surveys can get a feel for how current or long-term employees may feel about how the company is run daily.
These surveys can be sectioned to focus on one element of the job -- for example, benefits or meetings -- to collect narrower, more meaningful and actionable data. Exit interviews and surveys can also be helpful in getting a handle on what may not be working well.
An eNPS, or Employee Net Performer Score, is how your company can score answers to the basic question, "On a scale of one to ten, how satisfied are you with your job here?" These questions may be standard and not get to the heart of how employees truly feel about their particular experience with the company, but they can be a good foundation on which to build meaningful employee experience data.
There is strength in numbers, and through focus groups made up of employees, a company can glean valuable data from group feedback. For example, a company can hold an all-team focus group or bring together representatives from different departments for a discussion about a particular issue or conditions in general. Regardless of how a company decides to structure these groups, the information can be useful.
Applying Employee Experience Data
Once employee experience data is collected, how can it be best utilized to help your business succeed? A positive employee experience can go a long way to securing the longevity of one's venture. We have all seen how negative employee experiences can blow up -- especially on social media -- and get companies taken down. Just by virtue of caring about the employee experience, you as a leader are on the path to creating a positive employee environment.
Data can be used to create employee growth initiatives, such as opportunities for advancement or continuing education for those who express interest in those options. Data can also be used to assess a company's current culture to see where it could improve immediately and in the long term.
Data can also reduce what is known as "recency bias" within employee reviews or evaluations. This cognitive bias prioritizes recent events over historic ones, leaving employees at the mercy of their most recent work performance -- for better or worse. With regularly collected employee experience data, the entire body of an employee's work can come into play when being reviewed or considered for advancement.
There's an incredible amount of valuable data that can help you build the best employee experience possible. By collecting this data, you are showing your employees that you care about their time in the workplace and how they feel about their role within your organization. Data collection can be one part of your comprehensive plan to craft a better employee experience, retain high-quality talent, and grow your business with a team invested in your company's success.
Jason Averbook is the CEO and co-founder of Leapgen. In his over 20-year career as an author, global keynote speaker, and trusted industry analyst in the HR and technology industry, he has worked with leading companies around the world to help them transform their HR organizations into strategic partners. Before Leapgen, Averbook co-founded Knowledge Infusion LLC in 2005 and led the company until 2012, when it was sold to Appirio. He was the CEO of The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC) from 2014 through 2016. You can reach the author via email and follow his work on Twitter and LinkedIn.