How organizations track employee data to improve overall performance

Increasingly, when organizations want to boost results, they turn not to generalized brainstorming sessions based on industry best practices, but to advanced analysis of their troves of employee data.

According to The Wall Street Journal, not only is it fairly common practice to track workers' emails, text messages, phone calls, chats and calendar appointments, but companies are also now mining that data for insights into employee satisfaction and overall efficiency.

McKesson, for example, reportedly hired an analytics firm in 2018 to scour the senders, recipients and timing of 130 million employee emails in an attempt to understand why turnover was significantly higher among some teams. Analysis showed that teams with less turnover had connections all along the chain of command both inside and outside the company. Though McKesson has yet to implement any changes based on the findings, it is reportedly developing tools to predict workers' likelihood of leaving the company.

Ramco Systems, an Indian software firm, tapped the same analytics company to parse through a former sales executive's emails, identify their strongest client relationships and, by passing on that information to the executive's replacement, reduce onboarding time from several months to just a few weeks.

Microsoft, too, has found uses for the data it collects on employee behavior: Per WSJ, the company measures employee productivity, management efficacy and work-life balance from chats, emails and calendar appointments made through its own Office 365 services. Microsoft also sells this internal analytics software to clients such as Macy's and Freddie Mac.

"The beauty of what we're getting out of this is information to make our teams function better," R.J. Milnor, vice president of workforce planning and analytics at McKesson, told WSJ.

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