Improving Remote Employee Well-Being with Relational Analytics
While voluntary attrition is no longer an area of concern for most companies, the uncertain economic climate along with the widespread restructuring/lay-offs ( however you see it), has left many an employee in fear of losing their jobs.
Along with the eminence of hustle culture glorifying burning the midnight oil and perpetuating fear of being seen as "weak" or not ambitious enough, this has led to a catch-22 situation for HR leaders genuinely looking to improve employee well-being - "How do we help our employees if we can't even identify which employees and teams are struggling with working from home and require interventions?"
2020: Organizational Network Analysis Goes Mainstream
As the aforementioned dilemma has baffled CXOs and CHROs, the past few months have seen a huge surge of interest in the Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) space to help companies understand the interactions between individuals/ teams and see how people are collaborating in a remote environment.
In the words of Anna Tavis, a Clinical Associate Professor of Human Capital Management at New York University :
Organizational Network Analysis provides a systemic view of how organisations really work and understanding where points of accelerations are,who the people are who are really enablers in that, a speedy delivery and it all has to do with change management, how do we accelerate change?
While insights from Organizational Network Analysis are interesting and nice to have on a standalone basis too, these insights become exponentially more useful and practical when layered over traditional sources of people and productivity data.
Cue Relational Analytics.
Relational Analytics: Enabling Practical Applications of ONA
At Panalyt, we focus on empowering our clients to practically apply Organizational Network Analysis into their work processes by integrating insights into how employees communicate and collaborate with each other with people insights from more traditional end-to-end employee lifecycle analysis done with core people data, or "Relational Analytics" as we call it.
Here are two examples of how the Relational Analytics paradigm differs from traditional Organizational Network Analysis:
Traditional ONA: Which employees are showing patterns like increased after-work hour patterns, collaboration overload/ meeting fatigue that can be leading indicators of burnout?
Relational Analytics: All of the above, but Relational Analytics also looks at additional data points from across all your people data - for eg. integrating leave data, data on managers/ team members leaving - etc. which not only make the burnout prediction more effective, but also help quantify the impact of burnout on the business when integrated with productivity and financial data and make a business case for new employee wellness initatives
Traditional ONA: "how does my sales team collaborate with internal and external stakeholders? "
Relational Analytics:" What are the commonalities in how high performing sales reps build up their networks, and how do we drive the rest of our sales team to adopt similar behaviours? Which sales reps are showing signs of burning out or potentially leaving the company and require immediate interventions?
Relational Analytics empowers companies to understand the network behaviour of specific employee populations to drive desired business outcomes by looking at ONA data and applying layers of people and productivity data.
Relational Analytics for Improving Employee Wellness
Relational Analytics provides an objective means for companies to look at how the strength of relationships between employees, or different groups of employees, has been affected due to the shift to remote/ hybrid work environments.
Rather than having a blurred view on the remote employee experience due to the subjective nature of surveys and their inherent recency bias, Relational Analytics allows companies to easily understand, in real-time, key questions around :
- Organizational Health
- Remote Employee Engagement
- Employee Isolation
- Cultural Onboarding Speed
Relational Analytics empowers companies to diagnose potential problem areas in the remote Employee Experience and identify where necessary interventions are required to take a pro-active approach towards employee wellness, rather than always reacting and putting out fires.
Let's look into a few detailed use cases of how Relational Analytics can help improve remote employee wellness:
Relational Analytics for Improving Remote Organizational Health
Two relational analytics metrics that help give a high-level overview into how your organization is responding to the shift to WFH are the Communications Diameter and the Average Non-Response Rate.
The Communications Diameter, or the maximum number of steps it takes to go between two individuals in an organizational network, gives a measure of how many connections is takes for an idea to spread from person to person across an organization and how fast an idea can spread across an organization.
This becomes more effective when we look at a smaller sub-group, such as looking at how managers are connected with their team. If the communications diameter for a specific group grows larger over time, that group is getting less connected.
The Average Non-Response Rate metric is rather self- explanatory and looks at how many emails are being sent internally which people are ignoring. This number going up is a clear indicator of declining organizational health.
Relational Analytics for Improving Remote Employee Engagement
By looking at various communications metrics such as the volume of communications, reciprocity ( how even are the communications between two individuals) and responsiveness ( how quickly people respond to each other), we can establish a relationship score between two individuals.
The strength of this relationship score helps differentiate between a meaningful relationship between two individuals ( or teams) and weaker connections, and this relationship score can be used as a proxy for engagement when viewed over time.
The average relationship score for an individual or team across the organization typically trends upwards over the maturity of an organization for an organization growing together. If the average relationship score trends down for a team or individual, it's a clear sign of a loss of engagement.
Relational Analytics for Reducing Employee Isolation
Looking at the change in the average relationship score for individuals or teams over a period time, eg. Pre-COVID vs Post-COVID, along with the change in the volume of connections, can help identify which employees are at risk of isolation.
Apart from the mental stress for employees who have become isolated while Working From Home, not being well-integrated with the organization can have serious implications on employee productivity( for certain roles), and potentially lead to attrition- even in this economic climate.
While isolation may or may not affect individual or team productivity based on the role ( for eg. Software Development Engineers working in small teams focussed on one thing), relational analytics can provide an incredibly quick way to drill down into your organization and identify isolated individuals, assess the potential impact on the business and plan interventions.
Relational Analytics for Accelerating Cultural Onboarding Speed
Effectively onboarding and integrating new hires remotely into the organization has been a pressing issue for most companies.
With Relational Analytics, HR and line managers can very quickly assess how newly onboarded hires are integrating with their teams and the wider organization and plan interventions to help new hires build up the internal networks needed to succeed in their roles.
Ensuring new hires are connected with incumbent high performers in similar roles can help accelerate new hire performance and time to productivity.
From a Succession Planning perspective, Relational Analytics provides a birds-eye view of how new hires (or employees who have been promoted/ moved laterally) are building relationships with the key internal and external connections who enabled people previously in that role.
Drive Business Performance with Relational Analytics
At Panalyt, we're actively working with several global unicorns and enterprises to help them drive remote employee productivity, innovation and well-being with Relational Analytics.
Panalyt's interactive interface allows Business Leaders, HR and line managers to easily drill into their organization at both an individual and team level to understand how their remote organization is operating and identify areas of improvement to drive business performance.
If you're interested in learning more, book a quick 20-minute discovery call with our team to learn how you can get started with leveraging Relational Analytics to improve your existing talent processes to drive remote employee productivity at your remote/ hybrid organization.