Trusted Partners or the Machine?

In our first class this semester, back in the halcyon days of our pre-quarantine innocence, Professor Polzer posed a question: Are employees trusted partners in a mission or cogs in a machine? Though we have discussed and debated, pondered and premised for almost a full semester now, these authors feel no less conflicted as to this central tension of people analytics than we did almost three months ago.

Employee Mood Analytics: Don’t Just Measure the Symptom, Measure the Cause!

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In this post, I share my thoughts on the article, “Employee mood measurement trends” by Tom Haak, which amongst other things, describes three main means of measuring employee mood: traditional surveys, simple daily feedback tools, and passive data mining of employee online communications (emails, Slack, Yammer etc.).

I share my assessment of each method. Furthermore, I discuss why passive communications mining is likely to generate data that is unrepresentative of employee mood. Instead, it is more suited for analyzing supervisor effectiveness, which is a leading indicator and arguably the most important determinant of employee mood (the symptom).

Finally, I opine that analyzing supervisor effectiveness through communications data mining could be combined with traditional employee mood surveys to generate actionable insights to improve overall employee performance.