Mine the Signals, not the Survey Responses
– There are many studies showing a correlation between levels of employee engagement and business performance (Gallup, Towers Perrin, International Survey Research). For companies, engagement is a primary factor influencing performance of the business. So many go to great lengths to study, measure and ultimately influence engagement in the enterprise.
But engagement is a complex construct and can be difficult to understand, particularly in the enterprise where signals of engagement are embedded within the walls of myriad IT systems and the multitude of interactions across the organization.
Much research has been done on the subject and many attempts made to quantify engagement as a leading indicator of performance. Yet engagement remains an elusive value to quantify.
DecisionWise (1) Corp concluded from its experiences that employee engagement could be represented by the following relationship:
Motivation + Satisfaction + Effectiveness = Engagement
The Gallup (2) Engagement Hierarchy computes an engagement score based on responses to survey questions in four major categories:
Engagement = f (Basic Needs, What’s Expected of Me, Belonging, Growth)
Today, many enterprises use this technology to gauge how well their workforce is aligned and motivated. While these methods provide meaningful data they are generally limited in scope due to reliance on solicited responses to predefined inputs.
This blog post and several to follow will explore the hypothesis that engagement can be quantified through analysis of the digital discourse of the organization.
If you take a look at the systems that exist in a typical enterprise infrastructure – CRM, CMS, Communication, and Collaboration – you’ll realize that a lot of what you want to know about engagement resides within their domains. The question becomes how to visualize those systems through an engagement model that surfaces interactions between workers that contain the telltale signs of collaboration.
For example, content management systems than enable workers to create, store and share content provide an indication of specific activities that indicate engagement. In the case of the CMS we can detect when certain content is trending and correlate it with the expected output of a specific business process. This type of visibility is insightful because it tells us how the outcome was actually achieved using forensics of the underlying system of record.
Enterprise social networks and communication systems in general provide abundant and insightful interactions as well. Messages and conversations contain entities and actions that can identify influencers and expose patterns of collaboration not previously know. Research shows that by analyzing Yammer messages over time a series of actively engaged people can be identified to help improve engagement visibility (3).
Taken together we see these as connections to the collective activities of the enterprise. Through analysis of the activities a clearer picture of engagement can be resolved.
What’s really exciting about all of this is that technologies like semantics, graphs, social and big data come together to produce a profile of activities that personify engagement. Platforms like Microsoft’s Office 365 are starting to bring some of this together today with Oslo and the office graph. Apps that aggregate data and services from different providers can engage through collaboration workflows tuned and optimized though user interaction.
Overall there’s never been a better time to use technology to measure user engagement with products such as SharePoint with Colligo integration. The signals are already there and you don’t need a survey to use them.
To find out more about any of our SharePoint products and services, from mobility solutions to enterprise integration, visit Colligo.com.