When first introduced to the concept of desktop analytics, people often draw comparisons to Net Nanny® or George Orwell’s “Big Brother”. WorkiQ Desktop Analytics, for example, is not tracking passwords or bank accounts, but the software does monitor an employee’s computer-based activity in real-time. Initially, this concept may be unsettling to a measured associate, but desktop analytics can improve productivity, eliminate uncertainty, and potentially provide new insight into “actual” performance.
Hawthorn Effect (aka. The Observer Effect)
People, who know they are being observed, typically improve their behavior. Our customers report an average 10% improvement in productivity after three months of sharing activity reports with their users. Within the first 3 months of measurement, we have seen productivity spikes up to 26%.
This does not mean that someone surfing Facebook all day will become a model employee when monitored, but he will be more aware of his actions. Every company will have A+ and C- workers that set the curve, but simply knowing there is a grade will improve the class average.
Over the last few years, HR analysts have found that professional employees, especially millennials, have prioritized workplace flexibility. Employers that allow flexible hours, telecommuting, and less micro-management are able to attract more qualified candidates. However, employers cannot abandon all oversight.
Desktop analytics can serve as a tool to manage telecommute workers with in-office visibility. It also provides an evolved alternative to social media blocking. Instead of forcing employees to hide their social media addictions, companies with desktop analytics can measure time spent in productive vs. non-productive activities. Molina Healthcare’s employees deliver 6.5 hours of productive time per day, and associates are free to use the remaining time as they please.
The Workplace Fitbit
In addition to measuring application usage, WorkiQ can track how employees process work, even when jumping between several systems. Smart managers are using this crystal ball to build culture of transparency, collaborative process improvement, and performance-based rewards. This starts by providing analytics dashboards to both managers and measured employees, then socializing team productivity and performance. Real-time reinforcement keeps employees engaged and competitive, and eliminates the uncertainty that comes from infrequent performance reviews.
I elaborate on the idea of a workplace Fitbit in this blog: Fitness trackers set precedent for work performance management
To learn how a WorkiQ saved the job of an underutilized employee, continue reading Measure Twice – Cut Once.