Should Employees View Analytics Reports?

Operational analytics products such as OpenConnect’s WorkiQ provide insight into employee activity, helping you better understand how your employees perform their daily activities. Some solutions, including WorkiQ, also allow employees to view reports showing their activity compared to their peers’.

There is a growing debate over whether employees should have direct access to their analytics data. Some managers believe that a user who can view his own data will use it to help improve his performance. Other managers believe that employees will use the data against management, or will spend too much time looking at data instead of working.

As you would expect, there are advantages and disadvantages to letting an employee have access to her analytics data. The advantages include:

  • It makes her feel in control, and less like she’s being watched.
  • By comparing her activity with that of her peers, she’s energized to perform better and gains more pride in her work as she watches her own improvement over time.
  • It gives her control of her own destiny and allows you to better manage her expectations as an employee.

On the other hand, some of the reasons you should be cautious about allowing an employee to view his own reports are:

  • He might spend a lot of work time constantly looking at his data.
  • If the data shows that he’s performing poorly, he tends to challenge the data, which could cause a confrontation with his manager.
  • He can use the data to demand pay raises or other rewards.

As a result, you should consider these advantages and disadvantages before allowing your employees direct access to their own data. Each working environment is different; so only you, the person managing your team, can truly understand the potential impact of each approach.

Another Way to Provide Transparency With Analytics Data

If you want to be transparent and allow your employees to see their data, but you’re concerned that they will spend too much time looking at reports, there’s an alternative approach you can try. Instead of giving employees direct, real-time access to the reports, use WorkiQ to create a peer report (shown below). This is a chart that shows how an employee has performed, over time, compared to her peers. In the employee’s peer report, she doesn’t see data for each of her individual peers; rather, she sees a single attribute that represents the average for all peers.

WorkiQ peer report

You can share the peer report with the employee, either via an automatic emailing or by showing him the report during your weekly one-on-one meeting with him. This removes the disadvantages of allowing direct access to the reports, but still provides the feedback employees need. Some employees will still challenge the report, regardless of how and when it’s delivered to them; but most employees will welcome the feedback.

Getting Away From Self-Reporting

Have you ever felt very satisfied with the completion of a workday or project just to realize you still need to document your time and/or items of work completed? Looking for more productivity from your team, but still requiring them to provide mandatory self-reported time/work sheets?

Many back office operations, particularly in Health Plans, have an excessive amount of self-reporting. Still using spreadsheets that are difficult to roll up to a group level and take a lot of time to insure individual inputs are correct is an amazing time killer. Others use simple web based applications which rely on accuracy of the reporter, while believe it or not some plans still use paper, pencil and stop watches.

Self-Reporting is a root cause of several common operational deficiencies:

  • Too many costly work hours spent completing forms and combining spreadsheets
  • Consistency in the definitions of work across multiple groups and individuals lead to errors
  • Accuracy of data is dependent on those inputting the information, again leading to errors or misrepresentation
  • Without real-time data; managers cannot make decisions to impact inventory quickly

Using automated capture and reporting of work streamlines operations and provides real-time data. Take a look at WorkiQ as an example using desktop analytics. While visiting our information take a swim through our Savings Calculator to see how much your operations might benefit from eliminating self-reporting.

Managers Dilemma: How Can Employees Compare Performance?

Can your employees track their daily performance, or do they have to wait for a manager review? Do they know where they need training or when they excel at a process? In this manager’s dilemma, I walk through a “Peer Productivity Comparison” Dashboard in WorkiQ, explain how desktop analytics can help your employees diagnose their own performance.

This workforce analytics dashboard displays:

  • The number of work processes a single user completed over several days. (ie. insurance claim, IT ticket, enrollment application, etc.)
  • The average time this user needed to complete each work processes.
  • The average time this user spent performing defined tasks (sub-processes) within a process each day.
  • This same information above for the user’s team, so each employee can compare performance to their peers.

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Managers Dilemma: What Processes Consume an Employee’s Day?

Do you really know all the processes that consume your employee’s time? Do top performers spend more time in specific work processes? What time-consuming activities should you consider for process improvement or automation? In this manager’s dilemma, I walk through a “Processes by Time” Dashboard in WorkiQ Desktop Analytics, and point out a few key insights that managers should know about process time.

This dashboard displays:

  • The average amount of time to complete a defined process.
  • The NET amount of time spent in each process over several days.
  • The average and NET time spent performing defined tasks (sub-processes) within a process.
  • The NET amount of time spent outside of defined processes.

This WorkiQ Desktop Analytics dashboard can be adjusted to report a range of dates, a specific employee, or a group of employees.

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Measure Twice – Cut Once

For a carpenter, hasty cuts can result in an expensive loss of time and materials. Hence, the phrase “measure twice; cut once”. Applying this “measure twice & cut once” principle to back-office operations simply means; you can’t improve what you don’t measure.

[Whitepaper] IDC Analyst Connection: What Gets Measured Gets Better: Improving Performance

“WorkiQ is helping us have effective conversations with employee’s we were previously unable to have.” – Manager of Business Intelligence, Top Blue Cross & Blue Shield Plan

Many employees, especially those who choose back-office careers, are unable to communicate their challenges to managers or peers. One of the largest health plans in the country recently provided a great example.

A claims examiner, who we will call “Mary”, was consistently missing production numbers. The health plan’s claims system could report the number of claims Mary worked, and her average time-per-claim, but it could not explain “why” she was below team standards. After several warnings, Mary was on the verge of disciplinary action. With a WorkiQ pilot about to start, her management decided to wait until they could analyze her daily activity.

It turns out that Mary was not taking breaks, and her lunch was rarely more than 10 minutes. She spent more time in “productive” applications than anyone on her team, but this effort was not reflected in the output of her work.

Mary’s WorkiQ dashboard revealed that she was spending her breaks doing research through company documents and online resources. As a result of real-time data, it was easy to determine she did not have the training to perform at expectations. Working with her manger, Mary was able to join the proper training programs, and she was partnered to a mentor. Employee turnover is a huge expense in money, time and resources, WorkiQ is providing valuable empirical data to help Insurance companies successfully evaluation workforce performance based on facts.

By adding a layer of operational visibility through desktop analytics, Mary is now one of her department’s top performers. In the future, Mary can use a peer-comparison dashboard to see if other top performers have found more efficient ways to process claims.

WorkiQ Peer Performance Comparison
Peer Performance Comparison Dashboard – WorkiQ Desktop Analytics

Stories like this are fairly common, and a similar case occurred here at OpenConnect with one of our developers. To learn more about how desktop analytics can help your operations department, continue reading The positive impact of “Big Brother” software.

The Positive Impact of “Big Brother” Software

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.

Flexible Workplace

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.

Advanced WorkiQ Training

OpenConnect has introduced new advanced training packages that enable our customers to maximize the value of their WorkiQ investments.

WorkiQ, the first desktop analytics suite designed specifically to measure back office operational intelligence, is fast becoming a standard in claims, enrollment, and membership in the largest Health Plans in North America.   Our customers are seeing, on average, a 3-5 month payback in savings and productivity efficiencies.

The new advanced training programs are designed to support growth into new teams or business units, enhancing the usage of the data through new reports and dashboards.   The training is provided either on-site at a customer location or it can be delivered virtually for remote teams.   Below is a brief description of the new courses.

WorkiQ Advanced IT Training (1 day)

The Advanced IT Training provides more in-depth server maintenance and troubleshooting tips including database queries and health checks.

WorkiQ Advanced Admin Training (1 day)

The Advanced Administration Training goes deeper into employee management and trouble-shooting, covering license management, Gatherer status checks and using Gatherer Groups to separate Gatherers for troubleshooting or testing new features.

WorkiQ Advanced Report Training (1 day)

The Advanced Report Training takes WorkiQ reporting to a new level, with instructions on how to add external reports and build custom web pages that can be displayed through WorkiQ, as well as tips on using the Chart Wizard and Datasets.

WorkiQ Mentoring (1 day)

WorkiQ Mentoring can be used for more personalized, one-on-one training on any topic or area of WorkiQ.

WorkiQ Process Training (1 day)

Process Training teaches WorkiQ Administrators how to define and implement Processes and view the results of the Process Data through WorkiQ reports.  Process Training includes use of the Desktop Designer – WorkiQ’s tool for designing panels for Processes.

 

If your organization is ready to enhance your usage and knowledge of WorkiQ, please contact your Account Executive for pricing and availability.

 

Analytics for Insurance Conference – Canada

OpenConnect’s Michael Cupps to Discuss the Future of Technology and Data Capture at the Analytics for Insurance Conference

Mr. Cupps will be a featured speaker at the Analytics for Insurance Conference session titled “Improve claims processing by identifying & understanding ‘dark events’”

Dallas, TX, May 4, 2015 – OC WorkiQ, a leader in workforce intelligence and business process analytics software and services, today announced that Senior Vice President Michael Cupps will be a featured speaker and panelist at the Analytics for Insurance Conference, May 11 – 12 in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Cupps will focus on how analytics can make the claims process more efficient and transparent.

The claims handling process involves large amounts of data, but unfortunately much of this data has historically not been tracked and measured in a meaningful way. Emerging technologies and the use of analytics that are capable of tracking this data are crucial to the future of the claims handling process.

Prior to the panel discussion, Mr. Cupps will deliver a presentation on understanding Dark Events, which are discrete actions that occur in the processing of a claim. The panel discussion will cover a number of key areas related to the role of analytics in the claims process. The additional capabilities that analytics enables – from developing new predictive models, to providing more insight into previously opaque aspects of the claims process – will be crucial to the evolution of the industry. Mr. Cupps will focus specifically on how to track and utilize previously unusable data in ways the industry has not seen before.

“As with any production process, the efficiency of the claims process solely depends on the knowledge of the best path to completion. In reality, that knowledge or visibility is not always clear,” said Michael Cupps, Senior Vice President, OC WorkiQ. “The only way to improve that process is to remove ‘Dark Events’. These are discrete actions that affect the state of claims, and normally go unrecorded by most claims processing and analysis systems.  Being armed with the ability to capture this data creates valuable and actionable analysis that can lead to greater efficiencies.”

The Analytics for Insurance Conference takes place May 11 – 12 at the Westin Prince Toronto. Mr. Cupps will give his presentation on May 11 from 2:50 p.m. – 3:10 p.m., and the subsequent panel discussion will take place from 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

ROI From Real-Time Desktop Analytics

Identifying top performing teams and individuals is critical to building a culture of accountability and high employee engagement. Real-time desktop analytics provides the operational intelligence necessary to evaluate true staffing needs, reduce outsourcing, and lower the overall costs of operations. By providing dashboards with insights into the actual performance your managers will be empowered to make “in the moment” coaching and guidance for optimal performance.

Using your own data learn how your operations will save. Try our new online Savings Calculator.

Three areas you can find savings.

Productive Hours

On average US employees waste 2 hours a day beyond breaks and lunch hour. If your organization can re-capture part or all of this “empty labor” productivity will increase and your organization can do more work with the same staff. WorkiQ provides real-time data showing the amount of time spent on productive and non-productive activities and categorizing the type of work that consumes the most labor hours.

Reducing overtime

According to a recent survey, Americans work an average of one hour of overtime each week. Sometimes your business may need overtime to get through peak periods but how do you truly know without accurate data? WorkiQ provides real-time data showing where you may need more, or less, of the work being done.

Eliminating self-reporting

Many companies only have self-reporting methods or use disparate data from multiple core systems to track the amount of work and time spent on various tasks. These self-reporting methods rob your employees of time that could be spent doing real work.

Try our ROI tool and let us know what you think.

WorkiQ Savings Calculator

Analytics and Automation for the Back Office

5 reasons Back Office Operations are interested in workforce analytics & automation

  1. Measure in Real-Time
    On average US employees waste 2 hours a day beyond breaks and lunch hour. Real-time workforce analytics will capture activity in real-time of all associates, even those at-home, to identify productive and unproductive practices. WorkiQ captures all counts, time, and outcomes of activity so work can be categorized and managed.
  2. Manage in Real-Time
    Employees perform at varying levels of productivity and efficiency based on training, engagement, experience, and even acute situations in their personal life. Effective managers need reliable operational intelligence to identify if workers need training or if they are not optimizing work hours. WorkiQ provides the operational intelligence needed to identify, improve, and reward employ­ees through real-time management dashboards.
  3. Improve in Real-Time
    Dramatic productivity improvements start with increased engagement. Through awareness, scorecards and gamification; WorkiQ work­force analytics delivers a wide range of reports that empower people at every level of the company to compete and engage. Through real-time metrics, as opposed to infrequent performance reviews, associates know how they are performing in com­parison to their peers, where they excel, and where they can improve. Managers can compare employees with accurate stan­dards, reward superstar performers, and see where their team ranks against other groups or departments.
  4. Optimizing labor costs
    Companies using data-driven decision-making were, on average, 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their competitors. Back office operations largest cost is labor. By using WorkiQ, you are able to identify empty labor and recapture productive hours, identify the true need for overtime costs, and utilize real-time data to measure the ability to work the inventory.
  5. Robotic Process Automation
    A natural utilization of operational intelligence is identifying opportunities for robotic process automation (RPA). Identifying and replacing routine or repetitive back office work with software robots enables companies to save considerable expense. Insurance companies, for example, use robots for their claims / auto-adjudication improvement. With a complete solution to identify, configure and execute, OpenConnect automation provides a complete solution providing significant savings back to your company.