Are People Analytics Dehumanizing Your Employees? | Harvard Business Review

People Analytics

Employee monitoring and analytics have gained much attention since the pandemic’s start. Employee monitoring is a growing practice in which companies use digital tools to track work, employee performance, assess behavior, and collect proof of hours worked (and even employee ID badge swipes), to name a few. But as noted in this HBR article, “while this approach of employee monitoring aims to increase productivity and efficiency, increased monitoring can also increase stress, reduce trust, and even cause employees to act less ethically.” One recent example of how employee monitoring can create unintended consequences involves JPMorgan—where “employees describe growing ‘paranoia’ as the company tracks their office attendance, calls, calendars and more.” The HBR article provides three tactics for how companies can ethically and successfully deploy people analytics and minimize the risk of workers feeling they are “defined in terms of their data.” One tactic involves transparency about what employee information is tracked and how it is used. Given that research suggests that employee monitoring can signal distrust and lead to employee disengagement, organizations should carefully develop and implement their employee monitoring and analytics strategies to mitigate unintended consequences.

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