Remote work is here to stay, but the challenges that come with it don’t have to. Workplace analytics and employee experience platforms like Microsoft Viva Insights can help managers and leaders better understand their people’s mood and productivity and create a healthier, more engaging workplace.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for employees worldwide. While technology empowered them to work remotely, it also blurred the line between their personal and professional lives. This atmosphere, along with pandemic-related anxiety, gave rise to what Texas A&M University’s Associate Professor of Management Anthony Klotz calls “The Great Resignation”.
Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index came to a similar conclusion. The report revealed that over 40% of the global workforce considered leaving their employer that year based on a study of 30,000 respondents in 31 countries and an analysis of trillions of productivity and labor signals across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn. According to Microsoft, this projected mass resignation highlights the need for a thoughtful approach to hybrid work so companies can attract and retain diverse talent.
Putting a premium on well-being in the workplace
In the United States, this trend remained in 2022 as the Department of Labor reported that 4.3 million employees quit their jobs in January. The 11.3 million job openings during the same period as well as last year’s increase in the hourly pay (by about 5% in 2021) suggest that these resignations were driven by job seekers drawn to organizations that provide better opportunities and workplace experiences. The leisure and hospitality industry saw the highest quit rates in the same month, followed by retail trade and construction, which, incidentally, are also the industries with high demand for labor.
There is also a shift in employee expectations. An attractive remuneration package is no longer enough to convince them to stay either as the majority of them now put a premium on their well-being and sense of belonging. Moreover, they seek personal value and purpose at work, according to Gartner.
While work-life balance and one’s physical and emotional health remain key drivers in employee retention, employees also report factors such as the lack of feeling valued at work as one of the main reasons why they would consider leaving a company.
Organizations are also expected to empathize more with their employees’ struggles if they wish to keep them. Apart from those who already made up their mind about quitting, particular attention should also be given to those who say are unlikely to quit but might do so because of better options that other companies provide, such as remote work.
These changes in employee attitudes and expectations are also a tremendous challenge for managers. Since the start of the pandemic, they had to quickly adapt to managing their teams virtually. As online meetings replaced face-to-face interactions, it became difficult for them to gauge the performance and well-being of teams and individuals.
The rise of workplace analytics
While mental health issues have always been present in workplaces, these became more prevalent during the pandemic, according to Visier.
This is where data and analytics can help.
By collecting data, companies can monitor employee well-being and identify individuals and departments that might need assistance. That way, they can address any issues well before they become serious enough to cause an exodus of talent and, more importantly, find ways to create a more positive workplace over the long term.
Today’s organizations can do this using workplace analytics. It harnesses the power of data to provide decision-makers with a clearer picture of their employees’ productivity and well-being and address challenges they face in these areas.
Microsoft Viva Insights is a workplace analytics platform that uses data from the Microsoft 365 environment to help employees and managers become more productive and create a healthy work-life balance.
When using Microsoft 365 data, Viva Insights will derive actionable, privacy-minded recommendations using data from the employees’ meetings, emails, unscheduled calls, and instant messages, as well as some data from people with whom they collaborate, within or outside the organization.
The platform can offer personal insights to employees on how they can build better work habits. For example, Viva’s MyAnalytics dashboard shows statistics on how they spent their time over the past month, while the automatically generated Outlook digests offer suggestions on how they can improve their work patterns.
Managers and team leaders, meanwhile, get an expanded view of everything from their personal work habits as well as that of the entire team. For example, Viva Insights gets managers up to speed on things they might have missed because of their busy schedule, including tasks that team members asked them to complete, important emails they haven’t read yet, and one-on-one time with their team members.
Team leaders can also help members avoid becoming overwhelmed with meetings by scheduling a no-meeting day for the team. It provides them with the much-needed time, free from distraction and focused on their tasks.
Organizations can further explore the power of Viva Insights to build a more nurturing workplace based on their desired business outcomes, such as:
Transforming meeting culture. Hours spent daily on videoconferencing are taking a toll on workers worldwide, causing stress and burnout. Viva Insights can help organizations avoid this by revealing how much time employees spend in meetings and focusing on the quality rather the quantity of these meetings.
Developing effective managers. Good leadership is key to every successful company. Viva Insights develops managers into better leaders with information on how regularly they have 1:1 meetings with employees, how they can delegate and empower their teams, and more.
Boosting employee engagement. Viva Insights also helps create more engaged and productive teams by showing decision-makers how to promote more effective collaboration and limit triggers that may lead to employee burnout, such as overtime work.
Lingaro’s expert data scientists, engineers, and analysts work with companies across the world in complementing Viva Insights with advanced analytics and other features and functionalities that reflect their unique corporate culture.
Indeed, remote work is here to stay, but the challenges that come with it don’t have to. Workplace analytics tools such as Viva Insights can change this. With a clear understanding of workplace mood and productivity, organizations can create a healthier and more engaged workplace during the pandemic and beyond.