Workplace Analytics – The metrics of collaboration

Workplace AnalyticsWorkplace analytics jigsaw showing key elements

What are workplace analytics?

Workplace analytics are systems of operational data and process KPIs which enable organisations to monitor and understand the key internal influences which drive future (and sometimes current) business success.
Workplace analysis looks predominantly at the people side of organisations (‘their greatest asset’) and the factors which impact on the potential, interaction and ultimately the effectiveness of those people to deliver and sustain that success. This includes factors which impact culture, commitment, mental health, information flow, productivity, creativity, attitude, empowerment, motivation, communication, teamwork, purpose, values, focus, loyalty etc.

How are Workplace Analytics generated?

Meeting information hierachy isometricAdvances in the extent of standardised electronic data within organisations, for example in software and apps, has enabled tools like Microsoft Outlook to provide a wealth of data to support ever more powerful workplace analysis tools. Some of these rely solely on Outlook data, such as Microsoft Workplace Analytics, but the real power lies in combining quantitative data with qualitative data to understand the quality and impact of what is taking place.
Inspirometer’s workplace analysis uses Inspirometer’s powerful feedback metrics to understand the real-time impact of the qualitative numbers on people’s attitudes and effectiveness. In this way, it is able to translate the numbers into tangible value within your organisation, and to trend the ability of your people to deliver what is needed.

Why do Workplace Analytics matter?

Workplace Analytics are important because of the insight they provide into performance trends, and because of their ability to predict and control future financials.
As your people shape up to globalisation, technological advances, and increasing VUCA, Inspirometer’s workplace analytics will help you to track their progress. Our workplace metrics highlight early warning signals (well in advance of it becoming obvious in your financials), and enable you to adjust your strategy to better utlilise, balance and protect your strengths.

Who needs Workplace Analytics?

But Inspirometer’s system of workplace analytics does much more than simply equip the executive leadership with the real-time information they need to design and coordinate their organisation’s success – it also deploys that insight down through the organisation to empower local leadership to make on-the-spot, on-time, on-the-button decisions in support of that success.
Inspirometer’s workplace analytics provide a system of distributed intelligence which empowers ownership of strategy at all of the critical points of decision, enabling agile solutions within an an aligned and coordinated framework – a crucial response to this increasingly VUCA business environment.
The topics below outline the range of insight and understanding that is available through Inspirometer Workplace Analytics.

How are people currently spending their time?

meeting stats elements of workplace analyticsOur meetings loading charts trend the time taken up in meetings so you can see whether increased collaboration is being met by smarter communication or simply more of it.
Within that, a range of other charts illustrate:
  • The extent to which that time is outwardly focused, engaging with your customers and partners, or inwardly focused consumed within internal processes and politics.
  • The adoption of basic disciplines such as a clear purpose and approach, which helps to inform preparation, guide discussion, and deliver efficient progress.
  • The extent to which longer larger meetings are balanced by shorter sharper meetings of fewer people to ensure effective pre-work and delivery of commitments.
  • The impact of meeting commitments on the availability of your people’s time for progressing other work (such as actions from meetings) and for thinking things through
  • The extent to which workloads require significant time spent outside normal working hours, particularly when this is at a level which could impact mental health
  • The utilisation of feedback in meetings to ensure that meeting organisers (and attendees) are continuously learning how to better add value through their use of people’s time
  • The take-up of technology in using virtual or asynchronous meetings to accelerate progress and better engage people, vs. the extent to which physical meetings necessitate travel
  • The effectiveness of meetings in adding value to your organisation and empowering and enthusing your people to make progress on your strategic priorities
Together, these workplace analytics provide a real-time picture which enables your leadership to not only keep abreast of shifts in their people’s workloads, but to identify opportunities for better preparing those people with strategies to ensure that their time and collaboration is best utilised to address the changes they will soon be facing.

How productive are our workplace relationships?

Large organisations exist because there is competitive benefit from many people working together to deliver a service than those same people working separately. Organisations therefore depend on the quality of the relationships between its people for its competitive edge – without that, they may as well break it all up and save the overhead.
Despite this simple logic, relationships within organisations are far from optimal – silos form, politics undermine, resentments form – and yet, poor as they are, they are still sufficient to out perform isolated workers. What then could be the competitive potential of improving those relationships?
Heatmap example showing silo analysis from workplace analyticsInspirometer’s Workplace Analytics enable you to see at a glance the quality of working relationships within teams, between teams, across departments and divisions, and out to customers and partners. Our heat-map tool enables you to see the extent and the value-add of each relationship, to identify those where improvement would best leverage your strategy, and to track the impact of that improvement until it achieves its goal.
Furthermore, as with other aspects of our Workplace Analytics, the heat-map is deployed down to local leadership so that they can take personal responsibility for working with their opposite numbers to improve the quality of service and value-add delivered between them.
Using the heat-map tool, you can:
  • Identify where silos are forming, and task local leadership with responsibility for improved collaboration
  • Recognise points of friction and potential inefficiency or politics within your organisation
  • Review areas where communication levels may be too low to support your strategy
  • Map out process flows for your key business processes and identify potential points of inefficiency or delay
  • Look at customer service handovers to highlight potential points of weakness or disconnect
  • Keep track of improvements in all of the above, effortlessly, in real-time

To what extent will tomorrow take care of itself?

The snapshots described above can help organisations identify issues and opportunities, but it is the rate of change in those meeting metrics which answer the most important questions: Are things improving or getting worse; are our current strategies making a difference; are there other influences we need to be aware of? In short, can we be confident in the outcomes or do we need to intervene?
Inspirometer’s workplace analysis trends all of the above data over time, so that patterns can be seen, strategies adjusted, and emerging issues dealt with promptly. In contrast with the more traditional annual survey approach, where issues and delays may remain hidden for a year or more, workplace analytics display progress in real time. From these you can easily see:
  • How the average duration and size of meeting is adjusting to your focus on effectiveness
  • How the balance of physical, virtual, and asynchronous meetings is shifting, and how this is impacting travel and carbon footprint
  • Reductions in the adoption of of Outlook standard time and calendar blocks vs bespoke durations and schedules which better reflect a well thought out process
  • Shifts in meeting attendance which reflect the extent to which internal meeting efficiency is allowing or constraining customer contact and participation
  • Trends in the adoption of basic meeting disciplines by meeting organisers, such as objectives, agenda, feedback, and the extent to which they utilise that feedback
  • The extent to which better organised and scheduled meetings are freeing up productive time in people’s calendars
Because Workplace Analytics are deployed down through the organisation to the individuals responsible for organising and hosting meetings, they can instantly see their own trends and make adjustments appropriate to their situation.
Local empowerment of workplace analytics frees senior management to focus only on those situations where this is not happening or is ineffective. It also allows for each area to select and take ownership for strategies which are best suited to their needs, rather than adopt (or sometimes resist) a one-size-fits-all or sheep-dip approach.

What are the most significant issues to focus on?

The sheer volume of data available through Workplace Analytics can be overwhelming and can result in the ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ syndrome.
To overcome this, we recommend that people focus only on what is most important to their business goals, and to deselect and de-prioritise the rest. However, sometimes ‘what is most important’ is not clear, and causality between the different metrics can be overlooked.
Inspirometer’s optional Correlation Analysis Module trawls through your Workplace Analytics data and identifies patterns in your data – significant relationships between, say, ‘discipline adoption’ and ‘efficiency’. When you input your goals for improvement into the Correlation Analysis Module, it works to identify those factors which are likely (based on your own statistics) to have the most significant influence on achieving those goals, and which have the greatest potential for improvement.
Furthermore, Inspirometer’s Clinic can use the output from the Correlation Analysis Module to help you to identify the best strategies for you to pursue in making those improvements.
The Correlation Analysis Module can help you to identify and address your own biggest factors in:
  • Ensuring effective collaboration
  • Maintaining metal health
  • Achieving the benefits of diversity
  • Increasing innovation and ownership
  • Improving employee engagement
  • Meeting productivity
  • Progress between meetings