February 07, 2021

What is employee analytics?

Many HR and C-level managers have recently talked and heard a lot about employee analytics, sometimes also called "people analytics". This article will analyze the latest trends in employee analytics, show what can be applied now and what is at the stage of experimentation so far.

At Billy, we initially made a product such as HR employee analytics software precisely to help with employee analytics in 2 main areas:

  • employee engagement data analytics
  • employee attrition predictive analytics

Let's look at what kind of data can be collected and how to interpret it correctly.

📊 What is employee data analytics?

We almost always hear about employee analytics, but it would be more correct to call the analytics, which we will discuss further, employee data analytics. The analysis is carried out not by the employees themselves, but by the data they leave about themselves. Many managers and HRs are just beginning to understand the importance of employee analytics. This article will show you good employee analytics software practices and show what an employee analytics dashboard might look like.

⚡ Importance of employee analytics

As almost all managers know, "If You Can't Measure It, You Can't Improve It". Several business areas are historically considered difficult to measure - brand marketing, communications, PR, culture, management. Usually, they are measured in a very subjective manner by HRD, CMO, COO, etc. However, at Billy, we think that almost everything can be measured, and the only question is where to get the data and how to analyze it correctly.

Let's look at examples of what can be measured in terms of employee behavior and what conclusions can be drawn.

Employees connections analytics

📐 Measuring and understanding company culture

Most managers believe that the culture of a company is intangible and immeasurable. But imagine that it is possible to measure it. Where would you look for culture? In our opinion, the best place to understand a culture is through team messengers like Slack and Microsoft Teams. The average company of 100 employees sends over 100,000 messages every month. And corporate culture is hidden in these communications.

By analyzing communication in corporate messengers, you can understand what behavior is positive and rewarded, what sentiment prevails in messages, how often toxicity and passive aggression are encountered.

Billy does just that - we make a sentiment analysis of messages in public channels to find toxicity, clericalism and passive aggressive messages. By analyzing problems in the early stages of communication, we can prevent conflicts and potential leaves. For example, Billy can show managers ways to improve their communication - how to avoid passive-aggressive forms, show positive behaviour, and so on.

🧑‍💼 HR analytics and employee attrition

Messengers are also a great source of information about who is going to quit. If the company has established processes for creating and deleting employee accounts, you can understand from the messenger how their behavior has changed over time and find patterns.

Billy uses artificial intelligence to find such patterns – with data from many teams, it can understand changes of behavior of people who are going to quit. Billy can predict who is going to leave in the next 3 months with a 70% probability. Managers can use this to talk with an employee and discuss problems if there are any.

We are often asked what factors are most likely to signal problems. Here are some: - the number of messages in public channels - the number of reactions added by the user - the speed of doing tasks (if task manager integration is enabled) - the sentiment of messages, the number of thanks given to colleagues.

A decrease in these behavioral factors often indicates that the employee has problems resulting from which he is likely to want to quit.

Organizational structure issues

The relationship between users and departments is also available in corporate messengers. Having built a graph of people's connections in a company, you can easily see some problems, for example, the so-called "bus factor." In the graph below, you can see that only the manager communicates with the rest of the company in one of the departments. This could lead to problems if this manager did quit - no one would know who was doing what in this department.

Organizational structure issues

This graph is from a real company using Billy. In this company, it turned out that turnover in this department was also the highest in the team.

Correlation is not causation, but it is at least a reason to think.

Identifying potentially good managers in the company

Organizations using a non-free version of Slack can create user groups. Most often, user groups represent departments in a company's organizational structure. By analyzing communications in and between departments, you can find people who are super-communicators and can be good managers.

We very often see in companies that managers are chosen according to the principle: "This employee is a good developer/marketing manager/salesperson, so let's promote him to a manager's position".

But in reality, more often, good managers are not just good performers, but good communicators who connect people from different departments, communicate with a large number of people, and generally have a good network.

With employee data analytics it is possible to find such "hidden gems" in companies and show them to executives.

Employee analytics potential good manager

🙋‍♂️Employee engagement analytics

All companies want to have employees who are not just completing tasks, but share the company's values, are proactive, and are involved in its development. But how to measure an employee's engagement score? We spent around 2 years researching it, and here are some of the most important aspects we've found:

  • Internal publicity and visibility in public channels
  • Number of conversations and reactions
  • Number of received and shared recognition and appreciation, including public appreciation
  • The number of unique colleagues the user interacted with (replies in threads, mentions, reactions, etc.)

Based on these parameters, we have developed the Activity Index, which shows how much an employee is involved in communications, is proactive and engaged.

Employee engagement score and activity index

It is important to understand that the Activity Index only shows opportunities for improvement and is not an employee's assessment.

🗂️ Other metrics

Some of our clients get data from Billy using the API and enrich this data to have a complete picture of employee analytics. Let's look at an interesting metric that the company can further analyze.

Who is looking for promotion or wants some changes

One of the largest Billy customers uses employee education information to predict who might want to change direction. For example, a common case is when a developer wants to become a product manager or engineering manager, and it is quite predictable if you understand what topics the employee is interested in. In the company we're talking about, each employee has the opportunity to take courses or get tickets to conferences in the team store provided by Billy. The company analyzes what interests different employees have and predict who might want to become a manager.

Elena Kaminskaia

Elena Kaminskaia

Co-founder & CEO at Billy App. I’m a team management expert, helping companies build a great culture