How can HR BP open data-informed dialogue with leaders on boosting team well-being?
General Business

How can HR BP open data-informed dialogue with leaders on boosting team well-being?

Talent attraction and retention are some of the biggest challenges for organizations of all shapes and sizes. The success of HR BPs is often measured by employee engagement and the proportions between the number of people who stay and leave the company. In order to ensure that the proportions work in the organization’s favor, HR BP teams and people leaders they partner with must ensure that they: (1) Embrace a new approach towards collaboration design (synchronous vs asynchronous collaboration) fit for a hybrid reality, (2) Strike the happy balance between accountability and micromanagement, (3) Ensure work-life harmony, (4) Foster the social learning experience in a remote or hybrid work environment.

Key 4 challenges for HR BP now

That said, when I recently spoke to Monika, an HR Director at a tech company, she aptly noticed that HR BPs must also remember to always put their findings and achievements into a quantitative form. How so? Leaders usually think in numbers, as it’s the language they themselves operate in on a daily basis to demonstrate their business initiatives’ success or failure.

By making sure that they can demonstrate objective data and interpret them against the right context, HR BPs can be on the same page with leaders – they will be able to better understand each other.

With data, HR BP will be able to better understand what works and what doesn’t

Until recently, HR predominantly used  quantitative data such as average time to hire, retention rate, average time to promotion etc. and qualitative data based on surveys. These findings, however, are often insufficient to meet today’s business challenges. While it’s valuable, sometimes it’s hard for employees to explain in a survey why they feel in a certain way. By looking at the intra team and cross team cooperation data, will you be able to better understand what works and what doesn’t, what the likely reason for employee workload, reduced productivity or disengagement is.

Data for HR BP to understand what works and what doesn't

So, what data are we speaking of here? The most important insights include access to more contextual information, such as:

  • Work-life harmony data (i.e., the average workday length, the number of meetings or emails sent after working hours, etc.)
  • Social learning insights ( i.e., lifting interactions – how frequently do you interact with people higher in the hierarchy, network size – the number of people you meet up with during the week, network diversity, which teams the people you meet up with are from)  
  • Productivity  (i.e., time spent on collaboration vs deep work time – does the team have enough time to spend on work without any distractions, at least two hours per day?)
  • Workload data (on all four tiers – cognitive, emotional, physical, and spiritual levels).

Three steps HR BPs need to effectively discuss team well-being with leaders 

To make sure that you have access to all this information and know how to use it effectively, I recommend taking the following steps.

3 steps for HR BPs to discuss team well-being with leaders

#1 Collect the data and look at it from various perspectives

When we recently analyzed the data for a global enterprise through the Network Perspective platform, we initially noticed that the time spent on meetings was acceptable – at least at a cross-organization level. However, once we dug deeper into the data and checked the numbers for specific teams, we noticed huge differences from team to team. When we reviewed the cohort of managers only, we uncovered that the numbers suddenly skyrocketed – indicating significant collaboration overload.

#2 Talk to the leader and ask how they interpret the data

While data is useful, it doesn’t mean much without the right context and discussion. While you might have your initial hypotheses, only by taking and discussing these numbers with relevant department leaders will you be able to confirm them.

#3 Work out a solution together

Once you’re done with the analysis and have an action plan, it’s time to monitor the data over time to see if the solutions you’ve worked out bring the desired results. Here’s where you’ll see a great advantage of the data-informed approach – numbers and real-time data give you context and support long-term actions. Given how it takes months to develop a new habit or, in this case,  to tweak or to overhaul collaboration patterns it would be incredibly difficult to go through with your long-term initiatives without constant access to data.

Closing remarks

Collecting standard, quantitative and qualitative employee engagement, development and attrition data has long been insufficient to give organizations a full picture of their team’s well-being and productivity. It’s crucial that HR BPs also have access to numerical, objective, team level data they can discuss with leaders. These include data on work-life harmony, productivity, workload or collaborative social learning. To gain access to such information, we recommend using a tool like Network Perspective that provides you with team-level analytics of time spent on synchronous vs asynchronous collaboration, focus time, recurring vs ad hoc contacts, work-life harmony, intra and cross-team collaboration, leaders’ guidance and L&D experiences. All that with strong ethics upfront. 

May 16, 2021

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