How can Team Collaboration Analytics help enable people leaders?
general business | specialist | expert

How can Team Collaboration Analytics help enable people leaders?

We live in times when organisation, team and individual agility are of critical importance to business outcomes. Agility is driven by properly enabled people leaders.

There is however a substantial difference between empowerment and enablement. While many people leaders are empowered to make business decisions, they are frequently not properly enabled to do so. Namely, they are not equipped enough with the relevant resources, people data, tools and/or training.

When people leaders are enabled to drive agility?

Paradoxically, more often than not, employee data is still perceived as the domain and the accountability of HR teams, and HR teams rarely receive sufficient company resources and tools to invest in quality, descriptive, let alone predictive and prescriptive data that would enable them to support leaders in their people-related decisions and interventions.

And this is where the vicious circle closes.

It is therefore vital for both HR teams and people leaders to gain access and to leverage HR data, including AI based collaboration data, in order to feel enabled and be accountable for employee engagement and retention. That said, I’d like to briefly discuss why people leadership enablement is becoming more important year over year, and how the combination of training and advanced team collaboration data can support leaders in their agility and making evidence-based, people leadership decisions.

Why people leadership enablement matters more than ever before

In today’s volatile business environment, leaders need to make data-informed decisions fast, based on quality, actionable, insights related to both business and people management. 

How to enable people leaders in disruptive times?

In the BANI world (Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear, and Incomprehensible) we need to properly equip people leaders to be effective, engaged and to create safe, close-knit, continuously learning communities for their teams. As argued by Amy Edmondson, people must feel psychologically safe at work to be vested, eager to take risks, innovate and to support each other in a resilient way. They also need to keep improving their ways of working to remain responsive to the demands of the business environment.  And this can only be done if we provide leaders with:

  • The right training on versatile, resilient, and compassionate leadership
  • The right people data including collaboration analysis insights such as ONA provided by Network Perspective that can support people leaders in the process of learning how to  effectively lead teams in the new reality i.e. move from the olden' days, when they were mainly expected to manage the business/team performance, to the new reality, where they are expected to impact business outcomes through continuously improving team collaboration. Insights such as team’s collaboration vs deep work time, intra team vs cross team meeting number and time, work day length,time and number of meetings after hours network density and diversity, time to optimum productivity needed by newbies concluded based on their collaboration patterns etc. give people leaders tangible evidence that enables bespoke team level improvements to team productivity, social learning and work life harmony.

In order to be able to build and lead teams through today's disruptive times, and transition to hybrid ‘workscapes’, people managers need to have their oxygen masks put on first. And they need to get the right ‘oxygen mix’, with companies investing enough time, energy, and resources in supporting people managers. 

How People Analytics helps enable leaders

In the increasingly remote work environment, effective collaboration is founded on trust and transparency combined with accountability. This can only be achieved through a combination of a strong culture, great quality collaboration tools, and last but surely not least, quality team collaboration data. 

According to Rob Cross, Professor at Babson College, “being able to see the patterns of connectivity within groups really helps a leader make more targeted decisions to improve group effectiveness than simply holding more Zoom calls or virtual happy hours”. As he further lays out, it allows leaders to see which assignments they should engage people or their connections for, and how they can avoid creating silos or work overload. 

How People Analytics helps enable leaders

And this is where Organization Network Analysis (ONA) proves invaluable while ensuring ethical, non intrusive, team level perspective. Especially now, as many companies are in the process of transitioning to a more remote-mature operating model. ONA helps leaders monitor collaboration patterns conducive or detrimental to employee engagement, productivity or knowledge sharing and innovation. 

It provides people leaders with the right predictive and prescriptive insights based on which they can continuously improve their team’s dynamics, agility, and effectiveness. With ONA at hand, the decisions on what needs to be improved don’t come from the executive or the HR team. They are made by the enabled people leaders themselves.

Closing remarks

In recent years, we’ve seen a global shift in what is expected of leaders. Managing employee data and talent engagement and retention is no longer the domain of HR only. However, in order to enable leaders to make the right decisions, they must be supported with:

  • The right training on how to become a compassionate, resilient and agile leader
  • The access to the right tools which provide team-level insights on a variety of collaboration aspects, such as productivity patterns, team and cross-team rituals, or workload.

Only with these two elements, will leaders be able to navigate the new, so called BANI times.

If you’d like to discuss the topic in more detail, reach out. We’d ll be delighted to shed more light on how Network Perspective can help you enable your organization’s leaders to make the right decisions.

The article was originally posted on the blog

August 23, 2021

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