Data-driven employee tracking is crucial for effectively managing and improving employee satisfaction.
Well-being is an often misunderstood aspect of employee productivity and retention.
While most companies are aware of the effects of workplace stress, they invest in initiatives designed to improve stress management rather than directly addressing the factors that cause stress in the first place.
These initiatives range from encouraging sleep and exercise to offering employees on-site yoga training, snack bars, and dog-friendly offices. These are all great perks to have, but they overlook something fundamental – the nature of the work itself.
Leaders who take a critical eye to long-established office practices and workflows may uncover surprising ways to boost employee well-being without compromising productivity or overspending on large-scale wellness campaigns.
But to do that, companies must first implement technological solutions for gathering employee productivity data and generating actionable, detailed reports.
Defining Employee Well-Being
Well-being refers to the way people feel about the way they function, both on a personal level and on a larger social scale. A business organization is a complex social system that can deeply influence the well-being of its members and participants, and its impact on individual well-being is well-documented.
Employees with higher levels of well-being tend to be more engaged. Employees with lower levels of well-being are more likely to skip work, change positions, or suffer from burnout.
Two factors that heavily contribute to well-being in the workplace are job control and social support:
- Job control is the amount of autonomy and discretion employees have over the way they use their time. Organizations that promote employee autonomy and avoid micromanaging people tend to have healthier, less-stressed workers and higher productivity.
- Social support includes everything from deep, lasting friendships to healthy family relationships at home. Workplaces are also a source of social support, but they are often structurally designed in ways that make social support harder to attain.
For example, it’s typical for high-powered financial firms to foster internal competition between their sales agents. This can improve sales figures, but it does so at the cost of social support between agents, who have no incentive to collaborate productively with one another. Ultimately, this decreases their sense of security and well-being.
At the same time, junior sales agents may have a far lower degree of autonomy than senior leaders. Promotions come with greater responsibilities, but also offer better compensation and more job control. As a result, senior employees often report greater levels of well-being than junior co-workers.
Well-being Is Hard to Accurately Quantify
All jobs carry a certain level of stress. Every employee has to shoulder some of the weight for the organization’s success, and it’s not always an equitable balance.
However, there is a stark difference between acceptable and unacceptable levels of workplace stress. Individual employees may have different ways of responding to stress, and different ways of expressing their level of satisfaction with the environment they work in.
All of these factors make it challenging for managers and supervisors to get clear, actionable insight into employee well-being. Most rely on self-reported psychological evaluations, but these are rarely connected to specific workplace stress-factors or job tasks.
In order to get valid, well-structured responses on a self-reported well-being evaluation, leaders need to ask questions that apply equally to everyone in the organization. It’s simply not feasible to get statistically relevant data about their unique employee experience on a one-to-one basis.
Data-Driven Solutions Offer Deep, Individualized Insight
Instead of measuring employee well-being through self-reported evaluations, some forward-thinking companies have begun monitoring employees in the workplace and using their employee tracking data to generate unique insights for each employee.
With this approach, you can truly see how work-related stress factors contribute to employee well-being on a personal basis. You can find out how employees feel specifically about the work they do. Monitoring employees in the workplace gives enterprises valuable insight into exactly what tasks cause the most stress for employees – and why.
For example, you may already use remote PC monitoring software to keep track of employee work-hours for payroll purposes. If your time keeping software could go one step further and report employee productivity, you could easily see which employees underperform their historical average over time.
By comparing an underperforming employee’s productivity with their own historical average, you can quickly identify stress-causing factors that may be impacting that employee’s wellbeing. Some of the questions you can ask include:
- Have their work responsibilities changed significantly? Perhaps you’ve assigned an employee to a task they don’t feel qualified for. Maybe they are working in a field they do not feel productive in.
- Has their home or personal life changed in some way? Many employees are hesitant to bring their personal life into the workplace. However, if personal issues impact work performance, it could be an opportunity to improve social support at the workplace and boost well-being.
- Are there aspects of the job they would like to change? Very few employees see their job as perfect. Small, technical user experience issues that don’t get reported on well-being evaluation tests may expand over time to become serious obstacles to productivity.
- Are they sufficiently supported by the company? Employees may not report that there are tools and resources they need to do their job better – they may not even know those tools exist.
When you start collecting data on employee performance and sharing your findings with them, you earn the ability to be proactive about employee well-being, instead of reactive. Using monitoring software for employees is crucial for picking up unreported obstacles to employee productivity and well-being.
Monitoring Employees in the Workplace Is Even More Important for Hybrid Work Teams
Today’s business landscape is increasingly defined by distributed workforces with remote and hybrid employees. If your organization employs workers who don’t need to come into a physical office regularly, you may not get a chance to be proactive about employee retention and well-being without using software to track remote workers.
Remote PC monitoring software makes it possible for managers and their teams to proactively identify obstacles to employee well-being while optimizing productivity in the process. Teams that share remote PC monitoring software data with their distributed workers can be more productive, more transparent, and ultimately more rewarding for their employees.
So, as you can see, employee well-being runs much deeper than on-site meditation or yoga sessions. It’s an ongoing, nuanced practice that requires a deep level of insights and careful attention to support.