Did you know that Microsoft has Workplace Analytics, a program that allows managers to assess the productivity of their staff using data gathered from email, documents, calendar, and other Office 365 applications? It’s an improvement over MyAnalytics, which only allowed employees to view their own data. Now managers can also access their employees’ data for evaluation.
How it works
A paid add-on to Office 365 enterprise plans, Workplace Analytics extracts behavioral insights from data gathered from Office 365 email, calendar, documents, and Skype. This means any data an employee types into their email and calendar — whether on the subject line or in the body itself — can be used to indicate their productivity status.
The program has an overview dashboard that provides specific information:
- Week in the Life provides an overall view of how the entire organization spends time and how members collaborate
- Meetings shows the amount of time spent in meetings
- Management and Coaching gauges one-on-one meetings between staff and manager
- Network and Collaboration takes a look at how employees connect to colleagues
What does it aim to do?
According to Microsoft, Workplace Analytics addresses businesses’ most common challenges: complexity, productivity, and engagement.
Using Workplace Analytics data, managers and human resources departments can form productivity strategies for the entire company. If most of your employees spend 60% of their time attending meetings and not enough time doing creative work, managers can come up with a strategy to reduce meeting times and focus more on productive tasks.
It also identifies how employees collaborate with internal and external parties. Suppose one of your sales staff frequently communicates with certain contacts. By using Workplace Analytics data, the employee’s manager would be able to determine whether this particular collaboration pattern is helping the employee hit sales targets or whether he or she is missing out on other more critical contacts. Based on this info, managers would also be able to determine which employees are most likely to meet or exceed their targets and set company-wide standards accordingly.
Workplace Analytics also allows managers to determine an employee’s level of engagement (i.e., whether the organization’s collaboration patterns are good for the company), and whether workloads are fairly distributed among workers and/or departments.
Is it useful for small businesses?
Large corporations have been using Workplace Analytics, but small businesses can also benefit from it. The data used to provide insights are what employees generate themselves — how much time they spend on meetings, whom they frequently communicate with, and how much time they spend on productive tasks.
Aside from letting managers examine their staff’s work behavior, Workplace Analytics also provides an overall look at an organizational level. If you want your organization to further harness the capabilities of Workplace Analytics and other Office 365 tools, give us a call today.
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