Businesses operate on a lot of metrics. Every company and department has data, metrics and scorecards to measure business accomplishments and make decisions on priorities and investments. Metrics and data can tell you a lot about what is working in your business and what is not.
I propose a new data index for businesses for measuring the employee engagement and productivity – the Employee Noise Index – to include the following metrics:
Employee Chatter – how much time are employees spending talking about your company, and what are they saying?
- Positive drivers of the Employee Chatter metric include buzz and excitement generated when employees see their work benefit the company and its customers or clients. Employee chatter is also impacted through recognition of employee contributions, acknowledgement of their efforts, steady promotion and career advancement and the Good Vibe that comes with doing cool work that benefits someone.
- Negative drivers of the employee chatter metric include complaints and distractions, such as concerns that one’s work is pointless busy work that lacks value to the organization, or worries about cuts in compensation, benefits or headcount. Extreme negative elements of employee chatter include snarky social media Tweets or Facebook posts such as “ANOTHER Friday night at the office #motivatedbypizza #not.”
The sweet spot for the employee chatter metric is where your employees are saying positive things about your company and employment practices to you as well as to their social media contacts and friends.
Manager Chatter – what kind of chatter are your managers generating or getting pulled in to, and what return are they getting for the amount of time they spend on it?
- Positive drivers of the manager chatter metric include one-on-one career counseling conversations, positive and developmental feedback, and time spent getting to know someone well enough to have a solid understanding of their personal motivations, needs and concerns.
- Negative drivers of the manager chatter metric include time spent dispelling rumors, addressing or escalating complaints and talking people of the ledges of despair and dissatisfaction.
The sweet spot for the manager chatter metric is spending sufficient time with strong performers to keep them engaged and motivated, while not getting sucked into dysfunctional conversations with noisy, squeaky-wheel employees.
What is the Employee Noise Index where you work? Keep a close eye on it, before it drains your workforce’s energy, reduces their engagement and saps productivity.
Heather Nelson is a partner with PeopleResults where she helps companies develop strong dialogue with their people. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @HeatherGNelson1. Sign up to receive the PeopleResults blog at #Current.