Only you know what is going on in your head. You may be on the verge of leaving your job, but they have no idea – or so you think! It turns out that as turnover becomes a bigger expense, thus a worry, to companies, they are looking at ways to analyze the data points that help them determine who is one step closer to moving on to another career.
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These are big employers too, companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Box Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG all use this data to try to predict the future. The goal here is not to play big brother in some devious way. Instead, the information is being used to inform managers about the likelihood of you leaving your post and let them try to work with you to ensure that doesn’t happen.
A Step Too Far?
So is this going a step too far? It depends on who you ask. The data is personal, and run through corporate data crunchers as they try to decide if you are at risk based on dozens of factors. These factors can include tenure, geography, surveys, your patterns of communication, reviews or even personality tests. The information is not full proof by any means, but it does give a strong indication of your flight risk.
Yes, they are collecting a great deal of information about who you are as a person, but this lets them also look at something unique; what motivates workers and what causes them to move on. This information can then be transformative if it turns out that it is epidemic throughout the company. For example, if a companywide survey shows that every employee is feeling overworked and unhappy, a corporation can get a pretty good idea that things need to change. Otherwise, a mass migration may occur in the near future.
Will This Information Really Change Things?
Whether or not this will all have an impact on “retention predictors” (something similar to a credit score) and cause a company to make significant changes is yet to be seen. This is somewhat new to most companies at this point.
Now that we are in a less dire employment status in most areas, employers are no longer holding all the cards. They now have to worry about holding on to their talent, as opposed to leaving the fact that there isn’t much else for employees to look for if they are unhappy.
Ultimately, this will likely lead to small changes. Generational changes are more likely as new blood enters the higher levels of management, with new ideas and outlooks on the world, bigger changes are more likely. That being said, companies are moving faster today than ever before, and they are using the information that they gather to try to make the most of the talent they have. Right now, we are in a world of overworked employees with companies trying to increase their bottom line. This is partly due to the recent economic meltdown, but as employers feel safer, changes may be on the horizon.
Do you think that this type of activity is going too far towards big brother? Or do you think it is pointless nonsense? Your thoughts and comments below please...