The pandemic has resulted in hybrid work becoming commonplace for desk workers. While there have been benefits such as increased flexibility, there have also been serve issues for companies to address.
This includes widespread burnout, mass resignations, and dissatisfaction with work.
On the back of these issues, employers have begun to see the value in employee data and engagement.
In fact, data is essential as it gives an “understanding of who your employees are and what the makeup of your employees are, and allows you to understand what programs you should be providing to them,” comments Pam Holmberg, head of people at business intelligence platform ThoughtSpot.
Holmberg tells UNLEASH about how data has informed her role, and the benefits that she sees in effective analytic practices as well as feedback.
Data, employee engagement, and business
Employee engagement is incredibly important to businesses during the ‘Great Resignation’, and Holmberg reasons that data “helps you know how to you ensure you have the proper benefits for them and how to best support them. From a basic data perspective, just having that information allows us to make a lot of decisions.
“As it relates to employee engagement, there are different pieces of data that we look at, through employee engagement surveys which we do regularly at ThoughtSpot.
“Hearing how employees are feeling about what’s happening at work, working with their co-workers and their managers, and how their health and wellbeing are, allows us to better cater our actions towards how our employees are feeling and make sure that we’re really focusing on them specifically.”
Employee data has also become essential in larger business functions. Holmberg reflects: “The people function has definitely evolved over time. From being more of an administrative function and just ensuring that we were processing things, to now being more of a strategic partner.
“Without data, you can’t really be that strategic partner. It just doesn’t work. To be able to better support the business, you need to have access to data, and I think that has changed a lot for the better.
Holmberg adds: “It allows us to be a much more vocal partner and helps to make decisions around where should we be hiring, where do you access to talent, how do we look at employee engagement and wellbeing. The only way to really do that is through data.”
Best data practices
When it comes to using data within ThoughtSpot, the company uses its own tools to create insights into diversity, equity, and inclusion (D,E&I). Utilizing data allows ThoughtSpot and companies more broadly to look at where they need to pull employee resources and help further the experience of staff.
Data can also play into benefits, and enable companies to see how different benefits can help employees and provide tailored offerings.
Benefits have become increasingly important to employees amid the ‘Great Resignation’.
Reflecting on how data can impact retention, Holmberg comments: “In terms of how we use data, we use it to help us better understand the reasons, so we do exit interviews with our employees and that information goes into ThoughtSpot, so it allows us to better understand themes of turnover.
“The difference between just looking at one point of time information and compiling it and analyzing it as a whole allows us to really think through what the themes are and where the constants are. Then we cater our approaches based on that feedback.”
Creating a feedback loop
Discussing feedback, Holmberg reflects on Thoughtspot’s processes: “We’re using an automated process for onboarding by using greenhouse automation.
“In that process, we’re gathering feedback from employees about why they chose ThoughtSpot and how their onboarding experience has been.
“That gives us one point of data that continues to allow us to think through how we better support people through the hiring process and onboarding process.”
Once the company has hired a candidate, ThoughtSpot “also does regular engagement surveys which we do on a monthly basis. That allows us to pull that data and really just understand how our employees are feeling.
“We use that information to share with employees what we’re hearing from them because it’s critical for employees to understand what those results are. More importantly, putting into place action plans to address the feedback.”
Of course, there will come a time for employees to look to new pastures and when this happens “we do exit surveys using that data to help us better understand the reasons why people are choosing to leave, and continuing to make sure that we’re addressing that in our approaches”.
Thinking about the whole journey of an employee, Holmberg says: “It’s just finding those touchpoints through the entire employee lifecycle to make sure that we continue to monitor how we’re supporting the organization as we continue to grow and scale. We just need to make sure that we’re always ready to make adjustments to support the business.”
Making adjustments to help employees is an area Holmberg believes companies struggle with. She notes: “You can’t ask for feedback and do nothing with it. If you do that people will stop providing you with feedback, so the way to manage is by sharing what we’ve heard.”
Moving HR forward
Looking ahead Holmberg outlines the plans to take ThoughtSpot further: “I’ve just recently finalized putting my leadership team together, and for the first time I have a full team in place.”
“For us, it is all about the build. It is all about putting into place things to help this growing organization scale and move towards being ready for an [initial public offering] IPO.
“Everything we’re doing is new to the organization, and there’s nothing more exciting than knowing that we’re building a hiring process to support the growth of the company, we’re building compensation structure, strategy, career paths for our employees to continue to help make sure that they feel like their growth is supported here.
“All of this is new and so welcome in the organization that it’s it couldn’t be more fun.”
The future looks bright for ThoughtSpot as it moves closer to an IPO and its HR teams adapt to the challenges ahead.