How to Turbocharge Your Employee Sentiment Analysis
Traditionally, HR and collaboration teams have relied on annual employee engagement surveys to better understand employee sentiment and perception in the workplace. However, this process isn’t fast enough — or accurate enough — for the modern workplace. In this article, we share three major flaws of employee engagement surveys, and share why AI-enhanced employee sentiment analysis is the future of real-time people insights at scale.
What is the Difference Between Employee Sentiment and Engagement?
Employee sentiment refers to how people feel about their job and workplace, while employee engagement refers to how invested and committed they are to their work and the organization. Both sentiment and engagement are important for a healthy and productive workplace, but they measure different aspects of employee experience.
3 Key Flaws in Employee Engagement Surveys
1. Engagement Surveys Don’t Produce Real-Time Data
With these one-time surveys, organizations receive insights from snapshots of a single moment in time. Organizations then leverage this information to make business decisions for a full calendar year.
In reality, organizational sentiment ebbs and flows depending on events and the mood of the organization. For example, a survey distributed soon after a company culture event might yield very different results than if employees took the same survey after a large lay-off. And over a year’s time, the accuracy of these surveys inevitably diminishes.
2. Survey Results are Too Slow to be Actionable
Furthermore, the initial insights are even naturally delayed. Surveys need time to collect employee responses once distributed. Then, it takes additional time to compile and analyze the responses. Human resources teams receive the results several weeks or months later, further diminishing the value of the survey outcomes.
If you are making informed decisions on old information, you are trying to solve new problems with old data.
— Greg Moran, COO at Aware
3. Surveys Often Elicit Biased and Inaccurate Responses
In large enterprise organizations, traditional culture surveys often tie directly or indirectly into employee evaluations and bonus pay. The availability of bonus dollars or other incentives sometimes depends on an increase in positive sentiment at the company, or even overall improvement within a small workgroup, for example. This leaves a lot of space for influence and bias, as teams encourage each other to respond to surveys in a positive manner. As such, employees may choose not to respond honestly.
These surveys also utilize questions shaped by Human Resources professionals and can lead to confusing language. Misinterpretation of the questions may lead employees to answer inaccurately, further skewing the results. Lastly, organizations must determine if the survey even asks the right questions in order to get an accurate pulse of employee opinion towards the workplace.
How Natural Language Processing AI-Technology is Transforming Employee Sentiment Analysis
With a natural language processing solution, an AI-powered technology that analyzes human language, organizations can leverage the collaboration data in their own ecosystem to gain true employee sentiment analysis.
For example, by analyzing the patterns in public and private messaging on Yammer or Workplace from Meta (formerly Facebook), organizations can glean more accurate and relevant employee insights than the traditional annual survey process.
Get Real-Time Insights for More Timely Response
By monitoring and analyzing communication data within your tech-stack, leaders can pull insights whenever needed, analyzing the metrics in near real-time. With this insight, leaders can identify when sentiment starts to slip, determine potential causes based on context, and respond before the situation inflames.
Collaboration Platforms and Sentiment Analysis: A Powerful Combination
Collaboration platforms continue to gain traction in workplaces around the globe.
This new source of communication data presents your organization an opportunity to not only better understand sentiment, but also to monitor topics, keywords, and shared content; giving your teams the information they need to make better, more informed decisions.
The Industry-Leading Enterprise Collaboration Security & Insights Solution
Aware’s AI-driven, proprietary sentiment model analyzes workplace communication and delivers a real-time sentiment metric informed by both message content and context, normalized for your organization.
Leaders need only to check a dashboard to keep a pulse on organization sentiment. If they see an issue, they can investigate—bias-free. With shared content monitoring functionality, the team can also pull relevant messages and leverage additional context to identify the root of the sentiment change.
Read our Human Behavior Risk Analysis Report to understand where blind spots in your organization might be hiding.