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Managing employees in a digital age

With business operations increasingly centered on digital resources, it's no surprise that HR and managers are taking advantage of technological solutions to track employee performance and guide workplace behavior.

With business operations increasingly centered on digital resources, it’s no surprise that HR and managers are taking advantage of technological solutions to track employee performance and guide workplace behavior. For example, employee reward program technology can automatically track metrics and provide options for rewarding achievements. Not only is the detail work taken off the plates of supervisors, the programs can often be designed around performance markers that would otherwise be difficult to observe.

Using data to drive employee performance
According to the Winnipeg Free Press, an emerging trend in management is to use HR analytics to make administrative operations more efficient, manage talent better and plan for employment needs. These resources are driven by collecting data about worker performance and analyzing the information in combination with other industry data, such as sales stats or customer trends. The insights are especially valuable as businesses confront talent shortages and the need to bring new hires up to speed with efficient training, the source said.

The newspaper noted that employee retention, colleague relationships and holistic management approaches will likely take on greater significance in the coming years. Collecting additional information about employees and their work can help employers identify ways to keep talented staff engaged and foster better teams. The source predicted that reward and recognition programs and other culture-building initiatives will play an increasingly important role, especially insofar as they are well-suited to the particular needs of a company and its workers.

Security and privacy are crucial
The same sort of big data analytics that retailers are using to track customer trends and personalize their marketing campaigns can be used to improve employee performance, explained Strategy and Business senior editor Theodore Kinni. Training and reward programs can be customized based on employees’ interests and areas most in need of improvement. However, these technological opportunities are all driven by information collected from businesses and employees – some of which might be sensitive.

The Winnipeg Free Press cautioned that digital resources will create unexpected and developing policy-related issues in areas including security, employee privacy, intellectual property and information exchange. Therefore, companies need to make sure their data collection processes, information storage solutions and management programs uphold privacy laws and keep information secure. For example, employee incentive programs that can be tailored based on worker demographics must have top-notch privacy and security measures.

Idaho Business Review assessed the balance between privacy and efficacy for employee wellness programs. Many HR departments and supervisors are already familiar with the need to treat health information with care – a similar attentiveness can help them navigate employee data management for other purposes.

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