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Employee Sentiment Analysis: Do You Know How Your Employees Feel About Work?

October 6, 2020
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Are your employees happy at work? It’s a simple question with a complex answer. 85 percent of employees report feeling disengaged at work, this means it’s more important than ever for managers to gather, analyze and interpret their shortfalls when it comes to creating a positive, engaging and enriching work environment. But, thanks to tools like Employment Sentiment Analysis, business owners and managers can take a simple, streamlined approach to figure out how employees are feeling about their work environment.

What is Employment Sentiment Analysis?

Sentiment analysis is an approach that involves gathering large volumes of opinions and feedback to capture, quantify, and measure brand perceptions. In terms of employee sentiment, this relates to the way an organization is run and how workers feel about it. Feedback can be collected through both standardized and open-ended surveys and is often used to monitor these perceptions over time.

Collecting sentiment analysis 

In order to collect employee sentiment data, a lot of companies have turned to employee sentiment analysis software that’s powered by AI and machine learning. This technology allows them to quickly and easily send out open-ended surveys that let employees answer in their own words. Then, natural language processing (NLP) tools can quickly review every answer, and analyze the sentiment behind the words and then give a detailed report to managers and HR.

While this technology is great, it’s not a complete replacement for face-to-face communication. That’s because technology can’t really interpret sarcasm, jargon, and qualified statements, and complex mixed opinions are hard for it to understand. In the future, it’s very possible that these technologies will adapt to understand all aspects of human communication, but we aren’t quite there yet.

Best practices to collect employee sentiment data:

  • Survey genuine issues: You want your employees to feel like you are really trying to get to the root of some of the employee issues and concerns, not like you are just asking surface questions to check Employee Sentiment Analysis off of your list. It's important that survey designers are in contact with operational teams that know what the true challenges, opportunities and hot topics are among employees.
  • Show the connection: Again, you don’t want this to be something you simply do to say you’ve done it or check it off a list. You want to use the data that’s gathered to implement change. For example, you’ll want to make it clear that ’here's what we asked, here's what you said, and here's what we are going to do about it.'  
  • Commit to privacy: Ensuring privacy and anonymity when surveying employees is crucial for the success of its implementation because the right balance is the only way for employees to keep taking surveys and maintaining trust.

What aspects are measured with Employee Sentiment Analysis?

  • Benefits
  • Compensation
  • Training
  • Systems
  • Staffing
  • Career Growth
  • Work-life balance
  • Management
  • Teamwork
  • Appreciation
  • Job satisfaction

Benefits of Employee Sentiment Analysis 

According to a recent work piece by Sheryl Kraft, job burnout accounts for an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion in healthcare spending each year and has been attributed to diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal issues, high cholesterol, and even death for those under the age of 45.  That’s why it’s vital that you use tools like employee sentiment analysis to help reduce burnout, improve employee engagement and in turn, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

  • Engaged employees: Engaged employees are more motivated than those who have lost their “spark” and are feeling burned out.
  • Take nurses for example, when they are engaged, they empathize more with patients, and they’re more mindful of a patient’s feelings and needs. Doctors show a more focused and truly sincere interest in patient care.
  • Food service workers who are engaged will feel more motivated to focus on customers and meeting their needs.
  • Overall, engaged staff shows fewer turnovers, less absenteeism, less apathy, and make fewer mistakes.

AI-enhanced sentiment analysis software is available in several employee engagement platforms and in the form of stand-alone tools which means you should be able to find a system that works best for you and your team. Employee sentiment analysis is a great way to connect with your employees, have them feel like their voices are actually heard and in turn, prevent employee burnout.

You can now check in with your employees with the altHR Status Check-in feature, enabling you to understand how your employees feel at work and to conduct effective employee sentiment analysis. Reach out to us to schedule a demo with altHR today!