The Importance of Emotional Analytics in Driving Employee Engagement

Engagement, Pulsing

Being an HR leader, or team leader – in fact, any role that requires you to lead, manage and motivate people, you’ve absolutely heard of employee engagement. You may even be measuring employee engagement currently. Most people leaders are, especially being the beginning of a new year, and after a tumultuous 2020. 

What you may not have heard of, however, is emotional analytics. Now if you have, or are currently measuring employee engagement you should know what emotional analytics is. Reason being, it’s the only way to measure and drive employee engagement effectively (we’ll explain why throughout this article). Sadly, most employee engagement partners don’t measure emotional analytics when measuring and driving employee engagement which is pretty scary. But again, we’ll show you why in just a moment. 

What is Employee Engagement?

Just to recap on what employee engagement is: It is an employee’s emotional commitment to their organization and its goals.

Here are a few more definitions: 

Employee engagement is the strength of the mental and emotional connection employees feel toward the work they do, their teams, and their organization. (QuantumWorkplace)

Employee engagement is a property of the relationship between an organization and its employees. An “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests. (Wikipedia)

Employee engagement is actually the level of enthusiasm and dedication an employee feels toward his or her job. To these engaged employees, it is far more than a pay cheque – it is the eagerness towards their task that makes them passionate in their work, and this passion is often reflected in their individual outcomes. (Inside.6Q)

If you look at all the underlined words, you see a pattern don’t you? Employee engagement is emotional; it’s an emotional state, driven by feelings of enthusiasm, dedication, commitment, loyalty, motivation – feelings!

What is emotional analytics?

Emotional analytics is the analysis of an individual or group’s emotional data. The analysis of such data facilitates in the understanding of a person or group’s feelings so as to better understand their behaviour.

Are you beginning to see how employee engagement and emotional analytics work together? 

If you want to measure and drive employee engagement (which is an emotional state/response), you need to know the feelings driving your people’s behaviour. If you can ascertain the feelings that are fuelling disengagement, for example, you can address the cause of those feelings in order to drive employee engagement effectively.

For example, if you find that stress is a dominant emotion amongst your people (which provokes disengagement), you can take the action necessary to lower the levels of stress your people feel, so that engagement is protected. Learning your people’s dominant emotions helps leaders like you to make better, more rewarding decisions.

Dominant Emotions and Employee Engagement

In May 2020 we conducted research to uncover the dominant employee emotions (locally and internationally). The research, which included views of 3,441 UK employees, showed that anxiety was the most dominant negative emotion at work and had risen 240% over the same period in 2019 – up from 5% to 17%. Stress was another high negative emotion for employees, at 11%, while isolation rates stood at 7%.

An emotion becomes dominant and will be felt and experienced in the organisation if it rises above 10% as it impacts on an employer’s atmosphere and culture.

Now you see why it’s so important to understand where your people are at on the negative emotion ‘scale’. 

Most people leaders have no idea what their people feel, and therefore have no idea that they’re leaning towards total disengagement. If they did know, however, they could make decisions, and take the action needed to turn these feelings around. And turning these feelings around would mean improved productivity and performance, lower staff turnover and absenteeism, better culture and team morale, better profit – everything that’s needed to help an organisation survive and thrive.

Did you know, we at Inpulse are one of the few engagement experts to gather emotional analytics? It’s why our clients won’t go anywhere else, and why we’ve remained a steadfast leader in the industry for over 20 years. Book a demo with one of our friendly engagement champions to see how we can be of value to you and your people.

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