Boosting Employee Engagement with Meaningful Analytics

March 28, 2018
"Putting real-time data, mined from a variety of sources,” in the hands of employees is just the tool younger workers need to be able to fulfill their career aspirations,” explains John Frehse, of Ankura Consulting Group. He will be speaking at the IndustryWeek M&T Conference and Expo.

As manufacturers are up at night worrying about how to attract and retain the talent necessary to continue current growth and fuel future growth, data might be a resource that is overlooked.

With all employees, but especially millennials, the ability to make meaningful contributions to the organization is a key to both attraction and retention. 

“Putting real-time data, mined from a variety of sources,” is just the tool younger workers need to be able to fulfill their career aspirations,” explains John Frehse, who is a senior managing director at Ankura Consulting Group.

Frehse will be sharing his insight at the IndustryWeek Manufacturing &Technology Conference and Expo, which will be held May 8-10 as he speaks on,”Leveraging the Super Genius: Drive MIT and CIA Thinking in All of Your Employees.”

One of the topics he will be discussing is the difference between one-dimensional and three-dimensional thinking.

“In one-dimensional thinking, an employee would pull data from spreadsheets which contained historical data, which was not as useful,” explains Frehse. “But today employees have the ability pull data from a wide range of sources, in real-time and turn that data into information that can be acted upon immediately.”

Frehse explains how data has evolved and calls it the Google effect. In a recent article, he explained.

Instead of Googling information, massive data requests arrive days late, and then hours are spent using pivot tables and other processes to find the answer. By the time results are tabulated, the information is old and worth very little. Compare that to Google’s response time. Whenever and wherever you search, they not only tell you how many results were retrieved, but how long it took to get them, and it is always less than one second. I Googled “analytics” and got 683,000,000 results in .79 seconds. 683,000,000?! That is a lot of results, but algorithms make sure that the most relevant results are on the first page. Thank you, Google.

Google is training your employees to expect this kind of service-on-demand and for free. These expectations are driving discontent, turnover, and disengagement in the workplace. The solution? Turn things around and instead of wondering if Google is your enemy, make it your coach.

Analytical tools can act like Google and enable employees to not only make faster decisions but better decisions. This is true for all employees including leadership which can spend the new-found time to get out on the floor rather than be stuck in the office reading old data.

Frehse found that once people get used to the technology and understand how it can improve their workload, they embrace it. And a more efficient system will, in turn, created stronger employee engagement.

“At the end of each day, it is not the money that drives satisfaction but one’s ability to have an impact, make a difference, and drive results,” says Frehse. “Without access to information in a useful format, employees struggle to be effective, have visibility on results, and to feel genuine satisfaction." 

For more information about the IW M&T Conference and Expo click here. 

About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Bio: Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck? which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics and EHS Today

Editorial mission statement: Manufacturing is the enviable position of creating products, processes and policies that solve the world’s problems. When the industry stepped up to manufacture what was necessary to combat the pandemic, it revealed its true nature. My goal is to showcase the sector’s ability to address a broad range of workforce issues including technology, training, diversity & inclusion, with a goal of enticing future generations to join this amazing sector.

Why I find manufacturing interesting: On my first day working for a company that made medical equipment such as MRIs, I toured the plant floor. On every wall was a photo of a person, mostly children. I asked my supervisor why this was the case and he said that the work we do at this company has saved these people’s lives. “We never forget how important our work is and everyone’s contribution to that.” From that moment on I was hooked on manufacturing.

I have talked with many people in this field who have transformed their own career development to assist others. For example, companies are hiring those with disabilities, those previously incarcerated and other talent pools that have been underutilized. I have talked with leaders who have brought out the best in their workforce, as well as employees doing their best work while doing good for the world. 

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