Decoding organizational DNA—with the advent of new technologies, leaders have unprecedented visibility into people and their work. Data can now be mined from a variety of new sources and converted into insights, decisions, or automated actions.

But just because employers can access the data, should they? How are they accessing it? And how does that effect company and employee performance? An analysis of recent findings from Accenture Research shows that the cost of decoding organizational DNA irresponsibly is very high, as are the rewards of getting it right.

While the data is important, equally important is how the data is used—and who owns it.

Here are six statistics from our Decoding Organizational DNA study that every learning leader should keep in mind as they explore new technologies for workplace data.

The majority of workers (92%) are open to the collection of their data, but employers must be open to “give-to-get’.

The important caveats of a workforce being willing to give permission for their employer to use their work-related data are that they want to know if it will improve their performance or wellbeing and provides other personal benefits.

The top three pieces of feedback that the 10,000 surveyed workers felt would improve their performance, engagement, and satisfaction were:

  • Work processes and products, with suggestions on how to improve them (83 percent).
  • Where they are spending the most time against priorities, with suggestions on how to optimize time (79 percent).
  • Physical wellbeing and safety, with suggestions on how to improve them (79 percent).

In addition, 73 percent of workers want to own their personal work-related data and take it with them when they leave. But only 56 percent of business leaders are open to the idea.

55% would refuse to apply for a job at a company that was irresponsible with workplace data and new technologies.

Trust impacts an organization’s performance because it is highly related to remaining attractive to top talent. This is a concern not only for recruitment; it’s also relevant to employee retention—51 percent of the respondents stated they would consider leaving their current position if they learned their data was being used irresponsibly.

Almost a third of business leaders say employee concerns are holding them back from investing in new technologies.

Sixty-two percent of organizations are using new technologies to obtain workforce data, but only a third of leaders are confident they are doing so responsibly. Though 94 percent of business leaders say using AI to identify hidden and adjacent skills will help them reskill their workforce and retain displaced workers, 31 percent are holding back due to employee concerns.

80% of employees believe new factual data would improve fairness in the workplace.

Four out of five workers surveyed said having newly available, factual data would improve fairness in hiring decisions. Slightly more (82 percent) believe it would improve fairness in pay, promotions and performance appraisal decisions.

But like any double-edged sword, using new technologies is causing employees to be concerned about fairness, and other possible negative ways their data could be used. This raises issues of ethics, personal privacy, and the potential impact on society.

$3.1 trillion global value is at stake.

As companies build trust, they will create value—for the business and for employees. In our recent report, Accenture identified the factors that employees say most influence their level of trust in how organizations collect and use workplace data. When aggregated, these factors reveal the immense financial impact of an enterprise failing to decode organizational DNA responsibly:

  • Responsible use of workplace data = potential 6.4 percentage point gain in the revenue growth rate
  • Irresponsible use of workplace data = potential 6.1 percentage point decline in growth

This amounts to a 12.5 point difference in future revenue growth and an invaluable amount of trust gained or lost. For the 6,000 largest publicly listed global companies in Accenture’s research sample, how they use new technologies could equate to more than US$3 trillion in “trapped” value.

49% say they would use new technologies and workplace data without additional measures for responsibility.

Considering that the loss of employee trust and loyalty are considered a major risk for financial services CXOs, the number of businesses co-creating workforce data policy (29 percent of the survey sample) is quite low. Though a third of C-level business leaders surveyed plan to co-create policy, a staggering 49 percent said they would use new technologies and workplace data as they see fit.

The top risks associated with the irresponsible use of workplace data are:

  • Loss of employee trust and loyalty
  • Data loss or breach
  • Compliance or regulatory incidents
  • Loss of customers
  • Loss of investor trust
  • Negative impact on the ability to attract and retain top talent

These statistics give a brief insight to the advantages and concerns relating to the use of workplace data. To learn more, click here to download the full Decoding Organizational DNA report.

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