Heart rate, sleep patterns, time spent without moving. All are key indicators of stress levels, productivity and presenteeism - insights that could help organisations measure employee engagement and wellbeing. But it goes without saying that employees won’t take kindly to being strapped up with monitors to measure this personal data. For professional athletes, this is all part of the day job. Clothing, equipment and body sensors track heart rate, exertion, muscle activity and respiration. Insights are used to refine training plans and shave off the milliseconds between 2nd and 1st place.
We've spoken with Gympass - the largest global corporate fitness network - who are busy connecting the dots between fitness and employee engagement.
Gympass’ mission is to defeat inactivity by offering users a range of activities across a network of locations, all managed through one mobile app. The platform collects data such as venues attended and usage rates. Employees can choose to partake in health MOTs, nutrition reviews and engagement/stress-level surveys. Gympass uses this anonymized data to measure the impact of employee exercise on absenteeism, retention and engagement.
Going for more than just a run…
- Proving the value of wellbeing initiatives. The data-driven platform validates wellbeing programs by quantifying the impact of engagement with the app on employee health. Working with a major CPG organization, Gympass proved how using the app created a healthier workforce: a 178% increase in employees who exercised regularly, a 50% decrease in the people considered to be a high health risk, and a 50% decrease in smokers. This success contributed to the client receiving the 2015 Global Healthy Workplace Award.
- Reducing absenteeism through activity. Using active data (sentiment surveys, stress-level surveys, etc.) as well as passive data (attendance, location and sick days) Gympass quantifies the correlation between physical activity and employee engagement.
- Increased collaboration. The platform promotes one of the most crucial qualities of the modern workforce – collaboration. The platform uses data-driven gamification to create groups of individuals from different departments and gets them working out together. A prize goes out to the team with the highest gym attendance.
With impressive adoption rates and a provable ROI for their growing client base, it’s clear that Gympass are onto something. So what are the key lessons learnt for any workforce analytics effort…
- Give-to-get. Gympass offers a subsidised, networked gym membership not just for employees, but for family members too. Organisations cannot expect employees to part with personal data ‘for free’ – there has to be a clear benefit in return.
- Always opt in. Taking part in data collection in the workplace must always be optional. Organisations have to clearly communicate the mutual benefit, which in itself will encourage employees to opt in. This should never be a dictated effort.
- Access to data – aggregate vs. individual. Gympass creates a dashboard visible only to the employee to help them track their activity levels, set targets and smash goals. Within the organisation data is only viewed in aggregate. This model is adopted by many successful platforms using workforce data (Humanyze, Microsoft MyAnalytics). It's a sure fire way to maintain trust and engagement.
The CFoW believes the power of employee data will transform employee experience and drive real value for businesses. Research by the Economist Intelligence Unit predicted that 82% of organisations will have begun or increased their use of big data in HR functions by the end of 2018. As that deadline fast approaches, where does your organization stand on the leaderboard?
For more on data privacy in the digital age, check out our latest whitepaper: Every Move You Make: Privacy in the Age of the Algorithm