Measuring Digital Sentiment – Are Your Workforce Happy?

2 August 2013 / by Ashley Freeman

Rather than trying to directly measure involvement we usually see companies measure less abstract concepts that give an indication of involvement. Employee satisfaction is one of the more popular ones.

Companies have been trying to measure employee sentiment for years.  In most cases this meant ‘confidential’ surveys and appraisals. Needless to say, they weren’t always reliable.

In recent years the tools and methods that companies are using to measure employee satisfaction have moved on a bit…

Measuring Digital Sentiment

One of the most interesting developments has come from the surge in digital social media. Over the past year the tools and algorithms that companies are using to scan the social web for happy customers, complaints and PR opportunities have developed at an alarming rate. Companies can now tell whether the Twitter community are saying positive or negative things about a recently launched product or even compare the different ways that men and women have reacted to something online. It’s proving to be an incredibly powerful tool for mapping customer sentiment on a large scale.

So, why’s this relevant to employee satisfaction?

Well, you know how last week we were talking about ESNs (Enterprise Social Networks)? Well, companies are now starting to apply the same technologies that have proven useful whilst monitoring Twitter and Facebook to these internal communications channels.

Microsoft use Yammer to facilitate organisation wide communication and collaboration. It works really well for them. Recently however, they took things one step further. They’ve now developed an app that constantly scans the network to give real time indications of employee sentiment and emotions. The app is called Crane and is now available to anyone using Yammer.

Imagine if you could get a real-time visual indication of the overall happiness of your entire workforce at the touch of a button!

What do you think? Is the measurement of digital sentiment going to become more important for managers? Will it ever replace the employee survey? Let us know in the comments below.