Business Issues, IT Performance

Employee satisfaction is a leading indicator of IT performance – so why aren’t you measuring it regularly?

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Several weeks ago, I was at an HP event with a number of members of a large insurance company. One of the people I was talking with indicated they had just completed their employee survey and said these results would be feed into their IT balanced scorecard. At this point, I asked how important employee engagement was to their business. Almost flabbergasted, this person responded, “Gee, in IT it’s clear. If employees aren’t happily engaged, you do not deliver IT or business outcomes. It is a one-to-one relationship.”

I was intrigued by this connection, so I decided to do a little research on this topic. To be honest, I was surprised by the sheer volume of content I found. HR consultant China Gorman has an interesting post about this on her company’s website. In “What Comes First: Employees or Customers?” she put the issue this way:

“Well now I see clearly that while having happy, committed employees is critical for organizational success, having the right happy, committed employees makes the difference between good customer service and exceptional customer service; the difference between good organization performance and exceptional organization performance— by any measure you wish to use.”

So if the relationship is clear between happy, committed employees and IT delivery and business outcomes, this would make employee satisfaction a leading indicator of IT performance. This means it is a predictor of IT performance. Given this, I asked this insurance company how often that they actually measured employee satisfaction. To my amazement, they said once every two years. I was stunned because everything touched by employee satisfaction is measured daily including key performance indicators for service delivery, project delivery, and the service desk performance. Don’t we need to measure IT employee engagement on a daily basis if we are going to control our business outcomes? What do you think? Please let me know and I can let you know about two companies that enable you to do just this.

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Discussion
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myles.suer
Myles Suer 144 Points | Thu, 08/23/2012 - 00:04

I agree. Let me know if you are interested in the daily providers of this data.

pcalento
Paul Calento 256 Points | Wed, 08/22/2012 - 21:29

YES. As you point out, the tools to measure employee engagement are there and just need to be implemented. I am often surprised at how few folks monitor how and application or system is used as a factor IT customer orientation, which is another way of looking at employee satisfaction.

The challenge with scorecarding isn't setting one up, but using it as a management tool day-to-day with meaningful results. All too often the KPIs at our fingertips can be overlooked.

--Paul Calento

(note: I work on projects sponsored by EnterpriseCIOForum.com and HP)