Co-ownership of data is a workplace trend that promises positive results relevant to insurers

Workforce data has an impact on every person in the business. It follows that insurers should consult their employees when defining and following good data practice. This is not only an ethically sound approach, but it encourages employee buy-in.

Seventy percent of the employees we surveyed said that if employers were to collect their data, they would appreciate more control over that data in return. For this to work, workplace data needs to be approached strategically and intentionally. As I covered in my previous post in this series, sound data management begins at the top.

Who is in the room when it comes to data decision-making?

The number of businesses that co-create data policies in partnership with their employees remains low, with only 29 percent of the leaders we surveyed saying that they currently do so.

Only 29 percent of businesses co-create policies on workforce data that give voice to individuals and society. A further 33 percent plan to do so.

This is a missed opportunity, as businesses have much to gain by involving employees in the creation of new technologies and consulting them on decisions regarding how data is collected and used.

Why should insurers co-create data strategy with employees?

The use of workforce data is an exciting new paradigm for insurers. Executed correctly, it can not only motivate employees but also support growth. There are several reasons why the co-creation of data is so important.

  • It helps avoid unintended behavioral changes. For example, an insurance firm that monitored production quantity noticed that the quality of work began to plummet. If employees had been involved in defining the fields of data from the outset, these would have had a strategic context and meaning. The employees would have understood that the intention was not to increase quantity while sacrificing quality.
  • Co-creation creates willingness to share data. If employee benefits are designed as part of the data collection processes, there would be more incentive for employees to take part.
  • Eighty-one percent of the employees we surveyed said that they were optimistic that workplace data would benefit their career and personal development. This is arguably one of the most beneficial consequences of data tracking. Those businesses that use workforce data as a productivity enhancing tool exclusively will miss out on its power to help employees learn, grow and reach their full potential.
  • Co-creation addresses algorithm bias. Algorithm bias needs to be continually considered by including teams of different genders, ethnicities and backgrounds in discussions around data. That way, no one worldview is reflected in the system. If fact, employees should be encouraged to question the algorithm to ensure its evolution and integrity.

In conclusion, with the right motives and associated process, the tracking of workplace data can be beneficial for employees. In my next piece, and the final post in this series, I will define a series of questions that will assist you in evaluating the status of organizational tracking in your business. In the meantime, if you would like to get started on an Organizational DNA strategy for your business, contact me.

To read further on Organizational DNA, download the Accenture Strategy report, ‘Putting Trust to Work. Decoding Organizational DNA: Trust, Data and Unlocking Value in the Digital Workplace’ here.

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