6 May 2021

How sentiment analysis can help you understand your workforce

Artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques can give your employees a voice – we explore what this means for your HR team

Author

Maryam Munir

Maryam Munir

Maryam Munir worked as a content marketing writer at Ciphr from 2019 to 2021.

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Employee engagement Leadership and management Performance

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Artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques can give your employees a voice – we explore what this means for your HR team

Do you know how your employees really feel at work? Do you take the time to ask them how they are feeling? While employee surveys and feedback forms can help you roughly gauge the mood of your workforce, there are other ways your HR team can show employees that you are listening to them.

Employee sentiment analysis, for instance, is an approach that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to analyse large volumes of text feedback to detect positive or negative feelings and uncover underlying opinions. By introducing sentiment analysis, you can discover employees’ feelings and attitudes towards new workplace policies, changes in rewards and benefits, the workplace culture, and more.

But what are the key benefits of sentiment analysis for HR and how can it help you shape and improve employees’ experience?

 

Show employees that you value them

Employees want to feel seen and heard at work. By being able to express their mood they can feel satisfied that the HR team and organisation cares about them and truly wants to know how they are doing.

Gwenan West, Ciphr’s head of people, says that sentiment analysis is especially beneficial with keeping employees happy during periods of remote working.

“Sentiment analysis helps us gauge the overall feeling of our employees that we would normally get in the office. In the office we are able to walk the floor and “see” the emotions on our colleagues faces, and to sense their levels of happiness and engagement through informal conversations, which is harder to do while working remotely. As a result, sentiment analysis helps us to identify those employees who are struggling.”

At Ciphr, employees are encouraged to use a sentiment analysis tool to rate their mood on a regular basis instead of providing text feedback. By using this way of sentiment analysis, West says this allows HR to offer appropriate support to employees who may not be feeling so good.

“We can arrange to speak to the employee direct to offer support or ask their line manager to make a wellbeing call. Even when we are in the office this tool will enable colleagues to let us know how they are feeling. We all know there are colleagues who are smiling on the outside but struggling on the inside – this is a way that they can express their true feelings without having to necessarily say it out loud. It allows us to have an “always on” feedback route for our employees, which we can then look back and track the overall sentiment over a period of time.”

 

Make informed decisions

You and your HR team can make better and more informed decisions on how to improve employee satisfaction and experience based on the results of sentiment analysis.

If analysis of your employee’s sentiment indicates that there are improvements to be made relating to employee engagement and overall employee satisfaction, then this acts a great baseline for the organisation to then work from. Ongoing monitoring of employee sentiment, alongside the introduction of any initiatives or changes that are designed to improve employee engagement will help guide and steer you to understand what is working and what areas need further investment.

 

The role of HR software

HR software with sentiment analysis functionality can help you better understand your employees and create a positive employee experience.

With Ciphr HR, organisations can track employee sentiment by periods in time and by departments or particular areas of the business. You can also check the overall sentiment if you have just rolled out a new initiative or have had some major changes in the business, especially useful when it is not appropriate to carry out employee surveys.

 

To find out more about Ciphr HR and how it can improve the employee experience, contact us at [email protected] or call 01628 814242.