Measuring Humanity in the Wake of a Pandemic

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HR teams are no strangers to analyzing data. But how can you accumulate data that goes beyond headcount and succession planning and measures human relationships within your organization? In this new reality of virtual working – and having employees take on additional jobs as teachers, parents, and caretakers – how can you be sure they are getting the recognition and satisfaction they need to feel valued and supported?

At Workhuman, our Analytics and Research Institute uses proprietary language processing tools to extract this information from organizations across the world. Leveraging a database of more than 50 million recognition moments shared on our social recognition platform, they’re able to turn human interactions into valuable business insights, and uncover how people are really feeling.

In the wake of COVID-19, changes in language being used in recognition moments uncovers which soft skills are becoming more valued, while others are becoming less of a priority. Jesse Harriott is the Global Head of Analytics and shares his thoughts and conclusions on what the data is telling us.

“When the pandemic began, we saw an increase in messages that indicated high stress. Things like rallying together and tension were coming up more often than we’ve ever seen before.”

Language trends uncovered an increase in soft skills like ‘Agility’ ‘Fortitude’ ‘Grace under pressure’ and ‘Courageousness’. Meanwhile, there was less emphasis on skills such as ‘organization’ ‘eye for details’ ‘quality’ and ‘enthusiasm’.

Where we once prioritized and recognized people for having high quality and perfection, we’re now placing a higher level of importance and value in how our people are treating others and how they are stepping up to help and to lead.

“As we move forward through this pandemic, we’re recalibrating our frame of mind and focusing on the things that are more simple. This includes the people you are with, how you can help others around you, and what is really important in life.”

This trend of high stress and high pressure language, followed by stronger than ever levels of positivity and gratitude can be followed country to country as the coronavirus pandemic moved across the globe. Recognition moments continue to happen on the platform every 3 seconds, telling us that despite it all, people are continuing to pour good energy into the universe.

“We’re all going through very challenging times right now. In spite of this, knowing how much gratitude and human connection is continuing to come through on the other side – that is what gives us hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”