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How to find out what employees really think

Mark Rowh | Nov. 10, 2011
In the past few years, savvy companies have been using text analytics software to analyze positive and negative phrases appearing in social media and other electronic posts to figure out what customers think about their products, service and policies.

Still, employers who embrace the technology should be prepared for at least some level of employee backlash.

"It will definitely be seen as Big Brother even if it's only used in an aggregated fashion," says Catlin. But he says it's good for companies to get employee push-back, because "it makes the companies think about the right way to use emerging technologies."

He adds that the right of companies to know what's happening on their networks should be balanced with the knowledge that everyone complains to one degree or another, so monitoring individuals should not be the aim.

Employers should "aggregate the data across the users and figure out the gist of the complaints," Catlin says. "That way, the company can fix actual weaknesses rather than targeting the messenger."


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