Data-Driven Leadership: Using Data to Become a Better Manager

What makes a good manager? Answers to that question typically focus on the ‘soft’ skills - communication, trust, empathy - but great leaders know it’s also important to develop hard skills, and top of that list is data literacy.

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. It’s an old saying, but one that’s especially true in today’s workplace where there’s more data available than ever. Tapping this invaluable resource is an opportunity for managers to raise their game and hone in on exactly what their team members need.

6 ways data can make you a better leader

1. It reduces reliance on gut instinct

Your gut is great at telling you when you need a snack, but it’s not always as accurate when it comes to judging productivity and effort.

You might think John is doing a better job than Sarah - he’s more confident and extroverted, while Sarah sits in the corner and barely says a word. The numbers may tell a totally different story. In fact, John may even be pushing his work to Sarah and taking the credit but you won’t necessarily know that until you dig in.

Plus, emotions can obscure what’s really going on, that’s why leaders need data. It helps them put personal feelings aside and find out who their star performers are, rather than who they think they are.

2. It makes managers more responsive

When you know what your team is doing, and how they’re doing it, you can respond quicker when they run into roadblocks. 

Tracking the data highlights potential problems such as employee burnout and missed deadlines - giving leaders the chance to proactively respond and solve small issues before they become big problems.

3. It helps deliver targeted training

When you know how staff work, you know what they need. Data points like hours worked, projects completed, use of tools, and team participation can provide vital clues on an employee’s strengths and weaknesses. 

That’s a great foundation for a targeted training program that focuses on the individual rather than their department or the organization as a whole, assessing their unique capabilities and unlocking their potential.

4. It gives managers more visibility

Employees aren’t always 100% honest with their managers, but data doesn’t lie. Performance metrics give leaders the visibility they need to be able to spot undesirable behaviors that could hint at a deeper problem.

Perhaps an employee has switched off while they look for other positions, also known as ‘quiet quitting’. Maybe they’re ‘over-employed’ and working multiple jobs when they’re supposed to be on the clock at your company. 

Informed managers don’t get taken by surprise. They see problems coming, and have the evidence they need to act on them.

5. It tracks your team’s needs over time

Productivity data isn’t just a set of abstract numbers, only useful at a specific point in time. It’s a window into the future. 

Monitoring employee activity over time allows leaders to pinpoint patterns and trends. You can see at a glance when productivity peaks, and when it’s likely to wane, be alert to any sudden dips in performance, and find out your team’s troublespots.

6. It makes managers more adaptable

Effective change management is a crucial part of successful leadership. And managers with all the information at their fingertips are better able to pivot and change course when necessary.

Data helps companies become more agile by speeding up decision-making, identifying opportunities, and making processes more efficient and adaptable.

Productivity intelligence

Data-driven leadership requires the right productivity intelligence tools. Using the Employee Productivity Monitoring solution Prodoscore, leaders can get accurate insight and information on how their workforce is operating on a day-to-day basis. 

The platform surfaces how employees use company tools so managers can visualize trends, identify patterns, spot unexpected slumps, and stay alert to other red flags. With Prodoscore, you can collect all the data you need to make the right decisions for your staff. Talk to our team today to find out more or schedule a demonstration.

How will visibility impact your business?