Machine Learning: The New Consultant to Improve Workplace Productivity

Management consulting is one of the largest and most mature service industries around. At its core, the idea is to bring outside expertise for specific challenges or improve overall organizational performance. From assessing M&As to workplace harassment, it's the consultants who bring fresh insights that people in the organization would otherwise miss. While they offer services across the verticals, performance consulting has been the rage for the last two decades. Name any Fortune 2000 company and its almost guaranteed that they employ performance consultants at some level.

The reason is simple- not all employees are equal. Some are great performers, others barely match expectations, and yet others fall behind the line. Consequently, they need to be treated accordingly. Some need appreciation, others a bit of coaching, and the rest need to be shown the door. To know which employees deserve what, you'll need to accurately and comprehensively measure their performance- that's what performance consultants do.  

Yet, there is just one problem. They are way too expensive

Billing anywhere between $40 to $400 per hour, they can hardly be afforded by mid-size firms and are way beyond small firms and startups. Ironically, it is actually these smaller firms that owing to their rapid growth and little tolerance for inefficiencies, need such services the most. 

Other organizations who can’t afford outside consultants typically use quarterly reviews as their employee assessment. Yet, this is a deeply flawed system. Its entire premise of "performance" is based on results ignoring all other intermediary factors like effort and engagement. While large enterprises compensate for this bias through consultancies, mid and smaller forms continue to run with this flawed system. 

Machine Learning has You Covered

Fortunately for all company sizes technology has now got it covered. Big Data coupled with Machine Learning can easily substitute for their expertise. If you can collect all the requisite data, Machine Learning can offer really valuable insights to help improve not only performance but also employee retention. Basically, it’s a two-step solution: 

The Integration 

Most businesses have migrated to cloud tools for their business operations. (If you haven't already, you should seriously start cloud tool adoption). Be it G Suite, Office 365 or any particular CRM, these tools hold the most valuable employee engagement data that if properly harnessed and analyzed can reveal the true performance levels. The more tools you integrate into your performance metric, the more reliable results you can get. 

Prodoscore, for instance, integrates and collects data from virtually every business tool that employees use for their job- from documents and lead conversions to conference calling and beyond. Also, since not all business environments are the same, it’s important to offer customized integrations to suit any specific needs. 

 

The Power of Machine Learning

Once all the data is collected, its time to extract information and insights out of it. We won’t go into exact details as that’s one of our secret sauces but the general approach is to measure the engagement of employees across all these tools to offer a comprehensive assessment of their efforts and productivity. 

This assessment can be either coupled with quarterly reviews or be used for an independent analysis. For example, if an employee performs poorly in quarterly review, their Prodoscore can reveal if they put in the requisite efforts or if their performance is simply due to disengagement. They can then be either trained or shown the door. Independent use of Prodoscore offers real-time reports on the activities of each employee that managers can use to consistently track productivity and by extension, intervene to save the quarter. 

Bringing it All Together

Businesses, irrespective of the scale or industry will always need outside expertise to accurately assess their performance. Be it those high-street consultants or the new cutting-edge technologies that have come to replace them. Prodoscore does one better- it becomes a part of your tech stack to act as a single point of reference for all employee activities and performance, is installed in minutes and is a fraction of the cost. 

See what Machine Learning can do for you and Schedule Your Free Sales Assessment to get immediate insight into your organization.