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老板为什么要监视你?他们为什么能这么干?

Anne Fisher 2019年01月28日

绝大多数的人——92%的雇员——说他们不介意被监视,只要确信这些信息能被用来帮助他们。

感觉有人在监视你在工作中的一举一动?如果有,你的感觉可能没错。

在十几个行业里,超过一半的大公司都在使用这样或那样的技术来监控员工的日常动向、行为甚至思想状态。令人不安的是,只有三分之一的公司“非常自信”他们在收集和使用上述工作数据时“负责可靠”。

这些调查结果出自埃森哲(Accenture)于上周在达沃斯世界经济论坛上发布的一份精彩报告。该报告的部分数据源自对全球1400名高管和1万名员工进行的调查,研究发现,现在可以利用算法收集海量实时数据,内容涵盖日常活动中你能想到的每一个方面,包括你在哪做什么、和谁一起、效率多高(或多低)。管理层似乎相信,潮水般的信息在经过筛选后可以变得有价值,让他们精确掌握应该从何处入手、应该怎样提高公司业绩。大约四分之三的高管告诉埃森哲的研究人员,他们认为利用高科技进行窥探有助于“业务增长”(77%),可以“释放人们的全部潜能”(74%)。

然而员工们的态度更加矛盾,但考虑到人们最近对Facebook等公司隐私问题的强烈抗议,这也不奇怪。雇员们提出了各种担忧,有人担心详细的工作数据可能会导致“我被视作生产单位而不是一个人”(59%),有人担心也许“雇主会利用关于我或工作的最新数据惩罚我”(55%)。

与此同时,看看这个:绝大多数的人——92%的雇员——也说他们不介意被监视,只要确信这些信息能被用来帮助他们。多数员工表示,他们十分欢迎以数据为基础的反馈意见,比如如果这些数据提供了“我应该如何优化时间管理的建议”(79%),或以某种方式改善了“我与他人的沟通和关系”(77%)。超过五分之四(82%)的人认为如果 “薪酬、晋升和评估决策” 不那么主观,更多依靠硬数据,会更准确,更不容易被个人偏见左右。

92%的整体接受率“远高于我的预期”,埃森哲的首席领导力和人力资源官、上述报告的合著者埃琳·舒克说。按照她的说法,一个更令人不安的数字是“三分之二的公司已经在使用员工数据,但只有三分之一的公司相信自己对数据的使用可靠负责。”

该报告详细定义了何为“负责”,还附有简短的案例研究和明确的行为准则清单,但仔细一看,许多雇主都没有照做。例如,埃森哲建议事先告诉员工确切的监督内容和原因,并征得他们的同意(在某些情况下,让员工有机会选择不参与)。然而调查中只有约三分之一(32%)的员工表示他们了解雇主如何提取使用工作中的数据,或曾经表达过同意,55%的公司承认他们没有征求任何人的许可。或者想一想:72%的高管嘴上呼吁伦理学家“评估工作场所的技术和数据对员工和社会的影响。”然而只有15%的公司这样做。

“一切都和信任有关,这些事情创造了一种信任文化。”舒克说。这听起来可能有点太过新潮,重点是已经有许多其他研究表明,如果人们相信你会用权力行善而非作恶,他们的表现会更出色。舒克补充说,这最终能“解锁巨大的经济利益。”

显然确实如此。埃森哲的团队使用了计量经济学建模等一系列先进的分析工具,用金钱来衡量拥有员工信任和失去信任的值。似乎采用“负责任”的方法进行员工数据收集的雇主收入增长比竞争对手高12.5%。该研究称,“这关系到全球大公司3.1万亿美元的未来收入增长。”

监控和分析员工在工作中一举一动的做法仍然是新生事物,发展又如此之快,我们仍然不清楚它可能会对招募顶尖人才、提升劳动力多元化程度甚至只是帮助人们提高工作表现产生何种影响。但就目前而言,10名员工中有9人愿意相信“老大哥”在本质上是仁慈的,所以聪明的公司就不该打破这种信心。(财富中文网)

译者:Agatha

Ever get the feeling someone’s watching every move you make at work? If so, you may be right.

Well over half of big companies, in more than a dozen industries, now use some form of technology to monitor employees’ daily movements, actions, and even state of mind. The disquieting news: Only about one in three are “very confident” they’re collecting and using workplace data “responsibly.”

Those findings come from a fascinating report Accenture unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week. Based in part on a worldwide survey of 1,400 C-suite executives and 10,000 workers, the study notes that algorithms can now gather massive amounts of real-time data on every imaginable aspect of what you do all day, including where you’re doing it, with whom, and how efficiently (or not). Executives seem confident that flood of information can be winnowed down into valuable insights about precisely how and where to step up company performance. About three-quarters told Accenture’s researchers they expect their high-tech snooping to help “grow the business” (77%) and “unlock the full potential of people” (74%).

Employees, though, are far more ambivalent—no big surprise, given the recent outcry about privacy on Facebook and elsewhere. Workers brought up a range of worries, from fears that detailed workplace data might be used to “treat me more as a unit of production than as an individual human” (59%) to misgivings over whether “my employer will use newly collected data on me or my work as a form of punishment” (55%).

At the same time, consider this: A huge majority—92%—also say they don’t mind being spied upon, as long as they’re convinced the information will be used to help them. Data-based feedback would be especially welcome if, for example, it offered “suggestions on how to optimize my time,” said 79% of employees in the survey, or somehow improved “my relationships and communications with others” (77%). More than four in five (82%) think “pay, promotions, and appraisal decisions” would be more accurate and less beset by personal bias if these were less subjective and more based on hard data.

That 92% overall acceptance rate “was much higher than I expected,” notes Ellyn Shook, chief leadership and human resources officer at Accenture, who co-wrote the study. A more troubling statistic, by her lights, is that “two-thirds of companies are already using employee data, but only one-third are confident they’re doing it responsibly.”

The report defines “responsible” in detail, with short case studies and an explicit list of dos and don’ts, but a close look suggests that lots of employers just haven’t gotten the memo. For instance, Accenture recommends telling employees up front exactly what is being measured and why, and getting their consent (with, in some cases, the chance to opt out). Yet only about one-third (32%) of the employees in the survey said they understand how their employers are extracting and using workplace data, or ever consented to it, and 55% of companies admit they haven’t asked for anyone’s permission. Or think about this: 72% of executives paid lip service to the idea of calling on ethicists to “evaluate the impact of workplace technology and data on employees and society.” Yet only 15% have done that.

“This is all about trust, and creating a culture of trust,” says Shook. If that sounds a little too New Age-y, it’s worth noting that plenty of other research has shown that people who trust you to use your powers for good, not evil, tend to bring their ‘A’ game. That in turn, Shook adds, “unlocks enormous economic benefits.”

Apparently so. Accenture’s team used an array of sophisticated analytical tools, including econometric modeling, to put a dollar figure on workers’ trust, and on the loss of it. Employers who take a “responsible” approach to employee data collection, it seems, could see revenue growth that is 12.5% higher than competitors’. “Globally, $3.1 trillion of future revenue growth is at stake for large companies,” the study says.

The ability to track and analyze everything we do at work is still so new, and evolving so fast, that it’s still unclear what impact it could have on, for instance, recruiting top talent, or increasing diversity, or even just helping people get better at their jobs. But for now, given 9 in 10 employees’ willingness to believe that Big Brother is essentially benevolent, it’s up to smart companies not to blow it.

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