Consumer data has been a hot-button issue as businesses use it to inform their decisions, but companies are now starting to gather more employee data for similar purposes. Employee data has historically been used to inform people strategies such as recruitment, retention, performance management and training. With more tech and social media in the workplace, employers have a greater ability to collect and evaluate employee behaviors. Some companies are analyzing communication patterns on internal messaging systems, tracking geographical locations, and giving their employees health trackers to collect health data.
Health tracking in particular is expected to see significant growth as smart watches with health tracking functionality like the Apple Watch are now being included in employee wellness plans. It is anticipated that by 2021, 90 percent of wellness plans in the U.S. will include health trackers.
As an employee it is advisable to be aware of what data your employer is gathering and what they're using it for. Collecting data without compromising employee trust is imperative, and businesses must be transparent about what they are collecting and using your data for. It may be a cause for concern if they are not communicating the strategies and initiatives that justify their data collection. Most often there is no cause for alarm, but it is important for employees to educated and informed regarding data collection, just as they would in their personal lives.
As the workplace continues to evolve to meet rapidly shifting demands, it increasingly falls on employees to be self-advocates and educators to avoid being left behind. Continuously expand your skillset, stay open-minded to new individuals and experiences, and understand how you fit into the future of your workplace to remain competitive as we move into 2019 and beyond.
—By Debby Carreau, CEO of Inspired HR and a member of the
CNBC-YPO Chief Executive Network
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