Two-thirds of global employees would swap data for more customized benefits

Two-thirds (62 per cent) of global employees said they’d exchange their work-related data for more customized benefits, rewards and compensation, according to a new survey by Accenture.

The global survey, which polled 1,400 corporate executives and 10,000 employees across 13 industries, also found 92 per cent of employees are open to their employers collecting data on them and their work if it improves their performance or well-being, or provides other personal benefits.

In Canada, this number drops slightly, to 88 per cent, while 50 per cent of employee respondents said they’d exchange work-related data for more customized learning and development opportunities. On the other hand, 57 per cent of Canadian workers said the use of new sources of workforce data risks damaging trust, and 68 per cent said recent scandals over the misuse of data makes them concerned that their employee data might be at risk too. 

Read: Creating a thriving workplace with data, personalized employee benefits

Among Canadian employer respondents, 70 per cent said their organizations are using new technologies to collect data on their employees and their work to gain more actionable insights — from the quality of work and the way people collaborate to their safety and well-being. However, fewer than one-third (24 per cent) said they’re confident they’re using the data responsibly.

“At a time when companies are using newly available workforce data to drive greater value, responsible leadership is the key to building employee trust,” said Ellyn Shook, Accenture’s chief leadership and human resources officer, in a press release. “Trust is the ultimate currency — it’s the path to innovation and fuels growth by unlocking people’s potential.” 

More than one-third (41 per cent) of surveyed executives said they’re holding back from investing as much as they would like in workforce data-gathering technologies due to employee sensitivities, while 23 per cent) said they’re investing anyway and figuring out how to do it responsibly as issues arise.

Read: Technology to have biggest impact on the future of work: survey

“Executives are entering a new era of workforce data without sufficient tools and strategies to help them drive revenue growth through developing stronger digital trust,” said Eva-Sage Gavin, leader of Accenture’s global talent and organization practice. “But business leaders can take proactive steps that improve the potential of workers while achieving new business value.

“They can share accountability for the use of workforce data, co-create new systems with employees and give their people more control over their own data. This responsible approach will strengthen the resilience and agility of workforces and help CEOs navigate disruption at a time of intense competition and volatility.”