With the help of AI, you can get an informed reading of employee opinion, satisfaction, and an understanding of the existing culture of a company in a process termed “Voice of Employee”. What exactly is Voice of Employee? Why it’s important to due diligence? And how does AI help to expedite the process? We cover the essentials and point you in the right direction to get started today.
What is Voice of Employee?
Voice of Employee (VoE) is the cumulation of employees’ ideas, opinions, suggestions and grievances relating to their experience in the workplace.
Whenever an employee expresses their satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with the inner workings of the company, it is a useful Voice of Employee data point. These opinions are commonly expressed directly to HR or through management, in internal communications, via employee satisfaction surveys and in exit interviews. But this information is now also increasingly publicly available through employee review sites and recruitment sites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Kununu, etc.
Online reviews have several benefits:
- They are publicly and freely available. No need for covert intelligence gathering or special requests.
- Reviews are open-ended. Unlike employee satisfaction surveys, employees writing reviews online have free reign to openly express themselves without leading questions or other survey biases.
- They are organically produced. Employees writing reviews online do so of their own volition, not because they’ve been asked to, or feel obliged to. As such, the content of these reviews is more likely to give an honest portrayal of the company.
Why Voice of Employee Matters For Due Diligence
The M&A process marks a very turbulent time for employees at a target company. One of the challenges is calibrating the process in order to retain and secure valuable human capital within the target company.
Too often, VoE is overlooked, or worse, completely ignored, and at great cost to the deal makers who find talented executives leaving in droves soon after completion. Financial, commercial and operational data won’t clue you into what attracts and retains talent to the target company. And that’s vital information to capitalise on.
An honest portrayal
Who knows a target company’s inner workings better than its employees? While leadership may present a squeaky clean image of their company, listening to what employees say about their employers will give you a more authentic understanding of the health of the company, and the chances of it thriving with its existing culture and internal structure.
Predict employee turnover
One of the main factors that can help to predict employee turnover is satisfaction. How satisfied are employees with their roles, their teams and their prospects within the company? Voice of Employee will help you to gauge general employee satisfaction rates within the company and can help you identify the key threats to employee retention
Is the target company culture a good fit?
We’ve already touched upon the dangers of a turbulent M&A process. It’s in all parties’ interests that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
To what extent does the target company share your values, your mission, your processes and your cultural style? Business press might paint one picture while employees’ understanding and practical experience within the organisation may tell an entirely different story.
The more the two organisations’ cultures diverge, the more friction you can expect during the transition. An advanced understanding of the differences and the challenges they pose will put you in a much stronger position once a deal is announced.
Using AI for Human Due Diligence
Now we understand Voice of Employee and its role in due diligence, the next question is, what’s the best way of analysing VoE? Well, the year is 2022, so there’ll be no prizes for guessing that AI is involved.
Advanced AI can be used to gather, analyse and interpret data relevant to VoE. Symanto AI technology is primed to do just that.
First, you’ll need to identify an appropriate source. As we’ve already discussed, employee review sites are fertile ground for gathering relevant data for VoE. One of Symanto’s solutions, the Symanto Insights Platform, can automatically crawl data from major review sites including Indeed and Glassdoor. Simply enter in a URL and specify the number of reviews you’d like to crawl and you’re away. Alternatively, you can feed data in the form of a spreadsheet or CSV file.
Deep Analysis and Interpretation
Symanto uses state of the art natural language processing (NLP) technology to accurately assign meaning to written text. Reviews are tagged with topics and subtopics and then cross-tabulated with a sentiment score so that you can get a clear overview of how employees feel on any given topic. For example, training, managerial support, salary and compensation.
The Symanto Insights Platform has an interactive interface to allow you to explore data to your desired level of detail. Delve deep into a topic to find out which subtopics dominate the conversation or have the greatest impact on sentiment. Delve down further to read related reviews in context.
The Symanto Insights Platform presents the information across various easy-to-understand interactive data visualisations, making it easier for you to infer meaning and take away actionable insights.