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Correlations: the key to improvement

From now on, we distinguish between ‘keeping the finger on the pulse’ (measuring) and improving. When talking about measuring, the focus is on generating statistics (mostly quantitative) that describe how well the organisation performs when it comes to the different aspects of employee satisfaction or employee engagement. When talking about improving, both the quantitative and the qualitative data are important as a base for actions that can be set by the organisation to improve engagement or improve satisfaction. A clear example of quantitative data meant to be used to improve the engagement or improve the satisfaction is the analysis of correlation of the indicators that we provide from now on in Jobber.

The analysis of correlation between the independent indicators (variables) and the dependent variable (employee engagement or employee satisfaction) tells the user to which extent it is expected that it will be of use to put energy in improving the score on indicator Y when improving the overall engagement or the overall satisfaction is the goal. There is a clear difference between indicators that have a bad or below-average score and those indicators that have a strong correlation with engagement or satisfaction.

Our intuition would cause us to have a tendency to improve those indicators in which we rate bad to improve the overall satisfaction or the overall engagement in that way. When there is no significant correlation between the indicator that we’re trying to influence and the indicator that measures the engagement or satisfaction, this could be spilled energy. An example of an indicator like that, that we mostly do not measure (because of this reason), is ‘working conditions’. If we would ask employees to which extend they are satisfied with their working conditions, they tend to answer mostly negative (they could have the feeling that they would close each door to improvement by answering that they are satisfied about conditions such as salary). A question much more important is to which extent such an indicator contributes to the overall satisfaction or the overall engagement.

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