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Why Microsoft Measures Employee Thriving, Not Engagement

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Intense collaboration can impact work-life balance, and leaders and employees alike should guard against that intensity becoming 24/7.

Credit: Getty Images

At Microsoft, where we work on the People Analytics team, we looked at what data can tell us about how we can best empower employees to live their lives meaningfully. We landed on a new way of measuring thriving, at both work and outside of it, that goes beyond engagement only.

We wanted to learn from employees who both rated their work-life balance highly and said they were thriving in that work-focused portion of their life.

By combining sentiment data with de-identified calendar and email metadata, we found that those with the best of both worlds had five fewer hours in their workweek span, five fewer collaboration hours, three more focus hours, and 17 fewer employees in their internal network size. This reinforces what we know from earlier work-life balance research and network size analysis, which showed us that increased collaboration does have a negative impact on employees' perception of work-life balance.

From Harvard Business Review
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