Microsoft, an American multinational technology corporation, has defined a new benchmark for measuring employee productivity and well-being. Thriving and work-life balance are connected.
Dawn Klinghoffer, head of people analytics at Microsoft, and Elizabeth McCune, director of employee listening systems and culture measurement, shared Microsoft’s shift in measuring employee performance at work in a recent piece in the Harvard Business Review.
Microsoft has shifted to employee thriving as a higher and more actionable benchmark for measuring employee productivity.
Microsoft’s employees’ performance at work
In 2021, Microsoft conducted one lengthy and annual survey that tracked employee engagement. Despite good employee engagement scores, the data revealed a number of struggles. To get a more accurate idea of the status quo, Microsoft has started measuring employee thriving and not engagement.
In the Harvard Business Review, Klinghoffer and McCune said, “While thriving is focused on being energised to do meaningful work in your role, work-life balance reflects employees’ personal lives, too.”
The report highlighted the fact that a newer employee may have a great work-life balance from a perspective of hours and workload, but he may not feel inspired by their work. Thriving employees talked about a collaborative environment and teamwork with colleagues. Microsoft employees rated their work-life balance highly and said they were thriving in that work-focused portion of their life.
To achieve a high work-life balance, employees prefer five fewer hours in the workweek. They also want five fewer collaboration hours. Usually, intense collaboration impacts their work-life balance.
The report highlighted that the collaboration must be balanced with autonomous work to successfully measure thriving. Microsoft will now measure outcomes and not the working hours of the employees. Microsoft may also consider introducing a shorter workweek by a few hours. Shortening the workweek by a few hours doesn’t have to mean a drop in productivity.