If you haven’t considered adding sentiment analysis to your company’s internal communication strategy yet, now might be the time. More and more companies are turning to this relatively new type of analysis. Here’s our breakdown of sentiment analysis and how it can improve the way your organization communicates. Beekeeper is not only a business communication app, but also ideal HR tech for sentiment analysis.
What is sentiment analysis?
It’s the process of identifying and categorizing moods, opinions, and attitudes. It can also be called opinion mining, and the ultimate goal is uncover and analyze the emotions behind words. It can be used in a variety of ways. In fact, the Obama administration actually used it during the 2012 presidential election to gauge the public’s reaction to campaign announcements. In the early days of sentiment analysis everything was done manually, but like everything else it is now made simple through technology.
How does sentiment analysis work?
Most types of sentiment analysis software mine user generated data (company chat, emails, social media, etc.) for keywords or phrases. It then tries to determine if that word is positive or negative, either based on a given list of words or a set of provided rules. Obviously this won’t always be entirely accurate. The English language can be tricky. The word bad itself can sometimes be used in a positive way, so sentiment analysis isn’t foolproof. However, additional rules can be added to analysis software to take those types of instances into account.
How can sentiment analysis help internal communication?
By mining the heaps of data collected by employee surveys, emails, performance reviews and evaluations, sentiment analysis can offer a well-rounded picture of how employees feel about the organization and the level of engagement employees feel. Knowing this type of information is invaluable to a good internal communication strategy. The Harvard Business Review argues that sentiment analysis can even prove predictive by pointing to people, programs, and projects that need immediate attention. You can focus communication efforts where they are needed, saving time and money!
What’s the downside?
There is a chance that it may not be entirely well received by employees. According to CIO, some employees may see this type of technology as “Big Brother” watching over them. It may help to put employees’ minds at ease by making it clear that this type of information will only be used in an aggregated way. No employee should be singled out when using sentiment analysis — the information is more helpful when viewed as a whole anyway. But if you are going to reassure employees that they won’t be singled out, make sure you don’t!
Before you implement sentiment analysis in your company, do a little research. While it is perfectly legal and regularly used in the United States, the European Union does prevent employers from monitoring employees’ sentiment levels. But if your company is able to use sentiment analysis, you will likely learn some surprising things — and improve your internal communication strategy at the same time.
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