Learning & Development

3 Contactless Ways to Collect Employee Data

Employee data is critical for making better business decisions, improving productivity, and reducing turnover. Yet obtaining and storing data can get messy if it’s collected using a traditional method like a paper survey. One way to make the data collection process less challenging is to adopt contactless methods.

Aside from the convenience and speed of going contactless, this method of data collection is becoming increasingly popular for its security advantages. No company wants to deal with data breaches. When there aren’t papers to lose or misplace, there’s less risk.

Contactless data collection isn’t just beneficial to employers. It can make life easier for workers, too. Consider remote employees. Filling out digital forms is easier than printing out paperwork, completing it by hand, and scanning and sending all those pages back.

When it comes to contactless data collection, there are a variety of methods available to employers. Here are three of the most common methods being used by future-forward companies:

1. QR Codes

How are QR codes used in business? Many companies use them only for marketing and sales. What they don’t realize is that there are other ways to use QR codes for business beyond those that are customer-facing.

For example, an HR department might want to gather updated contact information for all part- and full-time workers. To make things easy, the department could print out a QR code that links to an online form and post it in the office. Employees could then use their hand-held devices to scan the link, open the form, and fill in the required fields.

QR code data collection can be on demand, too. Let’s say an employee notices that a piece of equipment isn’t working correctly. If the equipment has a QR code on it that’s linked to another department’s maintenance queue, the employee could just scan the code and fill out a maintenance request form to report the problem.

QR code data collection can be extremely useful, and for companies focused on environmental, social, and corporate governance, paperless QR codes are also more eco-friendly.

2. Digital Surveys and Questionnaires

Employers don’t always know how employees feel about what’s happening in the company, but sending out a digital survey or questionnaire allows for instant feedback. And because digital forms can be anonymous, workers may be more honest.

Additionally, contactless online surveys can be used to easily calculate an organization’s employee satisfaction index (ESI). Many companies also use surveys to come up with an employee Net Promoter Score, which shows how well the company is faring from employees’ point of view and can be used to show which organizations have the happiest, most engaged workforces.

Can questionnaires be done in person? Absolutely. However, it’s not always the best option. For instance, during the pandemic, many companies used contactless health-screening surveys before employees’ shifts to determine if they were healthy enough to come to work. If an employee was sick, it wouldn’t have been safe for the employee to come to the workplace for an in-person screening.

3. Observations

Sometimes managers or trainers need to observe employees. For example, new employees may need to be tested before using company machinery on their own. The manager will therefore want to ensure the workers can safely and effectively operate the machine.

Observations can be carried out in person, but they can also be handled remotely with a recording or streaming device. This type of contactless data collection allows employers to document nonverbal behavior and can be used in conjunction with online evaluation forms or checklists to keep track of results.

Although this data collection method might not apply to all circumstances, it can be helpful depending on what a company is trying to achieve.

Is paper necessary in the workplace? Perhaps for some things but not for employee data collection. Moving forward, companies should explore these three contactless data collection formats to better adjust to the future of work.

Burak Ciflikli is the COO of Jotform, an online form-builder that’s on a mission to make organizations more productive and people’s lives easier.

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