Wow! It’s troubling that Whoop is using sleep data to incentivize employees. Whether employees opt-in or out, sleep data crosses the privacy line. While sleep can influence work performance, it should not be information that your employer collects. An employee’s sleep pattern is dependent on multiple factors, and employees might not feel comfortable explaining why their sleep patterns vary. I think Whoop should discontinue its sleep tracking and allow employees to share the data they are comfortable disclosing to their colleagues.
I could not agree more. Amazon’s relentless push to optimize operations negated the human element, stressed and overwhelmed employees, and led them to unionize. Going forward, your recommendations on building trust, setting clear objectives, helping employees improve, and gathering additional data are an excellent starting point.
One issue that I think Amazon will face at its warehouses is building trust in a high turnover environment. Amazon uses seasonal workers to augment its full-time staff during peak demand – holiday season, Prime Day, etc. Further, Amazon employs the third largest workforce in the United States, behind the U.S. government and Walmart. To build trust, Amazon will have to create scalable policies that empower managers and employees alike. It will be interesting to see how Amazon changes its policies following Bessemer, Alabama’s unionization efforts.
While I agree the Marine Corps and broader military are fertile ground for people analytics, I think one other consideration is how people “game” the evaluation process. For example, I observed commanders rank their soldiers lower immediately following a promotion because the promotion board does not weigh evaluations heavily that are well before the next promotion cycle. If you look at FITREP scores, you will notice that officers’ rankings gradually improve the closer they get to the promotion window. Since promotions occur at predefined intervals, senior officers know how to manipulate the 8-point system to ensure their soldiers get promoted. The gaming causes mediocre officers and soldiers to continue getting promoted and high performers to exit the military because going above and beyond is not recognized consistently in performance rankings.
People analytics could help identify some of the gaming and push commanders to give honest performance assessments. I look forward to seeing whether the military decides to change its evaluation and promotion process to limit “gaming” the system.