Heartbeat Dataset

“To live well is to work well.” While much has changed since the Italian philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas penned those words, the central human truth remains: we all long to do work that enriches our sense of purpose and contributes to the greater good of those around us.

Heartbeat was created to help us better understand how to do that work. Bringing together millions of employee survey responses and employee comments across 125 countries, it provides an unprecedented wealth of quantitative and qualitative data for employees and employers alike to gain new insight into what inspires, motivates, and fulfills us at work.

Every employee in this dataset answered the same survey questions—whether it’s the head of business intelligence at a multinational hospitality company, or a developer building a growing customer review platform in New York City.

This means that any discrepancies across companies, countries, languages, and industries have been accounted for. All that remains are shared human truths about why we work—and how we work best.

Peakon Methodology

Heartbeat’s dataset is provided by leading employee engagement platform, Peakon. Peakon’s methodology combines decades of academic research with the latest data science, to better understand employee experience in the workplace.

Measuring overall employee engagement

Peakon evaluates overall levels of employee engagement using the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). Based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS®) methodology created by Bain & Company and used by hundreds of companies all over the world to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction, the eNPS evaluates employee engagement with one question:

“How likely is it you would recommend [Company Name] as a place to work?”

This strategic question encourages employees to consider all the factors that influence their workplace experience—from growth opportunities to peer relationships—when providing their answer.

A recommendation is also a form of identity capital. Similar to when someone recommends a brand or product to a friend, an employee’s willingness to recommend their company suggests they’re aligned with their work on a deeper, more personal level.

Answers are given on a 0-10 scale, providing a sufficient level of detail to measure emerging trends in employee engagement over time.

Understanding what drives employee engagement

Many factors of the employee experience influence engagement. Some are obvious, such as workload. Others are more subtle, like the level of autonomy an employee feels in their role.

Peakon measures 14 underlying workplace factors that decades of research in behavioural psychology, management theory, and human motivation has shown to influence employee engagement.

  • Accomplishment
  • Autonomy
  • Environment
  • Freedom of Opinions
  • Goal Setting
  • Growth
  • Management Support
  • Meaningful Work
  • Organizational Fit
  • Peer Relationships
  • Recognition
  • Reward
  • Strategy
  • Workload

Scoring the drivers of engagement

Through employee surveys delivered by Peakon, employees are regularly asked a series of core questions about each of the 14 drivers of engagement. Employees respond to each question by rating how strongly they agree with the statements on a 0 to 10 scale.

Core driver question for Autonomy:
“I feel like I am given enough freedom to decide how to do my work.”

Sub-driver questions dig a level deeper to provide a more nuanced understanding of each of the 14 primary drivers. Sub-drivers for Autonomy include:

‘Flexibility’ sub-driver question:
“My work schedule is flexible enough to deal with family or personal life.”

‘Remote work’ sub-driver question:
“I am satisfied with our work-from-home policy.”

The Peakon question set includes 45 questions total, which companies distribute weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly to monitor rising and falling levels of engagement.

Harnessing data science to improve our understanding of engagement

The scale, quality and robustness of the Heartbeat dataset opens up the potential to understand how we work—and why we work in the way we do—in ways that weren’t possible before.

From uncovering insights about generational and demographic differences, to predicting business performance and employee turnover, Heartbeat empowers organisations around the world with 21st Century analytics to help their people reach their full potential.

Want to learn more about the research behind the Peakon methodology?
Get The Psychology of Employee Engagement eBook

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