What excites you about ONA?

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Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) is making waves in the HR space. What makes analytics experts excited about ONA?

So Organizational Network Analysis or ONA is a subject that a lot of people in analytics teams are investigating at the moment.

When I go to conferences and that question is asked, what are you looking at, ONA always comes in the top three.

So it’s actually been around for a long time. But until recently, it was mainly survey-based which can be quite manual, which is quite a point in your time.

But you still get some great insights obviously from the survey.

I think what the excitement is about now is around Passive ONA.

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So this is looking at things like email metadata, understanding who’s got strong relationships or who’s an influencer within the organization, understanding how the network strength of leaders and how that affects their team performance of the areas of the business that they’re looking after.

And technology has enabled us to do that. – The benefits you can get out of it, one example, we were just talking about the other day looks at mergers and acquisitions.

Our two companies, integrating properly and carefully and you can look at Organizational Network Analysis to see if the employees from one company, are they emailing, having meetings with employees from the other company? Are their internal networks growing? Are they chatting on internal chat sites with members of the other company?

And it can give you some good insight to see, are you truly merging as an organization or are you still working in a very siloed manner? – The way that we are using Organizational Network Analysis is mainly in the organization’s transformation and organization change environment and it helps us as one of the techniques, it’s not THE technique but it’s one of the techniques that we are using to understand the organization.

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And of course, because organizations are becoming much and more or less hierarchical, it’s becoming also more and more important to help understand the informal structures and there, Organizational Network Analysis for us is really key to add to our techniques to understand an organization.

Any good example of something that humanized it was they looked at a bank, a European bank, they had a hypothesis that the high-performing branches were the ones that had the best-interconnected networks. So they used the badges. It was an opt-in so the experiment only included employees that wanted to do it.

And one of their findings was, yes, high-performing branches do have highly interconnected employee groups. Ones that were less performing, they found for example branches where there were two distinct networks, and when they investigated further, that’s because the branch was on two floors and people just didn’t go up or down the stairs.

So that helped them with office planning for the future so they would look at, okay we wanna try and get people on the same floor, or we want to implement a desk rotation policy. So I think ONA is a powerful tool. We’re gonna hear a lot more about it.

I think the promise at the moment probably outweighs the case studies that are out there and I think that’s probably because there’s a lot of projects ongoing at the moment, and we’ll start to hear more about individual success stories in the not too distant future.

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