Data Visualization

Break Down Misconceptions in Your Workplace

Workplace culture is complex. Each staff member has their own set of perspectives and beliefs; affecting their perception of the workplace and contributing to the overall culture. Misconceptions are especially problematic and can cause a variety of issues and imagined problems which may not exist in the company’s reality.

Misconceptions need to be corrected before they have detrimental effect on the success of the company. These are created when staff members do not have a detailed understanding of the thing they are judging. Not only can misconceptions hurt specific product lines, they can cause employees to avoid selling certain services or products, eventually leading to a decrease in productivity and a team of disgruntled staff.

Let’s look at two common misconceptions in the workplace and review how Data Visualization can aid in breaking them down. 

Common Misconceptions

They Work Harder Because They Stay Later (or put in the more hours)

Time spent at work does not necessarily correlate to an employee’s productivity, although this is a common misconception among employees and managers. With the right data input, visualizations can serve to represent the actual productivity of a team or individual members of staff. This aids managers in determining who is creating the best results, not just who is spending the most time. When shared throughout the department, appropriate credit can be given to the teams or staff members who are producing the best results. This can be effective for all levels of the company – from high-level executives to sales representatives, although sometimes overlooked when performance metrics are created, due to a fear of exposing underperformers. Instead, celebrate those who are making the biggest impact.

There is too much to do.” Or “I can’t work under stress.”

Yes, this misconception is abstract and it can be difficult to conceptualize this without the correct data. Sometimes, staff can feel overwhelmed when they are in fact distracted. However, Data Visualization can give this data a narrative. Collect the data points you have available such as pending assignments or tasks, deadlines or daily duties. Assigning performance metrics to these tasks and daily functions can provide insight into an employee’s actual workload.

Begin surveying the workload. Is it too much for one person to handle? To answer this, you will need to determine a reasonable range of performance – the amount achievable for one staff member in a day. Benchmark where each of your employee stands in relation to this reasonable range to determine if this perception is true, or if it is a misconception.

Visualizing a range of acceptable performance standards can expose the staff members who are overwhelmed and reintroduce a workload balance within a team and set reasonable guidelines for your expected range of performance.

Using Visual Data to Break Down These Misconceptions

Visual data is so effective at breaking down misconceptions because it’s very hard to argue with accurate data and facts. Every staff member will have their own perceptions, data aids in bringing the team together into a shared culture.

What happens if a shared misconception is true? Well, then you can make the necessary changes to correct the problem.

Visual data provides a strong foundation for opening up conversations about any problems a team is experiencing.

  • Identify the best metrics for investigating the misconception
  • Visually represent the misconception in the simplest way
  • Display your data in a way relevant to your audience
  • Deduce and discuss the key findings from the data.

The Formula for Using Data for Misconceptions

There are a few things to consider when determining which metrics to investigate. First, consider your audience.  Different metrics will be needed if you’re presenting to the executive board, versus your team.

Second, identify what the data will accomplish. The audience and content will lead to decision making as the data will likely have an immediate impact.

Third, explore how these tools will affect future work.  Creating a tool that will allow you and your staff to engage with data that impacts their daily work can serve as a benchmark to refer to on a regular basis.

Finally, discuss with your audience how effectively this tool serves them, and make changes to ensure it is as impactful as possible.

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