One role of statistics in business is informing a manager working on employee performance management. A manager collects data about employee productivity, such as the number of tasks completed or the number of units produced. He or she must analyze data to find ways in which an employee should improve to achieve maximum productivity. Many companies also collect data about employee engagement and happiness on the job, which can be tracked to not only keep workers motivated but ensure they don’t leave for other positions elsewhere.
For example, if a manager finds that an employee’s number of finished outputs drops by 20 percent every Friday, he or she should communicate with the employee, setting the expectation that his or her output will remain above a minimum level every day of the work week.
Many companies will also compile aggregate statistics about employee performance. If a company finds that employees overall are doing less work right before or after the weekend, its managers will want to consider ways to either motivate employees or, if it turns out to be due to external factors, provide them with alternative tasks they can do during downtimes. Companies may want to avoid collecting too much data about employee activities, however, since it may come off as creepy to workers.
Evaluating Alternative Scenarios
Beyond managing the performance of her own workers, a manager participates in joint decision making with other managers. Statistics help the managers to compare alternative scenarios and choose the best option for the company. The team must decide which software to use for automating the customer ordering process.
They consider which software products have been successfully used by competitors and choose the most popular one, or they might find how many orders that an ordering system can process on average daily. The team collects performance data from software makers and independent sources, such as trade magazines, to inform their purchasing decisions.