Organizational Network Analysis

What is Organizational Network Analysis?

On 3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat with Steve Hunt we talked about innovations in technology that are relevant to improving the experience of restructuring (stay tuned for our upcoming research paper on the topic). One of the technologies mentioned was Organizational Network Analysis.  Steve shared “it’s almost crazy to do restructurings without them.”  Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) is a tool used to help organizations understand the relationships among their employees and resources in order to better manage them. In this blog post, we will discuss what ONA is and how it works.  

To better understand ONA, I called upon my new friends at Performica, co-founders Alex Furman and Erin McCune, to learn more.  Furman shared how his background leading human resources influenced the genesis for the idea.  “It struck me that [HR tools are] fundamentally organized around the org chart,” shares Furman, “yet, a company like ours that was growing rapidly and highly dynamic… all the important work was cross functional.” When he was unable to find a tool in the marketplace, he created his own tool to visualize and analyze formal and informal relationships.  Furman learned a lot from the tool that shaped the business and talent strategy going forward.  From this experience, Furman left his HR role and launched Performica. 

Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) is a data-driven approach to understanding relationships between individuals, teams, and divisions within an organization. It uses social network theory to analyze the flow of information within an organization.  It provides HR leaders with insight into their organization that is usually buried 

“We firmly believe that unreliable data leads to bad decisions,” shares Katherine Stueland at Sema4, “Performica provides real data about employee relationships, engagement, and performance, which in turn allows us to build and maintain the culture we want.” 

ONA uses surveys, interviews, or other methods of data collection to collect employee interaction data. By analyzing the data collected from these sources, ONA identifies patterns of communication within the organization and how they relate to job performance and team dynamics. For example, ONA might be used to identify which employees are most influential in decision-making processes or which teams have the strongest collaborations. It can also be used to determine how quickly new ideas are adopted by different departments or which employees are most effective at networking with outside stakeholders.  

The analysis can also detect areas of improvement such as silos between departments or lack of communication between managers and subordinates. Identifying these issues provides a starting point for improving organizational efficiency and effectiveness.  

“Extra information that can help understand and guide development and improvement for your teammates is an investment that yields immediate results, and more importantly compounds over time,” shares Sean George from Invitae, “Performance has been mission critical for us to enable this in a data-informed, objective, fair, scalable, and at the same time a very human way.” 

Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) provides valuable insights into the relationships between individuals, teams, and divisions within an organization. By gathering data on communication patterns within an organization, ONA helps HR professionals identify areas for improvement that could lead to increased efficiency and effectiveness overall. With its comprehensive view of employee interactions both inside and outside the company, it provides invaluable insights for HR managers looking for ways to optimize their organizations’ performance. 

Are you using an ONA tool to improve the employee experience?  I would love to learn about it!  Please share your story with us.

Share your comments: