We want better understanding of not only intended consequences, but also unintended. Not just ‘what is this data for?’ but equally, ‘how could it be misused?

‘what data should we never add it to?’ and ‘what do we need to train Leaders in, so they use the data competently and appropriately’?.

Encouragingly, around the room, there seemed to be general consensus that ‘opt in’ was the way to go. Explain to people what you want to collect and why, and explain the potential uses. If people agree, then you can collect and use the data as you intend. But you cannot sell it, or on-forward it, or add in other potentially unrelated data, without their permission and knowledge as well.

Of course, amongst all that agreement, there was another very human question – “What if you don’t want to opt in, but everyone else does? Will there be there social pressure to ‘opt in’, is it really your choice, and will you not be included in the team if you don’t ‘opt in’?”

And that’s the reality of employee data and any rules we put in place. There’s the written rules, the plans, and the very positive intentions. Then there’s reality, and accepting that it’s never quite as perfect as we planned.