I’m jotting this post off in a hurry because the muse is hitting me and I have a full “to-do” list this week. A good friend and smart guy Jason Lauritsen posted in Facebook a link to an article entitled: “Employers are creepily analyzing your emails and Slack chats to see if you’re happy.”  And I kid you not the article is exactly what the headline says it is…

“AIR, a Tokyo-based software company, is marketing software that scans conversations on workplace communication tool Slack to gauge team morale. Their product, called Vibe, looks for keywords and emoji, then sorts a team’s mood into five emotions: happiness, irritation, disapproval, disappointment, and stress. There’s even a bot that will notify managers of real-time changes in team morale.”

This makes me so very sad.

Have we gotten to the point in our lack of management training and our love of all things technology that we can’t even have our managers talk to your employees on a regular basis to get an understanding of whether they are happy, sad, engaged, interested, disinterested, breathing? Are you kidding me with this surveillance “sentiment” analysis? Sure it makes sense when you’re trying to understand millions of consumer inputs to a brand and want to know what a huge population of people think. But for 5-10 employees per manager you need software to suss out someone’s frame of mind?

I will go so far as to say if you think you need this you need to fire your managers and start over.

If your HR person brings you this – fire them and start over.

Buy some training on how to be a good manager. Take it yourself then make sure all your managers take it. If you still have a problem – fire all your managers and then fire yourself.

There is nothing better than a good conversation between two adults. Make that happen. Find software that increases those interactions. Don’t put in software that takes the place of human interaction.

You know what really drives employee engagement?


I’m too busy to hold hands on this issue right now. If you think this kind of software is valuable go for it. I’ll stick to calling Mary or Joe and asking them to go get some coffee or tea and say…

“So… how ya doing? You seem a bit disconnected? How can I help?
I’m Frasier Crane and I’m listening.”