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Yva.ai Q&A

What is Yva.ai?

Yva.ai is an AI-driven real-time employee experience and performance platform based on unique patented Smart surveys. 

Yva.ai helps organizations by improving employee wellbeing, understanding remote employees’ performance in real-time, predicting resignations, identifying toxic managers, informal leaders, HiPos and driving business success.

In contrast to traditional survey systems, Yva.ai’s continuous listening approach is based on so-called “smart surveys”: weekly AI-driven 60-sec peer-to-peer micro-surveys with optional collaboration analytics across corporate tools - Microsoft 365, Google Workplace, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Jira, etc. (anonymously and with employee consent).

How does Yva.ai help? Yva.ai benefits. 

Yva.ai helps organizations:

- to improve employee well-being and engagement

- to develop leadership

- to develop employees

- to improve work performance

What are the main features? 

There are two categories of features: real-time employee experience and real-time performance and leadership .

1) real-time employee experience

- measures real time employee well-being and engagement across all groups of employees  to address problems before they arise

- predicts resignations to retain key employees and build stellar Microsoft Teams

- measures real time employee satisfaction across 11 factors across all groups of employees to detect areas of culture and operational improvement 

2) real-time performance and leadership 

- detects key employees and informal leaders, opinion makers, influencers to provide to the managers the list of high potential employees (HiPos) to drive transformation processes and business development

- continuously evaluates performance scores for each employee at any time during the year to provide the list of high performers (starting from Yva.ai v. 3.3)

- facilitates real time peer-feedback (AI-driven 360 peer-to-peer feedback) which helps employees to develop skills and drive work performance 

What differentiates Yva.ai from other Employee experience (EX) and performance management systems?


In contrast to traditional survey systems, Yva.ai’s continuous listening approach is based on so-called Smart surveys and Collaboration analytics:

Yva.ai = Smart surveys + Collaboration analytics 

Smart surveys is a way to conduct short peer-to-peer pulse surveys individualized to each employee depending on his or her collaboration circles - AI-generated dynamic lists of employees who work together in corporate productivity systems, Microsoft 365, Google Workplace Microsoft Teams, Slack, Jira, etc. with employee consent:

Smart surveys = Pulse surveys + Collaboration circles

Optionally (with employee consent), Yva.ai conducts Collaboration analytics providing deeper objective insights about engagement, burnout levels and ONA (organizational network analysis).

This unique combination of  Pulse surveys, Collaboration circles and Collaboration analytics provides real time, objective, employee focused, actionable insights. Yva.ai provides each employee, manager and executive with recommendations, dashboards and insights that improve culture, business performance and retention rates.

What are Smart surveys?

Smart surveys is a way to conduct short peer-to-peer pulse surveys individualized to each employee depending on his or her collaboration circles - AI-generated dynamic lists of employees who work together in corporate productivity systems, Microsoft 365, Google Workplace Microsoft Teams, Slack, Jira, etc. with employee consent.

Smart surveys = Pulse surveys + Collaboration circles

What are Collaboration circles?

Collaboration circle is an AI-generated dynamic list of employees who work together in corporate productivity systems, Microsoft 365, Google Workplace Microsoft Teams, Slack, Jira, etc. with employee consent.

How does Yva.ai work?  

Step 1. Collaboration circles: Yva.ai understands who works with who. 

If the consent is given Yva.ai analyzes the metadata of digital interactions between employees like “To”, “From” in email and messengers to determine who should be asked what and about who during the weekly micro-surveys. 

Step 2. Collaboration analytics: Yva.ai analyzes employee sentiments.

If the consent is given Yva.ai analyzes the metadata of digital interactions between employees like “To”, “From”, “Time” and the content data of digital interactions between employees to evaluate individual and group performance, engagement and wellbeing scores.

Step 3. Smart surveys: Yva.ai asks individual questions. 

Based on Collaboration circles each week Yva.ai’s neural network automatically selects 11 questions (out of 104 questions standard inventory) for each employee individually. Yva.ai sends the link to those individualized micro-surveys by email and corporate messengers.

Step 4. Generate dashboards: Yva.ai generates heatmaps, historical charts and 100+ metrics.

Yva.ai neural network analyzes Survey answers data, Metadata of digital interactions and Content data of digital interactions and generates dashboards to the management and employees. Each manager and employee has personal access to those dashboards.

Step 5. Review, reflect and track: employees and managers review the feedback, reflect on changes compared to previous survey results and track progress.

Next week everything repeats.

What does Yva.ai measure?

Yva.ai measures 100+ metrics within 2 categories and 5 aspects:

Employee Experience (EX) category:

  • Employee Well-being (EW),
  • Employee Experience (EE),
  • Employee Satisfaction (ES) (within 11 Drivers). 

Informal Leadership (IL) category:

  • Informal leadership Styles (IL) (5 Styles),
  • Informal Leadership (IL) Skills  (31 Skills). 

 

What does Yva.ai measure with collaboration analytics? 

With employee consent Yva.ai measures 100+ Metrics with collaboration analytics:

  • 3 stages of Burnout,
  • Tonality/sentiments,
  • Praise,
  • Conflicts,
  • Tasks,
  • Speed of answers
  • Digital workday length
  • Digital work week length
  • Leadership Aspects (available with a custom report Yva.ai, Inc company)
  • ONA graph centralities, etc. (available with a custom report Yva.ai, Inc company)

How is the individual weekly survey question set generated?

Once  a week Yva.ai selects 11 individualized questions for each employee out of the standard Yva.ai inventory of 104 questions. 

These questions are divided into two categories:

  • Employee experience (wellbeing, engagement, satisfaction);
  • Employee performance (360 peer-to-peer feedback between the Collaborators about the informal leadership and skills). 

In the employee experience category Yva.ai composes individual employee question sets to maximize statistical validity for each metrics and each group. 

In the employee performance category Yva.ai composes individual employee question sets depending on the collaboration circles. So Yva.ai will ask Alex to provide feedback about Michael only if Yva.ai detects that Alex has been collaborating with Michael in email, messengers and other productivity tools. 

Does Yva.ai create automatic recommendations to managers and employees?

The automatic built-in recommendations are presented in a form of dashboards (not in a form of natural language reports).  

However Yva.ai, Inc, the company, does provide consultancy services and generates natural language PDF reports with recommendations. Please refer to Yva.ai, Inc. representative for details.

What dashboard or reports Yva.ai generates?

Yva.ai generates 5  main dashboards:

  • Employee report
  • Group report - Heatmap
  • Group report - Historical charts
  • Personal report
  • Plus API to export all analytics to external BI system

Privacy related questions 

Is Yva.ai GDPR compliant?

Yva.ai is 100% GDPR compliant.

Read more about the measures that Yva.ai has put in place: https://Yva.ai/en/gdpr-commitment

Is Yva.ai ethical? Are you spying? Is it secure?

Ethics and security is Yva.ai’s #1 priority

Opt-in & Anonymous. By default, Yva.ai anonymizes all employee activity and feedback by aggregating data for groups of a minimum of 5 employees at a time.

No content analytics. By default, Yva.ai neither stores nor analyzes message content, thereby protecting individual privacy.

No personal sources. Yva.ai never analyzes personal data sources like personal email, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.

On-premises. With self-hosted cloud or on-premises installation, all data resides within the client's network perimeter.

GDPR-compliant. Yva.ai is secure, ethical and 100% GDPR-compliant.

ISO 27001 Certified. Yva.ai, Inc. is ISO 27001:2013 Certified. Yva.ai behavioral HR analytics platform and the company's internal processes in the field of information security fully comply with recognized international standards.

Does Yva.ai let my manager read my emails?

No. Yva.ai does not store the content of messages, so your manager cannot use Yva.ai to gain access to your emails. 

What data does Yva.ai collect?  

Depending on Analytics privacy levels settings, Yva.ai may collect one or more of the following primary data: Survey answers data, Metadata of digital interactions and Content data of digital interactions.

For what purposes does Yva.ai collect and analyse the data? 

Yva.ai is committed to ‘purpose limitation‘, ‘data minimisation’, ‘integrity and confidentiality’ and other GDPR principles relating to processing of personal data.

Depending on Analytics privacy levels settings Yva.ai will analyze the data for different purposes. See Analytics privacy levels description.

Analytics privacy levels

Type of data

Purpose

1. Regular surveys

Survey answers data

With employee consent survey answers data are used to evaluate individual performance scores for each employee and anonymized engagement metrics aggregated for groups employees.

2. Smart surveys

Survey answers data 

With employee consent survey answers data are used to evaluate individual performance scores for each employee and anonymized engagement metrics aggregated for groups employees.

Metadata of digital interactions 

With employee consent metadata of digital interactions is used to understand Collaboration circles and determine who should be asked what and about who during the weekly micro-surveys. Such patented technique to conduct surveys is called Yva.ai Smart surveys. 


Collaboration circles means the list of contacts associated with each participant who have been working together for the most recent, four weeks. 


It’s important to emphasize that Collaboration circles are not used for any performance or engagement conclusions for privacy reasons.

3. Smart surveys with collaboration analytics

Survey answers data 

With employee consent survey answers data are used to evaluate individual performance scores for each employee and anonymized engagement metrics aggregated for groups employees.

Metadata of digital interactions and Content data of digital interactions

With employee consent metadata of digital interactions is used to understand Collaboration circles and determine who should be asked what and about who during the weekly micro-surveys. 


With employee consent metadata and content data of digital interactions are used to evaluate individual and group performance, engagement and wellbeing scores.

4. Collaboration analytics

Metadata of digital interactions and Content data of digital interactions

With employee consent metadata of digital interactions is used to understand Collaboration circles to determine the list of contacts associated with each participant who have been working together for the most recent, four weeks.


With employee consent metadata and content data of digital interactions are used to evaluate individual and group performance, engagement and wellbeing scores.

What is Metadata and Content data of digital interactions?

Metadata simply speaking means “who sent the message to who and when” 

More precisely:

  1. Time Stamp (set of  times when the record was originated in the system) 
  2. From field (Nickname, First name, Last name, email address of the person, who created the record)    
  3. To/CC field (Other names, associated with the record, means Nickname, First name, Last name, email address of the persons, who are mentioned with the record as recipients or editors, viewers, etc. Employee to (message sent to))
  4. Type of record (message, reaction, comment, etc.)
  5. Other non-content related technical information

Metadata does not include the content of the message or the subject line of the message.

Content data simply speaking means the email or message content.

More precisely:

  1. Email or message text body
  2. Email or message Subject line
  3. Jira task description
  4. Emojis, reactions, comments, replies
  5. Other similar information.

Metrics related questions

How to explain to the client the logic of generating Yva.ai's reports?

Yva.ai's mission is to increase the efficiency of a company by increasing employee engagement and improving their skills and leadership qualities.

5 main aspects affect the business performance of a company:

- employee well-being

- employee engagement

- employee satisfaction

- employee performance

- informal leadership 

- skills

Yva.ai system is designed in such a way as to measure all 5 aspects that directly affect the business performance of a company.

How do you define Employee experience? Is employee experience, engagement, satisfaction and  burn-out the same? 

Employee Experience, Employee Engagement, Employee Satisfaction and Employee Wellbeing are not the same.

The Definitions are below.

In short: 

EX (employee experience) is comprised of 3 aspects: EE (employee engagement), ES (employee satisfaction), EW (employee wellbeing) 

EW (employee wellbeing) is a direct opposite measure to Employee Stress (Burnout)

Employee Stress is a synonym to Employee Burnout.

Yva.ai platform defines Employee experience (EX, YHI) metric as a combined measure of employees’ observations, perceptions and feelings comprised of 3 aspects: 

- EW (employee wellbeing)

- EE (employee engagement) 

- ES (employee satisfaction) 

Employee satisfaction (ES, YESI) is a measure of employees’ observations and perceptions that they go through while working at a company. It is based on 11 drivers.

Employee well-being (EW, YEWI) is a measure of the employees’ health, including their professional, physical, emotional and mental conditions. 

Employee engagement (EE, YEEI) is the measure of  how much the employees are ready to give back to their company, how strong is the relationship between employees and an organization.

Where employee burn-out, satisfaction sits? Active, passive or both?

Both. Yva.ai is measuring employee burnout with passive feedback and active feedback (employee well-being EW metric). However, EW is not individualized but averaged in groups. While YBI (Yva.ai Burnout Index) is individualized.

What does informal leadership mean? Is informal leadership, social capital and level of influence the same?

Yes, Yva.ai is using the terms of Informal Leadership, Social Capital and level of influence as synonyms. 

Informal leadership is the ability of a person to influence the behavior of others, by means other than formal authority.

Social Capital is a numerical measure of influence comprised of 5 types of Social Capital (Informal leadership Styles)

Yva.ai platform Informal Leadership (IL) consists of 2 aspects: Social Capital (SC), Leadership Skills (LS).

More information:

https://www.ted.com/talks/david_yang_5_leadership_styles_to_success_jun_2020 

What types of Informal leadership Styles does Yva.ai define?

Yva.ai defines 5 informal leadership styles based on human neuromediators and hormones.

Dominance - Testosterone

Dominants help their Microsoft Teams to  get things done. Proactive, concrete, direct. Take the lead in situations of uncertainty and act as a role model of decisiveness and energy. 

Innovation - Dopamine

Innovators help their Microsoft Teams to get out of the box. Adopters of new advancements. They experiment or find unusual solutions and approaches to work. Dreamers, novelty seekers.

Integration - Oxytocin

Integrators help their Microsoft Teams to collaborate, settle conflicts and ensure harmony. Team-builders, caregivers, people-oriented, supportive.

Protection - Serotonin

Protectors help their Microsoft Teams to construct a system of routines, track each detail, get stability,  Cautious, process oriented, following the rules, respecting authority.

Expertise - combination of neuromediators and hormones

Experts help their Microsoft Teams to win providing professional advice, expertise and coaching. Recognized professionals, subject-matter experts, highly skilled, good learners.

Each employee combines several leadership styles in different proportions.

Why is it important to measure the Informal leadership Styles?

According to studies business efficiency is achieved by groups that harmoniously combine different leadership styles. By measuring the Informal leadership styles you can:

  1. a) Find out who Dominants, Innovators, Integrators, Protectors and Experts are
  2. b) Find out who's missing, balance out your teams, and reorganize your departments if needed
  3. c) help each employee to improve their missing Informal leadership skills

For the informal leadership, you mentioned the system assess skills? Can you please elaborate more?

Yva.ai defines 31 skill (grouped in 5 Informal leadership styles) which allow people effectively influence the behavior of others and thus build their Informal leadership:

Informal leadership skills questions

ID

Type of social capital

Question - Please indicate, of the following list who usually

Answer options

LS-01

Dominant

Effectively organizes teamwork without using formal authority.

Select several co-workers

LS-02

Dominant

Sets team goals and priorities.

Select several co-workers

LS-03

Dominant

Effectively manages meetings (ex. appoints the persons in charge, sums up the results).

Select several co-workers

LS-04

Dominant

Efficiently leads the work: does not get involved in details that should be handled without their involvement.

Select several co-workers

LS-05

Dominant

Efficiently leads the work: is not a detached manager .

Select several co-workers

LS-06

Innovator

Explores new trends in their professional field and shares them.

Select several co-workers

LS-07

Innovator

Gathers additional information about work tasks, explores existing solutions.

Select several co-workers

LS-08

Innovator

Turns to others to leverage their knowledge and experience.

Select several co-workers

LS-09

Innovator

Is curious about affairs in other departments and Microsoft Teams.

Select several co-workers

LS-10

Innovator

Ready to give up familiar approaches if it increases work efficiency.

Select several co-workers

LS-11

Innovator

Projects enthusiasm and inspires colleagues to overcome challenges.

Select several co-workers

LS-12

Integrator

Selflessly provides help to colleagues.

Select several co-workers

LS-13

Integrator

Easily requests and shares information if necessary.

Select several co-workers

LS-14

Integrator

In disputes, seeks to ensure that everyone's opinion is taken into account.

Select several co-workers

LS-15

Integrator

Praises colleagues for their work, cheers them up in case of difficulties.

Select several co-workers

LS-16

Integrator

Encourages promotion and advancement of colleagues.

Select several co-workers

LS-17

Integrator

Gives constructive feedback and advice to colleagues to help them grow.

Select several co-workers

LS-18

Integrator

Seeking to convince another person, first tries to understand their point of view.

Select several co-workers

LS-19

Integrator

Is flexible: accepts opponent's position, if the opponent is right.

Select several co-workers

LS-20

Protector

Checks their own work and makes few technical errors.

Select several co-workers

LS-21

Protector

Works to accepted standards.

Select several co-workers

LS-22

Protector

Develops and implements regulations, procedures and performance metrics.

Select several co-workers

LS-23

Protector

Is responsible at work and keeps promises.

Select several co-workers

LS-24

Protector

Follows through most of the time.

Select several co-workers

LS-25

Expert

Breaks down complex problems and tasks into smaller manageable pieces.

Select several co-workers

LS-26

Expert

Compiles ideas and observations into a single concept.

Select several co-workers

LS-27

Expert

Admits their mistakes and acts to correct them.

Select several co-workers

LS-28

Expert

Performs their tasks properly without constant supervision.

Select several co-workers

LS-29

Expert

Controls emotions and responds constructively to the source of the problem.

Select several co-workers

LS-30

Expert

Constantly improves their professional skills.

Select several co-workers

LS-31

Expert

Effectively sets goals and priorities in their work.

Select several co-workers

LS-32

Open-ended feedback

How can {Colleague name} improve performance in the current role?

Open-ended feedback

How toxic managers are identified? Via survey or collaboration? Both?

Several metrics indirectly point to potentially toxic formal managers 

Based on Active Analytics

  • Low level of Integrator Social Capital

Social capital 

ID

Type of social capital

Question - Please indicate...

Answer options

SC-01

Dominant

Who takes the lead in a situation of uncertainty?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-02

Dominant

Who organizes the teamwork?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-03

Dominant

Who do you consider to be a role model of decisiveness?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-04

Innovator

Who usually comes up with new ideas?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-05

Innovator

Who is usually willing to take risks?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-06

Innovator

Who is aware of the news in other parts of the company?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-07

Integrator

Who would you turn to for emotional support?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-08

Integrator

Who is always aware of what's happening in the team?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-09

Integrator

Who puts team interests above than their own?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-10

Protector

Who is the role model of reliability and consistency at work?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-11

Protector

Who is best-informed about policies and procedures?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-12

Protector

Who can look at proposed solutions with a critical eye?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-13

Expert

Whose opinion do you trust on controversial professional issues?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-14

Expert

Who is well-informed about their professional field?

Select several co-workers from the list

SC-15

Expert

Who would you turn to for professional advice?

Select several co-workers from the list

  • Poor feedback on Integrator Skills:

LS-12

Integrator

Selflessly provides help to colleagues.

LS-13

Integrator

Easily requests and shares information if necessary.

LS-14

Integrator

In disputes, seeks to ensure that everyone's opinion is taken into account.

LS-15

Integrator

Praises colleagues for their work, cheers them up in case of difficulties.

LS-16

Integrator

Encourages promotion and advancement of colleagues.

LS-17

Integrator

Gives constructive feedback and advice to colleagues to help them grow.

LS-18

Integrator

Seeking to convince another person, first tries to understand their point of view.

LS-19

Integrator

Is flexible: accepts opponent's position, if the opponent is right.

  • Overall lower than average Social Capital levels
  • Low mNPS (Manager NPS) and “Manager” metric at EX category

ES-01

Manager

My manager respects me as a person.

0 (not at all) - 10 (absolutely)

ES-02

Manager

My manager regularly gives me helpful feedback.

0 (not at all) - 10 (absolutely)

ES-03

Manager

My manager has a genuine interest in my career aspirations.

0 (not at all) - 10 (absolutely)

ES-04

Manager

My manager regularly shares relevant information from their manager and senior leadership.

0 (not at all) - 10 (absolutely)

ES-05

Manager

I'd recommend my manager to my colleagues.

0 (not at all) - 10 (absolutely)

ES-06

Manager

My manager communicates clear goals for our team.

0 (not at all) - 10 (absolutely)

  • Based on Passive Analytics: high level of outbound “conflict”
  • Based on Passive Analytics: low level of outbound “praise”

For the employee burnout, can you please tell me more about those 3 stages? This is capture via passive feedback correct?

To tackle the problem of burnout, Yva.ai has developed a new ML technology that measures,  two important indexes both in real-time and retrospectively: the Yva.ai Activity Index, (YAI, indicated by the blue line on the graph below. It reveals an employee’s “Optimism” vs “Pessimism/Frustration”) and the Yva.ai Burnout Index (YBI, indicated by the red line on the graph below). The Yva.ai Burnout Index is used to predict employee’s resignation and identify employees whose risk to leave in 2-6 months is high.

Yva.ai distinguishes 4 pre-resignation phases and can detect the first signs of an employee’s dissatisfaction as early as 4-8 months before potential resignation. Despite a positive correlation between burnout and resignation, the actual decision to quit depends on multiple factors, among which are the family situation, mortgage, available job opportunities, to name just a few.

For more information you can read our paper: Detecting burnout

Do you have references to authoritative scientific sources?

Several hundred articles and studies have been published in recent years linking metrics such as engagement, well-being, employee experience, collective intelligence, leadership skills, and business performance.

Below are links to some of these works:

Chikersal, P., Tomprou, M., Kim, Y. J., Woolley, A. W., & Dabbish, L. (2017)

Deep structures of collaboration: Physiological correlates of collective intelligence and group satisfaction. Proceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2017). 

Catherine Truss, Amanda Shantz, Emma Soane, Kerstin Alfes & Rick Delbridge (2013)

Employee engagement, organisational performance and individual well-being: exploring the evidence, developing the theory. The International Journal of Human Resource Management  

Kim, Y. J.*, Engel, D.*, Woolley, A. W., Lin, J., McArthur, N., & Malone, T. W. (2017) 

What makes a strong team? Using collective intelligence to predict performance of Microsoft Teams in League of Legends. Proceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2017). (*authors contributed equally) – Research featured on Nature News. 

Woolley, A. W., Aggarwal, I., & Malone, T. W. (2015). 

Collective intelligence and group performance. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24, 420-424. doi:10.1177/0963721415599543.

For more information: https://cci.mit.edu/mci/  .