Some companies are using sentiment-analysis software to better understand how employees feel about their jobs as well as company issues.
Language-processing and machine-learning are helping HR managers decipher emotions from text in company surveys and in blog and social networking comments.
Companies believe the tool may help them retain workers in the highly competitive tech job market.
Intel, Twitter and IBM are among the companies now using sentiment-analysis software and similar technologies to determine employee concerns and, in some cases, develop programs to help improve the likelihood employees will stay on the job.
Such tools utilize analytics to sort through huge collections of data and help human-resource managers figure out how workers feel about the company and where management can make changes to improve the likelihood employees will remain excited about the company.
Intel is using a product from Kanjoya Inc. that uses language-processing and machine-learning algorithms to decipher emotions from text, while other companies are analyzing social media. IBM, for example, examines employee posts on their internal social-networking site and analyzes it for sentiment. Subjects that prove the most popular among employees are weighted most heavily.