Measuring employee happiness: here’s how to develop a positive work environment
By 2DAYSMOODIES | 25/01/2024
Amidst deadlines and daily tasks lurks an important factor that affects the atmosphere in the workplace: employee happiness. This is often seen as something intangible, something you feel or don’t feel and over which you yourself have little influence. But nothing could be further from the truth: you can measure, improve and influence employee happiness! Measuring employee happiness is not a mystical pursuit, but rather a scientific approach to understanding the drivers of a productive and satisfied work environment. In this exploration, we will dive into the down-to-earth world of measuring employee happiness and discover why it is an essential aspect for modern organizations.
Why is employee happiness important?
Employee happiness is not just a nice touch, but rather the driving force behind a productive and healthy work environment. Happy employees are engaged, innovative and resilient. They are committed to the organization, more vital and less likely to experience burnout symptoms. They are the building blocks of a thriving organization, where creativity is encouraged and collaboration flourishes.
Nowadays, the lines between work and private life are increasingly blurred. As a result, employee well-being is becoming an essential factor. Employee happiness not only promotes individual satisfaction, but it also has a direct impact on the performance of an organization as a whole.
Measuring employee happiness is not a luxury, but rather a smart move to ensure that our work not only feels good, but also contributes to the success of the company. Here you will discover how to measure and understand employee happiness, and ultimately strengthen it within your organization.
Why measure employee happiness?
Employee happiness is often seen as the “floaty” side of HR. Something that arises automatically if you as HR manager do your job well and create a good working environment. But you can also very consciously steer towards developing more employee happiness by measuring it. You just have to know what you are steering for and what you are measuring.
2DAYSMOOD has developed the Employee Happiness Model in collaboration with Utrecht University. This is a framework that divides employee happiness into four pillars: Organization, People, Work and Wellbeing. Divided under these four pillars are the 15 factors that contribute to the feeling of employee happiness in the organization. For example, how do employees feel about internal communication? How is their relationship with colleagues or with their manager? And what about intrinsic motivation?
These factors make it easy to measure employee happiness: you just need to know what questions to ask. Measuring employee happiness is not a random undertaking; it is a strategic decision with profound implications for an organization’s well-being and productivity.
2DAYSMOOD’s tool allows organizations to measure employee happiness in a structured way, using the Employee Happiness Model as a compass. This gives you insight into the specific factors that influence the well-being of your teams. It forms the basis for targeted interventions, not only identifying problems but also reinforcing successes.
Roadmap: Measure and improve employee happiness
Step 1: What is your current situation?
Before setting the course for employee happiness, it is essential to know where you stand. After all, if you don’t know where you start, you can’t measure your progress either. Then every intervention is only done on a gut feeling, and you only have to rely on what you hear in the corridors. A baseline measurement sheds a clear light on the current state of employee happiness within the organization. It provides a starting point, a reference point for growth and development.
With the 2DAYSMOOD tool, you ask two questions per factor from the Employee Happiness Model: how satisfied are you with this? And how important do you think this is? That way you not only know which factors need attention, but also which factors require priority. For example, are employees dissatisfied with appreciation, but indicate that they consider it important? Then you know where your first intervention should focus.
Step 2: Continuously measure employee happiness
Employee happiness is not a snapshot in time; it is an ongoing journey. Many organizations still do a (semi-)annual employee satisfaction survey. But you can ask yourself how relevant the results are when you look at them a few months after the questionnaire was taken. You only see real results if you measure continuously; whether you do it weekly or monthly. That way you can see the waves, the real-time effects of your interventions and keep an eye on whether employees in general are doing well. You respond faster to changes and see burnout symptoms coming quickly, so you can do something about it in time.
The 2DAYSMOOD tool sends out an online questionnaire as often as you want to measure employee happiness. This can be a very short one with just two questions: how someone is doing, and an in-depth question on a particular topic. You can also choose to deepen certain modules more quickly. That way you always have insight into how the moods are in the organization and you can measure employee happiness in real time.
Step 3: Implementation and evaluation
Of course, just measuring employee happiness is not enough; you then have to do something with it. Employees are more involved in measuring and improving employee happiness if they feel they are being listened to. This increases the engagement rate and they will be more inclined to voice their honest opinions.
Therefore, make sure you reflect the results of employee happiness measurements or different modules in all your processes. From discussing them in team meetings, to setting goals for career paths or development in the interview cycle. Make sure you are transparent and that employees know what you do with the insights, what interventions you deploy and what the results of these are. Employee happiness is something for the entire organization, not just for HR!
Start measuring employee happiness now!
In the quest for employee happiness, measurement is not just a tool; it helps you gain insight and define strategy. With a fine, easy and fun tool, measuring employee happiness becomes not just a task, but something employees are only too happy to commit to. Not only for their own happiness, but also for the organization.