In this series of blog posts, we’ll take a look at some of the most important things for organizations to keep in mind with regards to successfully measuring happiness at work.
Part 1: Why and how to measure workplace happiness
Part 2: What you should be measuring to create a happier workplace
Part 3: Employee mood: the one thing every organization should be measuring
In Part 1 we looked at why you should be measuring happiness at work, and how you should measure. We will now take a look at what you should be measuring to get the kind of insight that can guide you towards a happier workplace. And it all begins by identifying your team’s biggest challenges and critical success factors.
What keeps you up at night?
Even the happiest of teams have their share of problems. The first step to figuring out what to measure is to identify your organization’s biggest challenge(s) – those issues that can have a major impact on the success of your organization. What are the problems that most likely keep the CEO up at night? You’ll also want to identify your organization’s critical success factors – those elements that have a disproportionate impact on your team’s success. For example, many tech companies would likely list “innovation” as one of their critical success factors, while “customer service” would likely be identified for many organizations within the hospitality industry.
The great news is that, because these are major issues and are critical to the success of your organization, you’re probably measuring some of this stuff already! Below we’ve listed a number of meaningful ways to measure employee happiness. But please keep in mind that this is just a starting point – it’s essential to find the metrics that are relevant to your team.
Three obvious employee-related metrics are:
- employee turnover
Each of these have a direct bottom line impact and are directly correlated with employee happiness.
Gone are the days of organizations mistreating their employees and getting away with it. Glassdoor, social media, and other online tools have brought the inner workings of businesses out into the public, at least partially. While this is bad news for unhappy, poorly managed organizations, it is great news for those organizations who put employees first. Happy organizations attract more and better new hires. After all, who wouldn’t want to work for an organization that prioritises you, the employee?! Several potentially-relevant hiring-related metrics include:
- Applications received per opening posted
- Time to fill positions
- Rate of acceptance of job offers
- Rate of successful hires (how many new employees stay at least x months)
- Percentage of positive reviews on popular online job sites, such as Glassdoor
This will be especially relevant in fast-growing workplaces or in industries where there is strong competition for the best talent.
We know that happy employees lead to happy clients. For organizations that are very client-centric, some potential metrics to consider are:
- Client happiness / satisfaction
- Client loyalty / repeat business
- Brand perception
We also know that happy employees do a better job, so measuring happiness could also mean tracking metrics like:
- Quality / errors
- Workplace safety / accidents
- Success rate of innovation / change projects
- Engagement / motivation
Given that happy employees are less likely to engage in bad behavior at work, we could also track metrics like:
- HR complaints
- Fraud / stealing
Quality over quantity: Measure what makes sense for your organization
I hope it goes without saying that no workplace should measure all of these metrics! Depending on the industry, specific work context and individual employees, only a small subset of these will be relevant (which is great, because as you’ll recall from Part 1, we recommend asking far fewer questions anyway.
That said, there is one question that any and all organizations should be asking their employees, regardless of their specific workplace context. Employee mood is easily one of the most important (and most forgotten!) metrics that companies should be measuring(link to blog 3). In our final blog in the series, Part 3 takes a deeper look at the one simple question that every leader and every organization should be asking its employees.
Author: Sheona McGraw