Measuring & improving employee’s happiness


Employee (dis)engagement is crucial in business but poorly measured. A normal employee satisfaction survey provides lots of data, but very little actionable information and treats satisfaction or happiness as an absolute state of mind, which is in reality never the case.  Anne Hardy has this experience as a manager at SAP with employee satisfaction surveys and has created a start-up to deal with this issue. The company Workrise provides an app and data analysis to tackle this issue. It combines multi moment measuring with data analysis and thus gives a starting point for direct interventions to improve happiness

The importance of engagement and happiness at work

There is only one country on earth measuring it’s gross national happiness which is Bhutan. Most other countries are focused on Gross National Product. But what is more important in life? Money or happiness? Only this could be a reason to get more grip on the happiness within organizations. Companies become more and more aware of the potential of engaged and even happy people in the workforce. Anne showed us some research proving this also has an impact on the bottom-line

Measure to improve rather than to report

Most employee surveys take a photo of the satisfaction of people once every two years. This usually leads to big reports with questionable conclusions and very little to steer on. Firing a manager based on these surveys seems to be the only possibility. Anne showed us that taking a multi moment look at happiness and relating this directly to concrete tasks/activities in the work gives a good insight and gives a more direct feedback. It also gathers meta data for the whole organization. All of this is supported by new technology and still has to be validated, but the perspective of such tools is something we really should be prepared for.


Anne Hardy (right) having a serious discussion on employee happiness with ICG consultants

The perspective…

How would life look without the rituals of annual satisfaction surveys? Without the yearly rituals on performance reviews and development talks? How nice could it be to get direct feedback on what you are doing and how to improve your happiness? But also how scary it could be giving your employer all this data? We will see how it will work out in the future….

Author: Bas van der Velde