Are Your Employees Happy? Here’s How to Find Out
One of the most important (yet hardest to answer) questions a manager has to deal with involves worker happiness. Are your workers really happy? Or do they just put on a happy face when the boss walks by?
It’s no secret that happiness matters in the workplace. Happy workers are up to 20 percent more productive than their unhappy counterparts. And beyond productivity, happier workers tend to stay at their jobs longer, work better with their teams, and generally foster a positive workplace culture.
But how do you know if they’re happy?
It’s not easy to tell when workers are happy. Not many of us come into work every day with a goofy grin on our face, nevertheless, we’re happy all the same.
Workplace happiness might come with all the hallmark attributes: Workers performing well, co-workers getting along, and good energy throughout the day. However, it’s rarely that easy.
Employees tend to hide their true feelings from management, particularly in our increasingly-frantic workplace culture that pushes positivity at all costs. As such, it’s up to leadership to uncover the details.
Collect Regular, Actionable Feedback
Feedback is the biggest barometer you’ll use to assess your team’s happiness, but there a few caveats.
1. It has to be actionable
Whatever feedback you get needs to be something you can work with. After all, if you can’t apply feedback, all you’re doing is learning how your employees feel without much regard for how you can improve things.
Be careful about how you structure your feedback surveys and make sure to push for details. You’ll want them to provide specific examples and recent events that you can reference later when putting together each employee’s assessments.
2. It has to be regular
Annual performance reviews won’t cut it; they’re too rare and too reflective of that employee’s mindset in that particular moment. What if they’re in the middle of a big, stressful project? Their current workload will likely color their feedback and paint a poor picture of their overall satisfaction across the year.
Instead, schedule interviews at more frequent intervals—every month or so. The benefit here is that you don’t need to map out a long discussion plan; all you need to do is check in and get a feel for how the employee is doing. When you compare these notes across the year, you’ll start to get a good idea of who’s struggling.
And while you’re at it, consider offering more channels of feedback, such as online portals, mobile apps, in-person surveys. People tend to respond where they’re comfortable, so you’ll get more people to participate by branching out your options.
Map the Feedback Journey
You take a data-driven approach when dealing with your customers, so why not do the same when dealing with your employees?
Just as you try to map out each stage of the customer’s journey, so too should you map out each employee’s experiences during their time with your company. And given that 40 percent of employees quit due to unhappiness with their jobs, this type of experience-mapping step is crucial.
Segment your workers by department and map the above feedback to each worker’s duties. Coordinate with department heads to learn what projects each employee has worked on, and use their performance information (remember, taken every month!) to create a timeline of their experiences.
When you look at each employee’s timeline of events juxtaposed with their self-assessments of their personal satisfaction, you’ll start to get a good idea of who’s actually happy in their roles.
Leaders Take Charge of Happiness
Happiness might be a personal thing, but in workplace settings, it’s up to the management to take charge of their employees’ well-being. Follow the above steps and start learning more about your team. You might be surprised at what you find—and when you do, you’ll be ready to take action and keep moving your company forward.
And as always, if you’re interested in getting some help with these issues, contact Urgenci and we’ll be happy to give you a hand.