Business Tips | Human Resources

At iDashboards, we’ve talked about the importance of workplace diversity and how it influences your organization’s success. Now it’s time to uncover another set of metrics that can make your business a better place to work: data that reflects employee happiness.

For many employers, there’s an assumption that a strong link exists between employees’ salaries and their motivation. A closely connected notion is that financial compensation – or how much money employees make – determines workers’ overall satisfaction in the workplace. While these statements may have a small portion of truth, for the most part, they are looking at it from the wrong angle and therefore missing the greater truth: Happiness makes employees more productive, which in turn makes their businesses more successful.

Studies Show That Happy People Work Harderemployee statisfaction

A 2015 study by the University of Warwick investigated the link between employee productivity and their immediate happiness. During the experiment, researchers treated subjects to free snacks, showed them a brief comedy clip, then asked them to complete a task. Additional subjects were simply asked to complete the task without the “happiness spike” before.

On average, the happy subjects were 12% more productive; some were even 20% more productive than their counterparts.

Some large companies are already taking note of the evidence and striving to give employees happier work environments. In its study, the University of Warwick noted that Google, a leader in employee happiness techniques, invested more in its employee support system and increased workers’ happiness by 37%. In terms of productivity, this could mean a major boost in efficiency and quality of work from employees.

What Does This Mean for Your Company?

It isn’t difficult to see the connection between workers’ happiness and the success of your company: Happy people work harder, which makes them more productive, which helps your business turn a better profit. Inc even found that sales people who described themselves as “happy” sold nearly 40% more product than their less satisfied co-workers. That’s a big difference, but making the leap between a dissatisfied or apathetic worker and a happy worker isn’t always simple.

Happy people work harder, which makes them more productive Click To Tweet

How to Measure Employee Satisfaction

Unlike customer satisfaction, gauging employee satisfaction isn’t as easy as asking “Are you happy?” For customers, satisfaction is generally based on one criteria: a positive experience. For employees, happiness is influenced by a wide gamut of factors, which can be broken down into two categories:

Common employee satisfiers:

  • Personal achievement
  • Personal fulfillment in work
  • Level of responsibility
  • Level of appreciation / recognition

Common employee dissatisfiers:

  • Compensation (pay)
  • Over-supervision (micromanagement)
  • Lack of guidance / management
  • Workplace conditions
  • Job security

While every employee has different goals and motivations, these factors are the some of the most common denominators that contribute or detract from their happiness levels.

Ask Workers the Right Questions

Happiness isn’t a black and white issue for most people. Generally, workers fall somewhere between “very dissatisfied” and “very satisfied” with their jobs. Because of this, effective employee satisfaction surveys should give them the opportunity to express their feelings at several points along this spectrum. An effective questionnaire might look something like this:

You receive adequate support and guidance from managers.
Strongly DisagreeSomewhat DisagreeNeutralSomewhat AgreeStrongly Agree


Additional questions might include:

  • Do you feel adequately compensated for your work?
  • Do managers and co-workers express appreciation for your work?
  • Are your skills valued?
  • Do you receive enough vacation and sick days?
  • Do you feel that your work environment is supportive as a whole?
  • Are your workplace conditions adequate?
  • Do you feel secure in your current position at the company?
  • Do you have adequate opportunities for advancement?

Read next: Motivate Employees with Data Sharing – Here’s How

Evaluate, Assess, Execute, and Reevaluate

Once you’ve gathered enough data to understand how your company could improve, execute a plan to modify the conditions that might contribute to workers’ dissatisfaction. Brainstorm with your employee’s ideas to counter and eliminate these factors, then choose a time to reevaluate employees’ happiness levels after you execute a plan. For many companies, especially ones experiencing rapid growth or structural changes, these assessments should be a regular and expected part of your HR department’s role. For businesses that aren’t experiencing “growing pains,” assessments can be less frequent.

Data Solutions for HR Professionals

If you’re looking to improve employee happiness (and productivity) at your business, you need data reporting that keeps up with the complex issues your department faces. iDashboards offers data visualization solutions for HR departments in companies like yours: companies looking to grow and improve. If you’d like to see your company start moving in the right direction, contact us to see how our technology can benefit you.

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Andrew Gissal Senior Manager @iDashboards

Andrew Gissal manages the business development and enterprise sales teams at iDashboards. He is usually found assisting new client implementation strategies, current customer success tracks, and drinking way too much caffeine.

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