How We Measure Work Happiness
Mar 29, 2015 · Sandy Mamoli
Recently, someone from the small but perfectly shaped nation of Iceland asked me the following question: “When watching your InfoQ talk on portfolio Kanban I noticed that you talked about measuring autonomy, mastery, and purpose as they are defined by Daniel Pink.
I have been searching the web for a tool, a questionnaire or survey, that could help me measure those without success for a while and am therefore interested if you could share with me how you do it. Is that something you could do?”
I am of course happy to share!
David Mole and I have created the “HIP survey”. The “HIP survey" is our take on how to gain information on how healthy our work environment is and how we’re doing in creating a place that fosters Happiness, Innovation and Productivity.
Here’s some background so you know what we’re trying to do:
Did you know that ...
- Science has shown that happy people are 12% more productive
- Scandinavian languages are the only languages that have a real word for “workplace happiness”?
- People are motivated by autonomy, purpose and mastery?
Well, that’s why we took the 6 most important motivational factors and designed questions around finding out how we’re doing in creating a good working environment.
We use survey monkey to run the survey every month and collect trends over time.
These are the questions we ask:
To what degree do you feel you ...
1… are doing meaningful work that comes to fruition on our site/apps?
2… are allowed to do what's best for your work by focusing on one thing at a time?
3... have direct influence on how we work and solve problems?
4... work in a group/squad where people support and challenge each other?
5… have been able to learn new skills at work?
6... can be creative at work through success and failure?
7… Is there anything specific that has affected your scores?
(Scale 1-5, 5 is the highest)
8... Which squad(s) are you part of?
[List squads and have None/NA option]
We ask everyone to fill in the survey, not just people in tech: People who are in a squad, work with a squad or you have enough to comment about our company.
We also have the same survey for everyone: We’re all in this together, we all want the same things and we’re all motivated by the same ideas so really there’s no point in making a difference.
Our biggest challenge is to keep people participating every single month. We thought about prizes or a draw but realised that would be contrary to what we know motivates people. We now try to make the monthly reminder email as funny, informative and interesting as we can.
It’s far from being perfect, but it works for us.
If you have any thoughts or would like to share how you measure happiness at work I’d love to hear from you.