7 tips for an effective employee happiness survey

Published on:

July 28, 2022

7 tips for an effective employee happiness survey

Employee happiness surveys are not unlike employee engagement and staff satisfaction surveys, they would include the scope of these, but they are broader. An employee happiness survey recognises staff happiness is what matters most both to the employee and business. Happy staff will outperform unhappy staff many times over. It recognises that personal happiness is not just related to work but other areas of our life too.

Business benefits of an effective employee happiness survey include:

  • Increased employee retention
  • Improved business productivity
  • Enhanced communication
  • Increased business resilience
  • Improved innovation and competitive advantage
  • Increase employee engagement
  • Improved profitability

1) Many people look at a company’s social and environmental commitments

Employees often want to be more involved in cutting carbon emissions and may feel their company isn’t doing enough. Many organisations set the target for emissions reduction, but not what practical measures are being taken to achieve it.

Effective employee engagement is key to any organisation and a lack of clarity and clear communication of climate warming mitigation strategies can be distracting or demotivating for staff. Inspiring staff to act on climate change is both motivating for them and good for the bottom line.

2) We are social animals, so we value our friendships at work

Friendships at work can help increase employee engagement as well as personal, professional and business productivity. This makes work more enjoyable and rewarding, with employees more likely to want to go to work each day.

If work is stressful or routine, friendships can help to overcome poor performance and low productivity. Staff are more likely to open up to a trusted friend about issues and problems at work. They are also more likely to deliver improved service levels and less likely to leave the company.

Experts have suggested that work-based friendships can be the most impactful on our overall happiness – both at work and home.

To achieve valuable friendships, companies need to create an environment where staff feel at ease to communicate and share ideas, thoughts and observations without fear of being judged and reprimanded. People should be able to come to work every day as themselves.

Many believe that socialising and friendships are important for making progress in a company and advancing their careers. If social connections don’t exist, people may feel demotivated and want to leave, so employee turnover will increase and overall workplace happiness will decrease.

However, you need to be aware of some dangers. Staff may want to avoid becoming too close with colleagues. Telling everybody about your domestic issues, hidden desires or long-term plans may be distracting to what you are all trying to achieve at work. And some people naturally have a more negative disposition than others, so confiding in people who negative could get you down. Somebody once said we become the five people that we spend most of our time with.

Employees might not have a best friend at work but they should expect to have some strong personal relationships with colleagues.

3) Feeling absorbed in the work we do can make us happier

If you can lose track of time at work, then the chances are you’re doing something you enjoy and are good at, which should make you happier. We are spiritual beings after all – more than we are transactional consumers. So, find finding something that absorbs you and helps you identify your own spiritual being, what you’d get out of bed for, your passion, is important.

Part of how we become more absorbed in our work is feeling that we have the autonomy to complete that work in the way we know best. Do staff feel listened to, do their opinions matter and are their suggestions valued and acted on?

4) Transparency builds trust in an organisation

Employees are going to feel happier if there is transparency in their organisation based on open, honest communication. If there isn’t, they may feel resentful and distrustful, perhaps holding back from fully engaging with the organisation. They might mirror this behaviour by holding back information themselves.

Providing information in a timely way is key, including bad news, to minimise surprises. Holding interactive sessions with staff on a weekly, or another regular basis, helps people to feel involved, updated and engaged as part of a company team.

5) Create a mindful workplace to improve workplace happiness

Being mindful is being in the moment, being 100% present in the now. Like a child, in the present moment, with eternity before us. Many of us, though, spend most of our time thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Neither of which exists, there is only now. And there will only ever be now.

So, experiencing the now is a good way to be calm, reduce stress and focus. Think about your vision, and your dream life periodically, but be in the now. Does the company acknowledge this? Does it give staff space to think, relax and be in the moment? They’ll be happier, more creative and engaged if they are.

6) Employees need to feel recognised and valued for their work

Feeling recognised, valued and rewarded for the work we do is important, not only to feel happy but also professionally and for the company’s bottom line, too. There are big benefits for workplace productivity, health and wellbeing, employee engagement and business profitability.

Creativity will increase as staff know their ideas matter and it’s safe to express them. This creates a more positive working culture, staff are less likely to leave and your competitive advantage is enhanced. After all, competitive advantage for any business relies on its staff’s ideas, insights and effort.

It will help to build a stronger, more resilient team. Most people leave their job not because of pay but because they didn’t feel engaged, respected or listened to. If the company feels like a team and they are an important part of it, they are less likely to leave and deliver higher service levels.

7) Is work contributing toward your employees’ own life goals?

As we spend so much time at work, we need to feel that our own life goals and our work, job or professional goals are aligned. Having these aligned with the company’s goals is also important.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, this has become a bigger concern with 65% of people in a Gartner survey saying they’d rethink how work should fit into their life.

In this way, employees are working on something that they are both good at and like doing, something they may even feel passionate about. But if their life goal is to be on a stage in front of an audience, then working in an office may feel deeply unrewarding for them, even if they’re good at it.

About Paul Freudenberg

Paul Freudenberg is a business productivity coach and consultant with a focus on operational excellence delivering improved profitability and business performance, and Founder of Awardaroo in 2005. Paul has set the mission of Awardaroo to help increase the business productivity of 10M businesses one behaviour at a time to amplify profitability, create a greener planet and build a better world by 2030. Connect on LinkedIn

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