Measuring happiness at work with the employee happiness index survey

By Nadya H

Happy employees improve a company's productivity by 12%, as per the study by University of Warwick, and highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share, according to Gallup.

Have you ever wondered why some companies thrive while others struggle to retain their employees? 

Well, the secret ingredient lies in employee happiness. 

However, employee happiness and engagement are not the same, although used interchangeably.

While employee happiness encompasses a broader range of factors contributing to job satisfaction, employee engagement focuses more on an employee's emotional connection to their work and the company.

If you think happy employees are often engaged, they can be happy without necessarily being engaged in their work. For instance, an employee might enjoy the people they work with but not feel a strong sense of purpose.

Therefore, companies need to focus on both employee happiness and engagement. This environment can reap the benefits of a highly productive and satisfied workforce. 


The intricacies of employee happiness, engagement, and satisfaction 

While all might seem similar, understanding the distinctions is essential to measure and receive expected results. 


What is employee happiness?

Employee happiness is the state of contentment and satisfaction experienced by individuals within a workplace environment. It is an emotional state that arises from a harmonious integration of one's values and goals with the objectives and culture of the organization.

At its core, employee happiness is a multifaceted concept that encompasses a wide range of factors, including job autonomy, meaningful work, positive relationships with colleagues, fair compensation, and opportunities for growth and development.

Moreover, it is a state of mind that extends beyond the mere absence of negative emotions or stress, as it also involves positive emotions such as joy, enthusiasm, and fulfillment.


What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is like the vital beating heart of an individual, as it embodies the energetic pulsation and dedication that propel a workforce toward excellence. Like how the heart sustains the optimal functioning of the human body, engagement enables an organization to flourish and thrive.

Engagement is not just about doing a job; it is about investing oneself entirely in work, finding meaning and fulfillment, and feeling valued and appreciated for one's contributions. It is a two-way street where employees give their best effort, and employers reciprocate with recognition, rewards, and opportunities for growth and development.

Employee engagement fuels the passion, creativity, and commitment that drives a workforce toward excellence.

When individuals feel valued, connected, and purposeful, they are empowered to achieve great things and to contribute their best selves to the collective endeavor.


What is employee satisfaction?

Employee satisfaction is all about whether an employee's job expectations align with the reality of their work environment. Employees are more likely to feel satisfied with their job if their expectations are met or exceeded. On the other hand, if employees' expectations are not met, they are likely to feel dissatisfied with their job.

For example, let's say an employee joins a company with the expectation of career growth and development opportunities. If the company provides such opportunities, employees will likely feel satisfied with their job. However, if the company does not offer these opportunities, the employee's expectations are not met, and they are likely to feel dissatisfied.

By meeting employee expectations and providing a positive work environment, employers can increase employee satisfaction, leading to increased productivity and a positive impact on the business.

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The power of a happy and engaged workforce: The link between employee happiness and engagement

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, it was important to understand their nuanced differences. Despite this, they share a close relationship that significantly impacts the employee experience within the organization.

"If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients."

– Richard Branson


Employee happiness can lead to employee engagement

Conversely, some studies suggest that when employees are happy, they are more likely to be engaged in their work. For instance, a study by the University of Warwick found that happy workers were 12% more productive than those who were unhappy. 


The relationship between employee engagement and employee happiness is bidirectional 

In other words, employee engagement and employee happiness can reinforce each other. When employees are engaged in their work, they may feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which can contribute to their overall happiness. Similarly, when employees are happy, they may feel more motivated and invested in their work, leading to higher levels of engagement.


Both employee engagement and employee happiness are important for organizational outcomes

Organizations with engaged employees tend to see benefits such as higher productivity, better customer service, and lower turnover rates. Similarly, organizations prioritizing employee happiness may see benefits such as improved morale, creativity, and innovation.  Together it makes a place for a highly engaged and happy workforce. 


The views on the employee happiness index survey

employee happiness index survey ipsos

Source: Ipsos

The employee happiness index survey is a comprehensive instrument designed to measure the subjective well-being of individuals in the workplace. This particular index assesses employee satisfaction levels with various aspects of their job, including but not limited to working conditions, pay, benefits, job security, and professional development opportunities.

Employers employ the survey as a tool to determine the overall satisfaction of their workforce, thus informing management of areas in which they can improve to maximize productivity and retain valuable employees. The index is conducted periodically, allowing employers to track changes in employee satisfaction over time and address any negative trends before they escalate into more significant problems.

It is worth noting that a high employee happiness index is linked to increased productivity, job satisfaction, and employee retention rates. Employers that prioritize employee satisfaction by utilizing the employee happiness index survey to gauge their employees' well-being create a work environment that fosters loyalty, engagement, and optimal performance.


How beneficial is an employee happiness index survey for an organization?

The employee happiness index survey can prove to be a highly beneficial tool for organizations looking to enhance their work environment and boost employee morale. Here are some of the key benefits that organizations can reap from conducting this survey:

1. Gauge employee satisfaction

The survey allows employers to assess the overall happiness and contentment of their workforce. By analyzing the data collected from the survey, organizations can determine which areas of their operations need improvement to enhance employee satisfaction levels.

2. Identify areas for improvement 

The survey helps to identify areas where the organization can improve its operations and policies to create a more productive and enjoyable work environment. Employers can then take the necessary steps to address these issues and make positive changes.

3. Boost productivity 

A happier workforce is a more productive workforce. When employees feel satisfied with their job, they are more engaged, motivated, and willing to go the extra mile to achieve their goals. The employee happiness index survey can help employers identify ways to improve employee happiness and increase employee productivity.

4. Retain valuable employees 

High employee turnover can be a significant cost to an organization. By conducting the employee happiness index survey, employers can identify the factors that contribute to employee turnover and take steps to reduce them. Happy employees are more likely to stay with their employer long-term, reducing turnover rates and associated costs.

5. Enhance employer branding 

An organization that prioritizes employee satisfaction and well-being can enhance its reputation as an employer of choice. Employers that conduct the employee happiness index survey and take action to address any issues identified can demonstrate to current and potential employees that they care about their well-being and are committed to creating a positive work environment.


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Asking the right questions in the employee happiness index survey

Here are 10 questions that can be included in an employee happiness index survey, segregated into different categories:


Job satisfaction

1. How satisfied are you with your job responsibilities?

2. Do you feel that your work is meaningful and contributes to the organization's goals?

3. Are you satisfied with the level of autonomy you have in your job?


Work environment 

1.Do you feel comfortable approaching your manager with questions or concerns?

2. Do you have access to the tools and resources you need to perform your job effectively?


Compensation and benefits 

1. Are you satisfied with your compensation package (salary, bonuses, benefits)?

2. Do you feel that your compensation is fair compared to industry standards?

3. Are you satisfied with the benefits offered by your employer (health insurance, retirement plan, etc.)?


Professional development 

1. Do you feel that your employer invests in your professional development?

2. Are you satisfied with the opportunities for growth and advancement within the organization?


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From data to action: How to measure employee happiness? 


Conducting a happiness survey for employees

This method helps measure employee happiness by collecting and analyzing data through a standardized questionnaire. By asking specific employee happiness questions related to employee satisfaction, work-life balance, career growth, and overall work experience, this survey helps identify areas of improvement and measure the effectiveness of existing programs to improve employee happiness.


Assessing employee innovation

It can effectively measure employee happiness because it provides insight into how engaged employees are with their work. Employees who feel empowered to contribute ideas and have their opinions heard will likely be happier in their jobs. Additionally, an innovative workplace fosters creativity and allows employees to develop new skills, which can lead to a greater sense of job satisfaction.


Making sure feedback are collected confidentially

Confidentiality can provide valuable insights into employee happiness by allowing employees to share their opinions and concerns without fear of repercussions. This can help you identify areas of improvement and address specific issues that may negatively impact employee happiness.


Tracking employee performance 

Employee performance can be a good indicator of employee happiness. Engaged and motivated employees are likely to perform well and achieve their goals, resulting in greater job satisfaction. Employers can gauge employee happiness by tracking employee performance metrics such as productivity, quality of work, and meeting deadlines.


Monitoring employee absenteeism 

Absenteeism can indicate employee dissatisfaction, burnout, or disengagement. It helps employers identify trends and take corrective action before the problem becomes worse. By addressing the underlying causes of absenteeism, such as low morale or burnout, employers can improve employee happiness.


Evaluating employee turnover rate 

Employee turnover rate can be a key indicator of employee happiness. High turnover rates can signal employee dissatisfaction, lack of engagement, or other workplace issues. By evaluating employee turnover rates and conducting exit interviews, employers can identify areas of improvement and take corrective action to improve employee happiness.


Analyzing customer satisfaction metrics

While this may seem unrelated to measuring employee happiness, customer metrics can be a good indicator of employee happiness. Satisfied customers are often a result of engaged and happy employees who are motivated to provide excellent customer service. By analyzing customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics, businesses can gain insight into the overall happiness of their employees.


Measure happiness & engagement with EngageRocket 

The need for employee happiness and engagement is paramount to cultivating a positive workplace culture. While happiness reflects employees' emotions and overall satisfaction, engagement measures their level of commitment and motivation toward their work. Striking a balance between these two factors is crucial for creating a productive and fulfilling work environment.

EngageRocket BELONG measures employee engagement and happiness, giving you real-time feedback and data-driven insights to plan for improvement.


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Tags: Performance Reviews, Managing People, Employee Experience