Employee Happiness: A Top-3 Company Metric

Unlike revenue, profit or cost-cutting, reporting on the benefits of having happy employees hasn’t been black and white in the past. Today, there are dozens of reports, surveys and statistics that show the correlation between happy employees and important business metrics.

Today we’ll discuss how to “sell” the benefits of investing in the happiness of your employees to your boss – whether that’s the CEO, your board, your Chief HRO or someone else.

The Statistics

Let’s start with the statistics that show the impact of employee happiness on a typical business.

Here are seven highlights:

  1. Companies that have highly engaged employees enjoy 2.5x more revenue than those that don’t
  2. Low-level engagement from employees results in a 33% decrease in revenue and an 11% decrease in earnings growth
  3. Companies with high employee engagement levels have a 19% increase in revenue and a 28% increase in earnings growth
  4. Increasing your investment in employee engagement by just 10% can increase profits by $2,400/employee/year
  5. Unhappy employees take 15 more sick days each year than their happy counterparts
  6. $11B is lost each year due to employee turnover that comes from poor company culture
  7. Companies that regularly ask for employee feedback have turnover rates that are 15% lower

The statistics above can help you “sell” the benefit of employee happiness being a key metric that’s measured across the company and routinely reported on, but how do you actually measure happiness?


Net Promoter Score (NPS) is used to measure customer happiness, but it can also be used quite easily to measure employee happiness — that is, how likely employees are to recommend an open position to their friends or other people they know.

You can collect eNPS (Employee NPS) quarterly or annually via surveys, or you can use a platform that helps you collect and measure employee happiness in real-time, which is the preferred approach of companies like Google, LinkedIn and TripAdvisor.

By doing the latter, you can find and act on issues and problems much more quickly, thus stemming employee turnover, communication issues, etc., before they hurt your company.

In terms of eNPS as a metric, like NPS, you measure employee happiness on a scale of 1 to 10, subtract your detractors from your promoters and arrive at your score.

Making eNPS “Fun”

Showing a 1-10 rating scale feels sterile, though, so what about a change-up in how the employee happiness question is presented?

Sure, something like SurveyMonkey can help you collect eNPS and also comments from your employees, but survey designs are typically bland and boring.

Instead of a plain-looking survey with a 1-10 rating scale, what about if you used happy, OK and sad faces as a proxy for eNPS? They could click on the face that represents how they feel about their role.

Happy would be scored as a 10, OK as a 7 and sad as a 1. Same result, but a more interesting presentation to your employees.

To employees, this is a much more engaging and visually appealing way to rate how you feel when compared to a scale of 1 to 10. And when something looks better, the completion rate is higher, therefore giving you more data and a better read of employee happiness.

Increasing Participation

So how can you increase your feedback rate and make employees want to participate?

The trick is to give them options. Do they want to suggest an idea to improve the company? Maybe they want to share anonymous feedback with management? How you present the options is critical too. Keep it simple and basic.

It’s About Measurement + Actionable Feedback

First you measure their happiness, then you ask for clarification so you know what to do to improve. It’s a simple process, but it works extremely well.

At a company level, you can report on employee happiness (eNPS), but also show how you’re taking action to boost eNPS quarter over quarter based on the feedback of everyone who took the survey that wasn’t happy in their job.

Like most things that work, it’s a simple concept. But it’s powerful, it works at scale and it can transform your culture, communication, transparency and productivity.

About the Author: Rob Finnick is the content strategist for StackHands — an employee engagement platform that helps leaders collect ideas and anonymous feedback from their employees to make their company a better place to work.

photo credit: roboppy via photopin cc

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