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

HR Data: What Really Counts? #TChat Recap

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” -William Cameron

A Big Year For Big Data

No sooner did the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Day, than corporate talent management analyst Josh Bersin declared 2013 “The Year of BigData in HR.” Soon after, he offered more expansive predictions, including the assurance that we would see “many HR analytics, BigData and workforce planning tools” emerge this year.

Why now? As Bersin explains in “Data, Big Data and You,” multiple factors are at work — creating abundant opportunity that hasn’t yet been deeply tapped by HR organizations. To put the situation into perspective, consider this:

A 2011 Economist study indicates that companies boost productivity by 5-6% when they rely on data to guide business decisions. And yet, recent Bersin research reveals that only 6% of HR leaders say their organizations are “excellent” at leveraging employee data to drive business performance.

Case In Point: Hire-By-Numbers

In March at a #TChat Radio interview, Josh illustrated what’s at stake by telling a staffing story from a financial services company. The organization had been hiring sales representatives based on intuitive assumptions about what it takes to achieve in sales. Why was that a problem? Analysis revealed that those assumptions were wrong. By using data to redefine screening and recruitment criteria, the company saw sales surge by $4 million within only one year.

If Data Talks, Who Will Listen?

So, we know business is producing oodles of data at an exponential rate. And tools are arriving to help HR organizations crunch the numbers in beneficial ways. But something is still missing from this equation. It’s the vital link that connects the dots between quantitative possibilities and business realities. It’s the mission-critical role of the Data Analyst. Or, as USA Today recently suggested, “The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.”

Even though data analysts are in short supply, the TalentCulture Community was lucky enough to glean insight and advice from two smart, articulate analytical professionals this week. Helping us explore key issues surrounding HR metrics, insights and business performance were:

Below, we’ve captured event highlights (including a tweet-by-tweet Storify slideshow from Twitter) and other resource links. We hope this is helpful for anyone is interested in understanding analytics as a core aspect of “human” side of business. Enjoy!

#TChat Week in Review: The Big Deal with HR Data

SAT 6/22


Watch the G+ Hangout with Christene now

#TChat Preview: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, introduced the week’s topic and talked with Christene about the definition of “BigData” and its relationship to HR management. Read “HR Data: What’s The Big Deal?”

SUN 6/23 Post: In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered advice about how data can help HR professionals see the workforce “in 3D.” Read “Big Data Is A Big Deal.”

WED 6/26


Listen to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio: In its new time slot, just prior to #TChat Twitter, radio hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman drilled down on data-related HR issues, in a fascinating 30-minute interview with Christene and Andrew. If you missed the session, listen now to the recording.

#TChat Twitter: Fueled by the radio warm-up, our community came together on the Twitter stream for our dynamic weekly idea exchange. Great perspectives from people from all corners of the professional realm! Thanks to everyone who contributed to this crowd-sourced idea stream! If you missed the real-time Twitter action, or want to review highlights, watch the slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: “HR Data: What’s The Big Deal?”

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Christene and Andrew for helping our community gain deeper understanding of how HR data naturally plays an integral role in the world of work. Your passion and real-world perspectives help us appreciate the importance and value of HR analytics.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about HR data issues or opportunities? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week #TChat events are on pause to celebrate July 4th. Happy U.S. Independence Day! But we’ll be back the following week, with a sizzling summer topic — so keep an eye on TalentCulture social channels for details.

In the meantime, even through our haitus, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned website. The gears are always turning at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Pixabay

HR Rock Stars & Business Speed: #TChat Preview

Few companies understand the value of going slow to go fast, especially in today’s inter-connected, always-on workplace. So we’re told to pick up the pace, not slow things down, to move at the speed of business. HR is often chided for not moving fast enough, especially in the recruiting and hiring process.

Here at TalentCulture World of Work, however, I wonder about the wisdom of trying to force speed across large, complex organizations comprising individuals with different skills, intellectual abilities, interests and value systems. Do the “5 Ways to Rock Star HR Leadership” require us to move as fast as the rock stars on radio live? My guess is probably not.

Then there’s the employee handbook side of things, where processes and policies are written down, ostensibly to add structure, but really to limit risk. Most adults are self-regulating creatures. Maybe 5 to 10 percent can’t manage their time well, but that small percentage forces a load of policy and process on the rest of the group. We’d argue that the more policy you have, the less trust and productivity you’ll have, but no doubt some will disagree.

So this week we’re going to look at speed — the speed of business, what HR can do to pick up the pace, and the role of metrics, measurement, technology and process in speeding up HR. Here are our questions for this week’s #TChat forum:

Q1: What exactly is the “speed of business” Why do we penalize HR for not moving at it?

Q2: “If it wasn’t for those pesky humans”: Why do we need HR to regulate ourselves?

Q3: How can leadership (including HR) help reduce need to self-regulate & create cultures of trust & productivity?

Q4: What metrics should leadership (including HR) focus on to move at the speed of business & why?

Q5: Tech only moves @ the speed of biz if humans do too, so what kind of tech helps us meet in the middle?

So if you’re into speed, or even  if you’re built for comfort, not for speed, join us Wednesday night, Oct. 10, from 7-8pm ET (6-7pm CT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are) to talk about what (if anything) is needed to bring HR up to the speed of business. Yours truly (@MeghanMBiro) will be your moderator. Joining us, too, will be Kevin W. Grossman (@KevinWGrossman), the rest of the #TChat posse, and you. Fast or slow, innovator or laggard, please weigh in on our discussion. We look forward to chatting.

Image Credit: Stock.xchng