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

Drive Your Culture Via Real-Time Feedback

Understanding Net Promoter Score

I’m sure you’ve heard about NPS, or Net Promoter Score. It’s a simple way to measure the likelihood of a customer referring a business or organization to friends and colleagues. A high NPS means more of a businesses’ customers are likely to refer them. These are the promoters. A low NPS means not only will fewer customers refer them, but they will talk negatively about them. These are the detractors.

Now, NPS is a great way to measure the success of a business externally — that is, through the eyes of its customers. But how do you measure the success of a business internally, through the eyes of its employees — arguably the most important measurement you can capture?

Introducing Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

How do you know if you have a great culture that excites and inspires people to turn up every day and do their best work?

The answer is eNPS, or Employee Net Promoter Score. eNPS is the result of asking your employees a simple question:

How likely are you to refer an open position at our company to someone you know?

Measuring Employee Happiness

So what’s the best way to measure the happiness of your employees (eNPS), and how often should you do it? There are two schools of thought here.

The first is that quarterly or even (gasp!) annual surveys are fine. You email a survey to your employees (using a combo of SurveyMonkey and Mailchimp, for example), collate the results, work out your eNPS and you’re done. You might also throw in a field where they can leave comments to help you understand their perspective.

The second approach is more real-time. Instead of waiting three months or a year to hear from your employees, you get up-to-the-minute feedback on how happy they are with their job. If they’re unhappy, you can immediately give them a path to tell you why — either directly or anonymously. You and your team can then act on that feedback instantly without waiting months to hear about their concerns or ideas. Or worse, having them resign because you took too long to ask and act.

The second approach is what modern companies like Google, Twitter and Southwest are doing and it’s creating amazing results. The feedback loop goes from months to days and in some cases hours. Employees all get an equal voice regardless of title or role and constructive ideas and feedback pour in every day from all around the company.

Now don’t get me wrong. Starting with a quarterly eNPS survey and acting on the feedback already puts you ahead of 90% of other companies who do nothing. But to really amp things up and create not just a good culture, but an incredible culture that draws the best talent and keeps them around for years, real-time feedback is where you need to be.

Getting To Real-Time Feedback and a High eNPS

If you read Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards for 2014 and really dig into the reviews provided on these companies by employees, you’ll notice a common thread. Every single one of these companies not only provides a way for everyone to share ideas and feedback in real-time, but all employees also have an equal voice and a path to better themselves and their company as a result.

What’s the best way to get from quarterly or weekly feedback to real-time feedback? First, it starts with a mindset change. Then you need the tools.

Tools can be anonymous surveys, iPads at entry and exit points of your office that ask how happy your employees are (eNPS) or even simply opening up your calendar so anyone in the company can schedule some one-on-one time with you.

The point is to commit to it and try something. The statistics around low employee engagement are alarming, so make sure you focus on the happiness, engagement and productivity of your employees early and often.

So there you have it. A look at eNPS and a path to get from quarterly surveys to a real-time feedback loop that gives you insight and lets you take action in hours, not months. Your employees know how to improve your culture. It’s instinctive to them. You just have to ask and give them a way to share their feedback with you.

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

photo credit: Stefano Gilles Tambalo via photopin cc