Companies know they want their employees to be happy. Many often think they know how to make them happy. But companies generally don’t know how to measure that happiness.
Employee Happiness Not the Same as Happiness
“Employee happiness” is not necessarily interchangeable with “employee satisfaction”—people can be satisfied without necessarily being happy. But the benefits are similar: greater engagement, better retention and recruitment, more productivity, etc. Employee happiness is obviously an important objective, but how can companies measure whether they’re achieving that objective?
Several companies in India believe they have a recipe to quantify this qualitative metric.
Indian Firms Work to Cultivate Happy Employees
In an article for BBC Worklife, Gauri Kohli says that some Indian firms are realizing that “cultivating happier employees is both important and in their interests, and as a result have been trying to build a better understanding of employees’ needs and concerns.”
This, writes Kohli, has “created a market for firms offering employee mood analysis that draws on artificial intelligence, behavioural psychology and data science. Armed with this information, organisations then have a better chance of holding onto their top talent as well as managing attrition rates.”
Kohli says that one such company is Indian media firm House of Cheer. House of Cheer teamed up The Happiness Index, a U.K.-based company, to launch a tool to evaluate employee attitudes and emotions—Happyness.me. Other companies are taking different approaches to evaluate employee sentiment, using chatbots to approximate more of a two-way conversation.
“Amber, a chatbot developed by Indian analytics company inFeedo, is equipped with a sentiment analytics engine which can analyse an employee’s expressions and tone to determine their emotional state,” says Kohli. Employees decide whether they wish to engage with the chatbot, and questions asked are specific to each organization and run the gamut of workplace-related issues, from scheduling to management support.
Still Some Bugs to Work Out
Kohli goes on to note that there are concerns over privacy and how respondent information will be used, as well as who will get to see it. These are concerns employees have had as long as employee satisfaction surveys and questionnaires have been around; however, the digital element of many of the Indian tools amplifies those apprehensions.
The employee happiness measurement industry may be in its early stages, but the time, money, and brainpower companies—at least in India—are putting into the endeavor signal how important it is for companies to keep their staff happy and to know whether they’re doing a good job at it.