Happiness is the new productivity.
When employees come into your office energized, invigorated and ready to take on the day, it shows in their work—and studies prove it. Worker surveys repeatedly indicate a clear relationship between employee morale and business success rates.
Companies with active, engaged workplaces outperform their disengaged competitors by 202% . According to a USA Today article, publicly traded organizations that make Fortune‘s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For have gained an average of 10.8% a year since 1998. These businesses also have a third of the turnover of average employers.
Now for the bad news: many employees are woefully unhappy at work. In fact, over a quarter of workers admit to job hunting at work. Seven percent say they spend ten hours a week looking, right from their workstations. According to Gallup, withdrawn, uninvolved employees costs the US economy $483 billion to $605 billion annually in lost productivity—but only a third of the American workforce is actively engaged.
Measuring company culture
If you’re anything like most entrepreneurs, though, you don’t need a slew of statistics to know your team performs better when they’re happy. You probably know it from experience—both as a leader and a team member. So what gives? Why aren’t more leaders focused on workplace culture and overall happiness?
The answer is simple: it’s difficult. Employees are rarely encouraged to speak their minds freely, so taking your culture’s pulse can be downright tricky. Meanwhile, between frequent meetings and budgeting issues, many startups and small businesses often lack the bandwidth and resources to solve employee issues. Luckily, technology is here to help.
The following apps are designed to better gauge employee morale, improve productivity and keep projects on track—without shelving the work on your plate.
Let’s be real: words like “culture” and “morale” are just corporate-speak for how your employees are feeling. As any psychologist will tell you, people don’t exactly always know how they feel—nor are they particularly good at knowing how others feel.
Moodforce is an app designed to take the guesswork out of the process. It’s a thermometer for employee wellness, offering insights into staff’s overall mood, as well as their health, skills advancement, engagement levels and sense of purpose through selective surveys. The apps’ metrics are built on Martin Seligman’s PERMA model, a theoretical conceit for fulfilment. Moodforce also allows employees to take ownership of company culture, since everyone has access to the same statistics as you do. This way, your employees know their opinions are actually being heard.
Many apps will help you track employee productivity and engagement. The power in Connecteam is that it rolls multiple productivity functions into one, easy-to-use interface. This is a great tool for anyone looking to start a side venture or better manage a remote team.
Connecteam allows you to create a branded app for your company. From there, you can track project statuses, ping employees, create surveys, design employee onboarding and training and construct custom industry-specific templates for emails, texts and feedback requests. Employees, on the other hand, can clock in, access company documents, check their schedules and receive payments—all through one app.
Annual performance reviews are so old school! Increasingly, reviews have fallen out of vogue in favor of regular informal one-on-one manager-to-employee check-ins. Check-ins have several benefits: they feel a little more intimate than a sterile, prescribed review—and that intimacy makes for more honest feedback and discussion. They’re also less likely to be biased . There’s just one problem: employees and managers are busy; and scheduling meetings is a pain. X.ai solves that.
Amy, X.ai’s virtual assistant, helps you find a time to meet without all the annoying back-and-forth. All you have to do is CC: [email protected] and ask her to find an empty slot in your schedule. Amy takes care of the rest—even going as far as to send out invites and providing your Skype username and other important details. Amy’s responses sound natural and human, making the business of scheduling those check ins a lot less painful for everyone.
All the surveys in the world won’t help you if you can’t do anything with the results. That’s the logic behind Emplify, a full-service engagement app designed to generate more meaningful responses from employee questionnaires.
Emplify is programmed with questions to help you measure actual psychological drivers. Every business who signs up for their service also gets assigned a dedicated engagement expert who will help you stay accountable to your commitment to improve company culture—and can offer suggestions for new changes to help you get there. Emplify can help you turn the empty gesture of employee surveys into a meaningful part of your company culture.
Does it ever seem like employee training goes in one ear and out the other? That’s because it probably does.
Trivie takes some of the grunt work out of employee training, using the brain’s natural learning processes as a framework. Their game techniques from brain science experts are shown to increase retention, such as retrieval practice, micro-learning, and adaptive learning. Plus, with its fun, kicky voice, it’s just kind of fun. Sayonara, boring training courses!
What’s the best way to get honest feedback? Ask your customers. Employee happiness directly impacts customers, so if your employees don’t love their jobs, it will be painfully obvious. AskNicely is designed to increase customer retention, reviews and referrals using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) framework.
Objective insights can really get your workplace out of an engagement rut. It may not happen overnight, but with the right approach—and some help from technology—you can build a workplace that people love!
This article has been edited.
Erin Vaughan resides in Austin, TX where she writes about workplace culture and human resource solutions for Pingboard , real-time, collaborative org chart software that makes it easy to organize teams, plan for growth, and keep everyone informed. Connect with @pingboard on Twitter.
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