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Are Your Employees Happy?


Photo of happy workers
Image: mast3r -
My colleague Robin Gareiss recently published results of a Metrigy global study that looked at how more than 520 enterprise organizations are evolving their customer experience initiatives. In that study, Robin noted that more than 78% of participating companies are currently measuring or planning to measure employee satisfaction as part of their workforce optimization strategy. While this study primarily focused on activities inside the contact center around customer engagement, its findings underscore the need, especially given pandemic-driven changes in work, for organizations to invest in tools that allow them to measure workplace engagement and satisfaction, and to ensure common direction.
Over the last few weeks, organizations have begun to revamp their strategies for work going forward as life begins to return to somewhat normal in many parts of the world, especially here in the U.S. That means determining if work from home (WFH) will continue, if employees will be required to return to the office, or if the company will support hybrid workstyles that allow employees to split time between office and home. Much has been written about employee attitudes toward WFH, and how views vary across socio-economic groups. But to date, few organizations are investing in measuring employee engagement and satisfaction for at-home and returning in-office employees. That needs to change.
Fortunately, a number of products that allow managers, HR teams, and IT leaders to measure engagement are either already available or on tap. A few recent examples include:
  • Microsoft Viva – an Insights module allows managers and company leaders to evaluate how people are working, and identify potential issues related to stress or burnout. More recently, Microsoft announced that it is bringing meditations and mindfulness exercises to Viva, designed to enable employees to take wellness breaks or to snooze interruptions to focus on tasks at hand
  • Cisco Webex – via a recently announced partnership with Thrive Global, Cisco aims to reset employee definitions of workplace success, and to help employees deal with work-related stress
Beyond these examples, a number of other vendors, including Blueboard, Lattice, Limeade, and Qualtrics, are delivering platforms for employee experience management. Using tools including employee analytics, voice-of-the-employee feedback mechanisms, goal setting, and managed feedback, these apps allow organizational leaders to ensure that employees, regardless of location, are engaged, heard, and motivated, and to identify any problems that crop up.
Another method for ensuring employee engagement and happiness is collaborative goal setting. One popular approach is “objectives and key results,” or OKRs. First developed at Intel by co-founder Andy Grove, and detailed in John Doerr’s book "Measure What Matters," OKRs are public goals that allow each employee to understand the objectives and key results of the company, to see the objectives and key results created by their co-workers, and to ensure that their own OKRs are supporting the OKRs of the company. Here too IT can support OKR efforts by investing in platforms that provide companies with the capability to easily create and share OKRs, and measure performance by leveraging integrations with company data sources. Examples include Ally, GTMhub, SimpleOKR, and Workboard. Implementation of an OKR management platform allows for insight into OKR performance, in real-time, and allows employees to know if they, and their company as a whole, is on-track to meet OKR goals.
Absent effective tools for measuring employee satisfaction, and for ensuring that everyone is working toward the same goal, the adapted Lewis Carroll quote: “If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there” applies. Employees will suffer from excessive stress, leading to disengagement, increased turnover, and overall negative impacts to the bottom line. A proactive approach that invests in tools that gain insight into employee experience, help employees manage stress, and ensure that everyone is working toward the same goal will lead to a happier workplace, and happier workforce, regardless of work location.