Ok, I have something I have to confess. I am so desperately in love. Leaving home early in the morning, coming back late at night and in between I can experience shiny moments of joy, happiness and true love. What has got me sailing on cloud 9? Work. Yeah. No need to do a double-take. It’s true. I love my job.
Before you completely write me off. I’m not trying to say that the love I have for what I do is romantic one. By no means. However, there are some similarities. We are trying to gain happiness in the relationships and positions we find ourselves. In order to do that, we need to be able to talk with the people that we enter a relationship with. Whether that’s the people in our personal lives or those at our place of work. And that’s what we decided to with each of our employees. Talk to each and every single employee to find out what works for them and what doesn’t. After all, if you are going to spend 40 hours per week someplace then it better be a great 40 hours.
We decided to call these meetings that we undertook with all of the staff, “Happiness Meetings.”
The goal of our happiness meeting was pretty clear. We wanted to know if our people are satisfied at work and what we can do for them if they are not satisfied. That’s how my favorite index, the “happiness index”, was born. It is supposed to be a number between 1 to 5 where one is the best result and five is the worst one, exactly as at it is done at schools in Czech Republic. We determined that a positive indication of our co-worker’s happiness would be if the collective index of the company was below 2.3.
And with this ambitious goal we got into it. Two months, three HR girls, 10 questions, 150 employees, around 400 pages of notes, more than 200 hours of work and unintentional number of hours of work before us. Work which was definitely worth to the time spent.
One by one we met each of our employees personally, if it was possible, and discussed how they felt about their job, colleagues and company. On average it took us about 40 minutes to talk to one person and everytime took notes. Because we want to continue with the happiness meetings twice per year, we decided to do our background for the meetings that followed. Everything that was mentioned during the meeting was highly confidential unless the person decided otherwise. This was because sometimes it was needed to move an issue to another person in the company and it would be quite hard to do it anonymously. Typical example of this issue was salary increase :)
As I mentioned above, we ended up with around 400 pages of notes. The upcoming challenge? Analysis. We would need to analyze, sum everything up, make a graphs, reports and be sure that we didn’t skip anything that might be important. And, if I do say so myself, we did a great job!
Our guys were amazing! We got loads of constructive tips for improvements and, to our satisfaction, the overall satisfaction of our co-workers was brilliant. Of course we have revealed some grey areas we have to work on, have discovered what kind of benefits we could offer to our guys as well as what they think we should do better or keep doing.
Some of the wishes of our co-workers went through immediately, some of them took a bit more time and there are plenty of them which are long-term so. The last part of the happiness process is still ongoing even three months after the happiness feedback. The first two wishes that came true were toothpicks in the relax rooms and fresh fruits every week.
At this point, I’m sure you want to know the final happiness index of our employees. 1.85, lovely isn't it? :)
We put our heart into it and what we got back was ultimate amount of love. “But they criticized your company, what love is she talking about”, you might think. Would you give a constructive feedback to the person you don’t care about? Would you bother to devise any new ways how to solve the problem if you weren’t interested in the person you are speaking with? I’m guessing you wouldn’t. Now, exchange the word person in the previous sentences with the word company. That’s what I consider love. Without love no honest and humble relationship is real. That’s what I feel when I go to work and I believe that, after our happiness meetings, at least some of our employees will join me in expressing the same. :)