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The Key to Successful Organizations: Measuring and Increasing Employee Work Happiness


Jeff Sutherland, the author of SCRUM: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, says, “Happy people aren’t happy because they are successful; they’re successful because they are happy. Happiness is a predictive measure.” If you’ve read his book, you’re familiar with the idea that even a slight increase in happiness can deliver a big impact, both professionally and personally.


The pitfall of most organizations is failing to consider how employee happiness affects the workplace. While 2020 has been a difficult year for most companies with rising unemployment rates, layoffs and pay cuts, we would argue that now is the time to invest in a better, happier future for your employees. As many organizations are forced to rework the way they operate—i.e., shifting to remote workforces—the door has already been opened for change. Growth is often prompted by change and opposition, and our experience has taught us that authentic, long-lasting happiness comes through growth, leaning and progress.


Employee Work Happiness for the Win


Employers are at the helm of their company culture, so why not enable your employees to thrive and be happy in the workplace? In order to do this, it’s important to establish an employee work happiness baseline and measure improvement going forward.


AKA has fostered the SCRUM methodology within our organization and it has made a huge difference in our success and overall employee satisfaction. Does focusing on your employees’ work happiness sound like the best next step for your company? Here are 3 ways to get started with establishing an employee happiness baseline:


Individual Reviews

Many companies have annual reviews in place, but the way you go about these is key. Do you just offer a check-box style form that employees fill out annually or quarterly? Or, do you really take the time to talk with each of your employees about what they did well since the last review and where they could be better going forward? Employees can tell when you really invest in and care about their success within your company. Talking about career progress and taking the time to show you care as an organization and management team can really impact employee workplace happiness.


If you don’t already have employee reviews in place, start with a simple set of questions to determine employee happiness levels, expectations and details about their roles and positions within your company.


Company Surveys

Another way to get honest, constructive feedback about your organization is to initiate anonymous surveys across your organization. We are fans of anonymous surveys because they really give employees the chance to be open and provide feedback that they may not otherwise feel comfortable providing (more on this to come…). Form your questions around how employees are feeling, how they think your organization is doing and identifying which areas employees think you can improve.


Company Policies and Culture

Circling back to the part about employees feeling comfortable to give honest feedback—a safe environment enables employees to be honest and open. Employees who feel like they aren’t able to start a conversation about concerns they have, their work, their role within the company or their position aren’t happy employees. Not to mention, how can you expect employees to deliver their best work when they are afraid?


Implementing these three measures will pave the way to improving your organization’s success and your employee happiness levels. The desire of employees to engage, commit and strive to be successful will follow the improvements they see within your organization.


Employees Play a Role in Their Work Happiness, Too


Sure, you have an important part in fostering employee workplace happiness within your organization—but so do employees. As an employee, you can’t wait for your company to do everything; you need to understand it just as important for you to be proactive in working toward your happiness. How? Here are some things you, as an employee, can do to work toward both personal and professional happiness:


Important factors outside of the workplace for your overall workplace happiness:

  • Eating a well-rounded diet
  • Staying hydrated with water, not just caffeinated or sugary beverages
  • Move your body
  • Get the right amount of sleep to feel well rested, healthy and happy
  • Establish work/life boundaries—a balanced life is important


Important career-related factors for your overall work happiness:

  • Set goals: Goals need to be specific, measurable and meaningful. This can include new certifications, growing your skill sets and more.
  • Continue to learn: Ask questions and expand your knowledge
  • Take initiative to make changes to company policies by proposing improvement plans
  • Identify the tasks you really enjoy at work and find ways to do more of these tasks
  • Communicate realistic expectations to your managers and converse about what it will take to achieve specific changes


It may come as a surprise, but changes to the amount of money you make (watch this video) and your official title won’t necessarily make you happier in your career—or at least may not do so long-term (think: the Hedonic Treadmill).


AKA’s culture focuses on employee work happiness, and so can yours. Check out the available careers at AKA if you’re searching for an organization that cares about YOU.


AKA specializes in making it easier to do business, simplifying processes and reducing risks. With agility, expertise, and original industry solutions, we embrace projects other technology firms avoid—regardless of their complexity. As a true strategic partner, we help organizations slay the dragons that are keeping them from innovating their way to greatness. Call us at 212-502-3900!

Article by: Matthew Case and Adolfo Ramirez | 212-502-3900

Matthew Case has worked with CRM for 9 years, specializing in CRM architecture, interface design, user adoption, and change management. As AKA's Media Practice Lead for more than a decade, Adolfo has a history of successful CRM and ERP projects across Media and other industries.

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