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What is your favorite way to determine employee happiness and engagement?

5 min read


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Q. What is your favorite tool, question or review style to determine overall employee happiness and engagement at work?

1. Taking regular walks with staff

One of the easiest ways to get a pulse on your team is to talk to them one-on-one. I like to take time at regular intervals to go on a walk with my team members to see how things are going for them and to find out if there are any issues we can work on. Employee happiness is essential for a successful business, and regular conversations like these help you to nip any potential issues in the bud. — Joshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets

2. Reaching out individually to team members

I think the formality of having employees fill out “performance reviews” is stuffy and doesn’t always bring out honest answers. I try to connect with team members individually either on the phone or through messages in a more casual style. I tend to get the answers that I need to work on my own performance, but I’m also finding out their true feelings about how things are going on their end. — Rob Fulton, AudioLumin

3. Watching what your staff candidly work

When employees are happy at their job, it shows in everything they do. A happy employee doesn’t wander around the office looking for ways to kill time. A happy employee doesn’t sound like death warmed over when talking with customers. A happy employee looks for ways to contribute rather than ways to escape. — Vanessa Nornberg, Metal Mafia

4. Encouraging constant feedback

I emphasize from day one that anyone can come to me with feedback and that they should be open to it themselves. We hire really smart people and I want to make sure they feel comfortable voicing opinions. Everything is solvable, but someone has to bring an issue up for us to start solving it. To encourage people to give feedback, I offer various formats, like office hours and an anonymous online form. — Joseph Walla, HelloSign

5. Asking and really listening

I pride myself on my transparency, and I expect that from my employees. We have a weekly feedback form that will allow employees to voice concerns along with solutions. Just ask your employees how they are feeling, and let them know that it’s OK if everything isn’t perfect. — Michael Mogill, Crisp Video Group

6. Checking in more often

We conduct employee reviews and check-ins on a weekly basis rather than letting six months or a year slip by. This gives us a better handle on engagement and overall productivity and lets our employees know we’re listening. — Simon Casuto, eLearning Mind

7. Using TINYPulse

We use TINYPulse at Walker Sands, and it’s an incredibly valuable snapshot of overall employee satisfaction. Every team member gets the chance to weigh in, and the executive team looks at the anonymous responses. — Andrew Cross, Walker Sands Communications

8. Sharing highs and lows

I ask every employee to share their “Rose, Bud and Thorn” with me. Rose is the thing they’re most proud of or their biggest accomplishment at the moment. Bud is the thing they think has the most potential or that they are most excited about at the moment. Thorn is the thing that is the most annoying or frustrating at the moment. It’s simple for people to understand and uncovers a lot. — Mattan Griffel, One Month

9. Asking what we can change

I’ve asked this question before and it worked well. It helps check in with the employee to determine what they want to stay and what they think needs to change. They tend to share big and small things, and this allows me to understand their level of acceptance and tolerance within the company. This insight helps me to understand where their head and hearts are within their current role. — Souny West, CHiC Capital

10. Using one-on-one stay surveys

The style is to get an accurate read on employee happiness, while giving engaged, positive ways that employees can suggest improvements. These type of questions will help employees accept responsibility for staying and build trust. You should always hold them in person. You can take notes during this time but be sure to listen and repeat back what you hear so they know you are paying attention. — Nicole Smartt, Star Staffing

11. Using an idea box

Create an “Idea Box” for employees to anonymously provide your leadership team with feedback about work environment, employee morale and requests for improvement. Too often managers wait for an employee to quit before asking them what they liked and didn’t like about your business. The “Idea Box” strategy allows you to get feedback and take actions to improve before it’s too late. — Obinna Ekezie,