MT Expert's Ten Top Tips: Measuring happiness at work

How we feel about work will be a massive component of the PM's new wellbeing index. But how do you go about measuring that?

by Carole Miller
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
As the Government sets out to measure levels of happiness across the UK, there's no doubt that the way we feel about our work will have a huge effect on the findings. But with 29.1m people in employment in the UK, all with different hopes and dreams and likes and dislikes, how do you go about measuring how happy they all are? According to Carole Miller of Tinder-Box business coaching, there's no standard HR framework or tool to deploy for this unusual measurement. But one thing's for sure: you can tell a happy workplace from an unhappy one. MT asked Carole for her top ten tips on how managers can gauge - and bolster - the happiness of their staff.

1. Don't just watch what people do, watch the way they do it.
Look to see whether professional and personal values are congruent.  Don’t just look at what is delivered, see how it is delivered.

2. Check their reaction to stress
Those who are happy are more able to react positively to stress or impulsive management.  

3. Look at the levels of optimism in team meetings
When there is belief that things will work out, people usually make sure they do.

4. Make room for difference 
It may be a cliché but everyone is different - and those who can view others positively and welcome the differences are usually happier in themselves.

5. Allow people to be comfortable with failure
When people are happy, they are more willing to try new, different or better ways of doing things - and are confident enough to fail.

6. Let people hear their critics
It takes an established level of happiness and self-confidence to request feedback, to listen to it and to consider whether to act upon it.

7. See the person, not just the employee
Taking the time to acknowledge people is vital to creating a happy workforce.

8. Consider whether your staff are friends or colleagues 
Those with friends at work tend to be happier, more engaged and better performers.

9. Employ inspiring people
Teams who believe they have inspiring people tend to feel like they are a force for good, and their members are often more happy.

10. Work out your smile per hour ratio
Register the number of smiles you see in every hour. Or are you too busy to notice?

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