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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

Measure People Happiness...not Employee Engagement!

Measure People Happiness...not Employee Engagement!

Everybody is enamoured with this idea of Conducting a year-on-year 'Employee Engagement Survey'...then compare the survey results with all kinds of intelligent slicing of data feedback, make intelligent analysis and continue thereafter to do more of the same activities seeking a 5% higher cost approval from the Board !!!. Year on year, ritualistically, the Board will cut the budget, make some intelligent sounding recommendations and there we go.

Year on year, we find out the % of employees (segment wise) who are Passively Engaged, Actively Disengaged, Hyper-engaged or whatever. The program focus is to move them thru from lower categories of Engagement to higher levels of Engagement.

But not to any real meaningful outcomes are evidenced. Determining Engagement levels are not really adequate to plan interventions.

Research trends show that the only meaningful factor that really matters is 'Happiness'..! Are people in your Co ultimately 'happy' as they go around doing their work jobs and assignments ?

Engagement is a major contributor to Happiness at work but it is only one of the factors. Our engagement indicators fail because we measure engagement but not its real impact on People happiness. People are uniquely different..unique backgrounds, upbringing, choices, interests, learning styles, preferences. Deficiencies in 'Engagement Anchored Interventions' come because they tend to get broad-based and generalised. The focus is on the larger social good...whilst impactful motivation comes from satisfaction of individual needs and drives. This is what engagement outrightly ignores.

Toothbrush no longer is the first tool of human physical contact upon waking up. The cell phone is. You may say it is insignificant. I say this change is critical for it reflects not only sociological changes but lifestyle changes as well. People get in contact with their work immediately upon waking up in the bed. If Corporates gain that time and contact advantage, they should not become overly mindful of employees ordering personal goods from Amazon during work time. Technology erodes the imaginary compartmentalisation & the line between work and home (read life!!!). It is blended into one. PEOPLE do what makes them happy at whatever time.

Thus I would say..don't measure Employees Engagement and plan programs to enhance it. Rather measure People happiness Quotients and plan to enhance that. You may get better results !

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