We were talking before about the difficulties associated with measuring soft skills like leadership or feelings like engagement. While engineers are working on even more sophisticated wearable devices, there is an easier way to find out how people feel. You can simply ask them! For sure, the best way is to conduct a professional survey, but it doesn’t make any sense to do it weekly or daily. There are some easier means!
How do you feel about this presentation?
I was attending a conference for business strategists. After a questions and answers section, people were leaving the conference room for a coffee-break. A girl that was assisting the organizers was standing next to the exit door with an iPhone in her hand. There was some simple app running that permitted visitor to select a happy, neutral, and an unhappy smiley face. That was the only function of that app. After a short chat with organizers I’ve learned that they found this method to be the most efficient in order to get any feedback.
People were leaving the room right after the presentation, and with that app organizers were trying to measure emotions that people had at that very moment. Those who liked the presentation pushed the positive smile, those who did not like it pushed the neutral or negative one. It was more efficient than sending out survey forms after the event. People tended to ignore these requests or fill in the forms rapidly without thinking about the answers. But that app worked great for organizers.
Measuring employees’ morale
I saw another implementation of this idea recently. Barcelona-based company Celpax developed a device called DailyPulse. This device is placed on the exit door and it allows employees to answer one simple question: “How was your day?” People can choose among two buttons – red one and green one, respectively giving negative and positive responses.
The device connects via GSM to the server and make the mood statistic available for HR specialist online. In simple words, this technology makes the installation of the device easy anywhere in the world where GSM is supported, so if you have a mobile coverage then it will work for you.
Why people press the button?
Just like in the example mentioned above people shared their opinion about presentations via iPhone app just because it was easy. The same worked for DailyPulse, the device is on the exit door and… why not press the button, when it is so easy?
Another motivation is to check out the option of other people who pressed the button. The results will be shown only after the button is pressed. In this case curiosity stimulates people to participate.
The developers of DailyPulse provide one device for free, which allows people to try it out and see if it provides useful inputs for HR. Those who like it can update to the premium account or buy additional devices.
PROs and CONs of morale indicator on the scorecard
Obtained daily data can be used for a morale indicator on the business scorecard. There are certain advantages and disadvantages of this approach.
- HR specialist and other top managers can get morale indicator data in real time. It is obvious that any decision made in the company will be reflected in this indicator. This device helps to get a “yes/now” answer to the question, “Did employees like the proposed changes?”
- It is obvious that the resulting data won’t be 100% accurate. There might be hundreds of reasons why people pressed a green or red button, so an HR specialist needs to work with this data carefully.
- The device asks a yes/no question, for sure these results are not comparable with the results obtained from the professionally conducted survey with carefully prepared questions.
- The benefit of having real-time information about employees’ morale will certainly help decision makers, but it should be analyzed carefully and supported by regular professional surveys that would deliver more in-depth results. I like the way Rebecca from Celpax explains the difference:
We see ourselves too different from surveys to be compared, we are more in the business of simplicity and DIY (do it yourself). A heart rate monitor might not be a medical checkup, but all athletes use one to improve. It tells you how your training went, if you’re getting fit, we kind of do the same… Both are related to health, but not really comparable.
Morale KPI in BSC Designer
We have contacted the developers of DailyPulse. An interface that will permit an integration is on their development plan, so hopefully soon users of BSC Designer will be able to automatically import data from DailyPluse into their business scorecards.
For now, an HR manager can enter morale KPI data into BSC Designer scorecard project manually. You can create a “Morale KPI,” set a weekly or monthly update interval via initiatives, and enter the data regularly into the value field of the KPI.
I’m interested in hearing your opinion about the DailyPulse device and the idea in general. Have you tried something similar? What was your experience, and what features would you suggest for the developers of the DailyPluse device to implement?