Sigmund Freud said that love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness. People who find their lives rewarding and fulfilling both at home and at work are found to be generally more successful in the workplace. Happy workers are self -motivated, engaged and more loyal to the company. Measuring workplace happiness has gained traction over the years. Happiness is subjective and most measurement tools rely on workers to tell you whether or not they are happy. A Japanese tech giant is now using Human Big Data and predictive analytics measuring happiness more accurately
Hitachi High-Tech has developed a new wearable sensor that gathers and analyzes data on human behavior, and uses this data to measure the “organization activation level,” which strongly correlates with work productivity. The device cannot be used to measure an individual’s state of happiness and is only designed to measure the group’s state of happiness.
How does the device work?
This product takes advantage of the technology developed by Hitachi which quantifies the “happiness level” of a group from the distinctive patterns of physical movements. All the individuals’ data are then aggregated and averaged out to calculate the organization’s figures. The calculated “organization activation level” can support to improve business operations and increase productivity. This was possible with taking advantage of the predictive model developed by Hitachi to quantify the collective happiness of a group from distinctive patterns in physical movements.
The predictive model that quantifies the collective happiness was invented by Hitachi through analyzing huge volumes of human behavior data obtained from wearable sensors, identifying distinctive patterns in physical movements that have strong correlations with a group’s happiness, and quantifying as “happiness level”. Furthermore, Hitachi identified that the quantified happiness has a strong correlation with productivity of the organization.
Hitachi High-Tech used these conditions to develop a new wearable sensor which can objectively and efficiently evaluate the effectiveness of management policies and workplace environments in a company, where it had been difficult to achieve such objective evaluations in the past. Users can thus apply the service that makes use of the wearable sensor as a new management support tool.
Why do we need to measure workplace happiness?
Experts tell us that a company should be as concerned with the happiness of their workforce as they are with their financial performance. A happy and engaged workforce has become a competitive advantage. This is because there is a close correlation between happy, satisfied and loyal workers and happy, satisfied and loyal customers. Happy workers are more productive, less absent and less likely to resign from their job. They display outstanding quality of customer services and are more than likely to go the extra mile for customers.
Research shows that a worker’s happiness peaks in the first two years that she is with the company and thereafter starts to decline. The longer a worker is with a company, the less happy they are. This is often caused by the company’s lack of investment in engaging staff and being less responsive to their needs. The worker gets bored and disengaged and this leads to dissatisfaction and a decline in workplace happiness. An employer can respond by refreshing their interest in their work and moving people who are bored to new challenges.
Sharon Snell is Chief Operations Officer of the Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (INSETA).