Metric: Organizational Happiness

The Metrics and Reporting View looks at the various feedback cycles, metrics and reports in Holistic Software Development.

Happy people are productive people. We think Organizational Happiness is the most important organizational metric.

Based on the work of Professor Martin Seligman, active in the scientific community as a promoter of the field of “positive psychology”, we measure organizational happiness based on the PERMA model. Each of the five parts of the PERMA model are core elements of psychological well-being and happiness.

Positive Emotions: Perhaps the most obvious, but positive emotions are more than just smiling. Focusing on optimism and a positive view of the future we can measure if people are feeling good about the present and the future.

Engagement: Indicates how involved we are with our work, colleagues and the organization. We look at how connected people feel to these elements, and whether they consider their input as being valued.

Relationships: Humans are social creatures and so meaningful positive relationships are critical to our happiness. For collaborative work, authentic relationships are the foundation of honesty and communication.

Meaning: Having a purpose, and agreeing with that purpose is a critical component of Motivation. Understanding the reason for the work we need to do, and how what we do contributes to Strategic Goals makes us happier.

Accomplishments: Achieving goals makes people happier. Setting achievable, and meaningful, goals creates a sense of satisfaction.

We recommend running a periodic organization survey asking questions aligned to the PERMA elements. We typically ask 5 questions per element, and then create a Happiness Index for teams, departments and the entire organization.

Tracking how happiness changes over time, and in response to changes helps improve the overall happiness.