Want to keep employees happy? Give them a quiz
Every month at Porch, all 350 employees are asked, “How happy are you?”
The online survey, and its anonymous responses, are reviewed at an all-hands meeting the next week, and the results are graphed over time.
“Something that’s near and dear to us is transparency,” said Craig Cincotta, a spokesperson for Porch, which offers home improvement ideas and professionals who can make those ideas happen.
Employee happiness is something Cincotta thinks about every day, and TINYpulse, a survey tool, is helping him track it.
TINYpulse crowdsources information from employees using one question per week, which can be pulled from the TINYpulse database or written by the company.
Something that emerged at Porch was criticism about the open-plan seating. The company is growing fast, and raised $100 million in its first year. As it’s grown so have the noise levels — in the last year alone, it added 200 people.
In the beginning, it was easy to get a sense of how engaged and happy people were.
“When we got to 150 people, it became harder to get that real-time information on how people were feeling,” Cincotta said.
Thanks to weekly feedback — and the software’s anonymous comment system — the company carved out quiet areas, invested in soundproofing and clustered the high-volume departments together (like sales, which has workers who tend to be on the phone a lot).
“People can see how seriously we take it and they see their voice creates change,” Cincotta said. The company, which launched in 2013, has been using TINYpulse for the last year and plans continue to use it as they grow.
TINYpulse, a startup that launched nearly three years ago, recently published a study on employee engagement and satisfaction, pulling data it collected last year from over 30,000 responses in more than 500 companies.
People who are happy at work have a couple things going for them: They enjoy the company of their colleagues, and feel good about their job — nearly 20% of happy employees say it’s because they like what they do on a daily basis.
There’s something else TINYpulse has noticed.
“Employee happiness scores go up after being thanked,” said Kevin Nakao, head of marketing for TINYpulse. Using its software, employees can give each other “cheers,” which is basically just recognition for a job well done.
At Porch, the cheers alerts are broadcast on screens so everyone knows who is being recognized for great work.
“It’s the simple act of a thank you,” Nakao said. “It’s one of those things that everyone knows you’re supposed to do but not everyone does it.”
Recognizing good work isn’t just good for people, but for the companies too: TINYpulse found that companies that recognize employees have 30% less turnover.
Porch’s Cincotta agrees. “People have told us that the culture we have been able to create — which TinyPulse helps us sustain — has been a big part of why they stay.”