Measuring employee engagement and happiness: Should you be building an app for that?

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When talking about measuring employee engagement, happiness or satisfaction at work many people resort to quarterly, biannual or annual surveys. Don’t get me wrong. These type of surveys can be great and very insightful when done well.

However, one of the key weaknesses many of them suffer from is that they lack follow up and fail to relate to staff what has been found out and what is going to be done with the results etc etc. This is not so different to what happens when many firms survey their customers.

Other firms take a different approach, eschewing large surveys for something more akin to a ongoing ‘temperature’ check. Some efforts are low-tech like the tennis balls used by Nixon McInnes and some are more hi-tech and rely on the smart use of technology.

One such smart use of technology comes from Indonesian-based digital agency XM Gravity, which I first heard about over on PSFK. The agency has recently launched an in-house mobile app that aims to gauge and improve their staff’s mood and, at the same time, strengthen their bond with the firm. Check out the short video below:

What’s very smart about this app, I think, are the rules and thinking that sit behind it and how they have made it much more than just an employee engagement and morale measurement app. For example:

  • They have rules built into the app that allows supervisors and managers to be ‘nudged’ into action when someone is struggling or is consistently logging negative emotions.
  • Employees are given incentives for participation and can win monthly prizes.
  • It’s a company address book and news channel too, simplifying company-wide networking and communication.
  • Finally, the app is integrated into the work they do for their clients and the Task feature is designed so that users can use their own social media profiles and networks to support the agency’s clients ongoing campaigns.

Wonder if it’s available for sale?

Photo Credit: jenny downing via Compfight cc

6 comments On Measuring employee engagement and happiness: Should you be building an app for that?

  • The balance between Consumer and Supplier is such a delicate one – nobody is perfect, so nobody will ever be able to get it just right. I’ve experienced that Suppliers seem to be more “open” over the last few years and it’s great to see that all is not lost. I’ve been fortunate enough to come across a great website which strives to bridge the gap between Consumer and Supplier. It’s called and it has changed my life.

    • Hi Maryke,
      Thanks for your comment. I’ve come across before. I like what they are trying to do. It’s a shame that it takes a sight like this to push them into action don’t you think?


  • Adrian,

    I am going to get of the fence

    That is truly dreadful.

    How about talking to your staff instead? How is that for a controversial idea?


    • James,
      Thanks for your point of view. Technology is not sufficient on its own and agree that talking to your staff is a great place to start. But, I also think that smart use of technology can enhance that and that’s why I like this app.


  • Hello Adrian, actually…you should not be building an app for this because there is already a multi-platform solution built by us 🙂 and it’s free. We’ve started working on Hppy in December 2012 and a couple of weeks ago we released the iOS, Android and Windows 8 apps. And we’re preparing to launch the web app as well in the following months.

    I hope we’re not bothering with you a short pitch but you can use in your company to track and manage employee happiness, collect and manage feedback (both positive and negative) and be more proactive about issues that arise. Plus, users are inclined to use the app daily because they get nice inspirational content like quotes and images each time their express their mood in the app.

    But we’re stressing out one issue: no app will ever replace good management.

    • Hi George,
      Thanks for dropping by and for letting us know about your app: Hppy. Nice plug! I’ll check it out.

      Your final point is the crux of the matter. No amount of app development and fancy tech will replace good management and leadership.


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