Happiness Door as a Professional Wellness Meter
Happiness is a theme that has been treated since antiquity in the philosophical reflection of the Greek world. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Epicurus asked themselves what is happiness? Their answers were: wisdom, pleasure or a combination of both. Contemporary philosophers like Bertrand Russell, from a moderate empiricism, analyzed the sources that generate happiness.
In reviewing the current concept we find: “Happiness is a state of satisfaction, more or less lasting, which is subjectively experienced by the individual in possession of the desired good”.
Happiness is one of the central themes of positive psychology, this current was presented to the international psychological community by two distinguished psychologists, Martin E. P. Seligman, from the University of Pennsylvania, and Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, from Claremont University, at the inauguration of the new millennium.
Group happiness and collaboration are constant elements that can be developed effectively; that is why in Management 3.0 there are various tools that allow for the transparent and timely evaluation of happiness. Among these tools is the Happiness Door. See Management 3.0 official site: https://management30.com/practice/happiness-door/
As a facilitator of a cultural transformation process in a financial institution, I was in an induction process with a team of software developers, composed of 8 people. In this opportunity I was training with the Scrum framework, which consists of 5 key ceremonies, called: Sprint Planning, Daily Meeting, Sprint, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective. Each of these ceremonies results in the advancement of the software development through a deliverable (iteration), in the short term (maximum 4 weeks) and that it adds value.
One of the key elements of this methodology is the permanent interaction between team members, this action allows to evaluate through the deliverables in each ceremony. Lacking an instrument to measure the degree of happiness, I decided to apply the Happiness Door in the Sprint Retrospective ceremony. Since it was frequent to observe a disagreement in the team.
For people who do not know the agile methodologies and objectively in this article I am mentioning the Scrum framework. The Sprint is the event that lasts between 1 to 4 weeks and in which the functionality required for the software is developed; the Sprint Retrospective is a meeting that lasts an average of 1 to 3 hours at the end of the Sprint. The purpose of this last one is to generate a feedback among each one of the team members. In addition, the following questions must be answered: What went well? What went wrong? What can be improved? What are your expectations for the next Sprint?
Every time the Sprint Retrospective ended, the team was not satisfied, unfortunately it did not have an effective tool to obtain information about what was happening.
Companies and organizations have similar situations, so they need a tool that allows them to know how happy their staff is after activities such as: training, meetings, coaching sessions, new product or service launches, goal assignment, etc.
Jurgen Appelo founder of Management 3.0 developed the Happiness Door tool, which allows to measure in a simple, direct and on the spot way the happiness of the team. The collaborators and/or audience of the events mentioned above are asked to take into account how satisfied they are at the end of the session, reflecting in a Post-It what they think about the event. It is confidential, so you should not identify with your name the Post-It. In addition, take into account that the door will be divided into three parts horizontally (See image of Happiness Door), with the following degrees of happiness from top to bottom: I liked, I did not care, I did not like. With this arrangement, it depends on the height of the Post-It in each area determines what degree the person is. In other words, the higher the Post-It is placed, the more positive the degree of response.
The “door” can be replaced by a wall, a column, a blackboard or a window. The important thing is that it is visible and accessible to employees.
The use of Happinesss Door
In the beginning, when I started using this tool in the organization where I applied it, they did not give it the importance. When I was working with several teams, one of them (the one mentioned above), had a constant in the evaluation that was placed in the Happiness Door, these were: I did not care and I did not like; in the Sprint Retrospective. When investigating the reason, we reached the core of the situation that generated that degree of happiness (dissatisfaction in the performance evaluation and low economic incentives); immediately the organization took action and improved the condition by developing new performance indicators more appropriate for that team and increased by 15% the economic incentives. If you can see, the traditional means of measuring the work climate were not used, as they are: Surveys and direct interviews.
It should be noted that, since we are working from a distance, this activity has been carried out via the web, using the site: www.miro.com. There are many other sites on the web, but in my case I preferred to work on this one.
It is important to be open to receive any type of comment (constructive criticism and recommendations), if possible to attend to it quickly and effectively. This behavior generates confidence and commitment in the participants.
If the events or meetings are recurrent, the Happiness Gate record should be kept so that the respective follow-up can be made at the next meeting.
When the activity is carried out in a face-to-face way, it is strategically recommended that the Happiness Door, is placed in a place that ensures that all participants at the end, go through it. In addition, place next to the door a space that indicates: “I would like”, so people can place their ideas, obtaining with this detail an added value to improve the activity.
As a Happiness Door facilitator I learned that by allowing employees to express themselves in a transparent and confidential manner, they give significant contributions to the production process. Moreover, if their comments are answered quickly, a strong bond of cooperation and alignment is generated for the achievement of the proposed objectives.
The team learned the fundamentals of expressing their needs in a concrete way, as well as giving contributions that they consider feasible to improve the efficiency of the team.
My next experiment with this practice is to perform it in a physical way, since so far I have performed it in a virtual way.
As a facilitator of this tool, I would maintain a permanent connection with each of the team members. Since the bonds of friendship and commitment are strengthened.
The results obtained by the team were: To be listened to and to notice that there are more things in common in the professional field than they thought.
One of the characteristics that make this tool key in process improvement is the speed with which feedback is received from the team, which saves time and money, if compared with traditional methods (quarterly evaluation, surveys or interviews 1 to 1). If you have not yet had the opportunity to work with this Management 3.0 tool, the Happiness Door, I invite you to do it promptly so you can start enjoying all its benefits.
If you consider of value the information I provide you in this article, I would like to know your comments. See you soon.
Ph. D. Rolando Jurado
Doctor of Management