I've been a Quantified Self enthusiast for several years - even before I knew the term existed. I believe the act of measuring certain parts of our lives provide us valuable information about ourselves, that we can use to act upon. This can also be applied on an organization level, and at Whitesmith, we have a good opportunity to apply this concept - here, we're building a group of micro services to measure different parameters of the company.
Today I'm showing you how we're measuring our levels of happiness.
Happiness is a subjective figure, and the best known way to measure it is by asking people themselves to tell how they feel. That's what we're doing at Whitesmith: every day, at the end of the day, one of our friendly Slack bots called Shrinq, is responsible for asking everyone at our company 3 questions:
1 - How happy are you today?
2 - What was the main reason?
3 - What is blocking you from doing your work? What suggestions do you have to make something better (project, company, etc)?
To answer the first one, you need to click in one of the three possible answers:
At the beginning, this question had 5 choices (from 1 to 5). But I started noticing that we took too much time deciding if today was a level 4 or a level 3 of happiness - since you choose your happiness level relatively to your previous days, with 5 choices it's tougher for us to remember and decide if today we are more or less happy than "Monday of last week". This, not only made people take more time to decide - which is friction, and I don't want friction, - but also was giving, in my opinion, less authentic values. (I would like to hear your opinion on this one.)
When you click the first question's answer, then the second question pops up:
For this one we've had other choices before, but then realized they were not very useful. New ones were added, and some of the unused ones were removed.
Lastly, the 3rd question arises.
This question is a free text answer, where people can write down their thoughts in a more expressive way. This is useful for us to acknowledge things that aren't possible to express on the previous two questions, to leave some suggestions of improvement, and... even write some random life introspections...
With this information, we've been able to build an interesting dashboard (still on beta), with information about our present day's, week's, and month's level of happiness, and the respective reasons.
What are we using to do the job?
Besides Shrinq - the nice bot responsible for triggering the questions to everyone, every day - we use other three tools:
We use Keen.io to store and display data. They not only have some very straightforward tools to send data to their database, but also to query and display the information under the form of plain data or graphs. Their tools are great and easy to use, they have powerful mathematical methods already built-in and, a very cool support team. I'm actually in love with them.
We have our own microservice to aggregate and store information about our collaborators as: Name, Slack ID, and the preferred hour to receive Shrinq's questions. When someone answers to Shrinq, she asks Qem who is the person answering it (by sending the Slack ID to Qem).
This kind of information is used, for example, to calculate the level of happiness per project - the project happiness is an average of who's working on the project.
We have a Trello board with all the projects occurring at the moment, with information of who's working on each project (read more about the tools of our trade).
We query that Trello board to know who's working on which project.
Would like to ask something or exchange some ideas? Feel free to do it on twitter: @danflopes