In The Mood: Measuring the Organizational Climate with Emooter
Like it or not, real-time measurement of the mood in your organization is headed your way. Significant early inroads are already part of the conversation GlassDoor has opened between outsiders and insiders. You can get a reasonably good snapshot of the organizational dynamic with their reviews and a little searching around.
But, as we know, an organization’s culture is an evolving swirl. It has deeper densities in some places and totally foreign experiences in others. The engineering department and customer service (who may not even like each other) are inevitably different cultures with different values.
(My little two seater, made by a great automotive company, has the coffee holder placed directly over the electronic gearshift. That way, when you have a cold drink in the holder, it drips onto the electronics and occasionally shorts the gearbox. Customer service says, “We’ll fix it once to fix it but the engineers think it’s your fault for having a cold drink while you’re driving.” The car’s amazing and we live with the disconnect between the two internal cultures. Meanwhile, the company usually makes one of the various best places to work lists most years.)
At any rate, the upshot of the whole big data thing is that static measures will be replaced with ongoing constant streams of data. Everywhere you see something that takes a periodic measurement, expect it to be replaced with something that measures continuously. AND, expect to see everything you see measured in the same way. We are entering the era of comprehensive measurement.
Last week, we had a long conversation with the Finnish founder of Emooter, a one step happiness meter for employees. Take a look. The idea is to get the simplest measurement possible; a short, repeatable, easy look at how you’re feeling. The web app allows you to accumulate your history. If enough members of your team sign up, you can get a flow of data about the overall organization’s current temperament.
It’s neither a new nor original idea. But, that’s rarely what matters in the evolution of technology. The game always goes to the team that gets people to use the idea. There’s something about Emooter’s simple authenticity that makes the Finnish team a dark horse contender.
Always. William Tincup, agent provocateur and user adoption guru, notes that “in a Saas world, your revenue is as secure as the love your users feel for your product.” Emooter’s aggressive simplicity makes it an interesting contender in an increasingly crowded field. Simple measures of a new product’s acceptance (or a new software tool’s integration) are sure to be a part of the next wave of adoption measurement.
Constant measurement requires simple indicators. Mood measurement is a proxy for the complicated and vague thing that people are calling engagement. Constant measurement of mood as a way to gauge customer satisfaction has been a part of the five star restaurant toolkit for years.
Take a good look at this article about mood measurement from the Quantified Self movement. The combination of ongoing personal measurement trends and the investor / job hunter desires to have a real time look, employee mood measurement and assessment is clearly on the horizon. You can easily imagine happiness indicators being tied to measurements of success on projects and integrated with performance assessments.
Emooter’s current world domination strategy is the Trojan Horse approach we’ve pooh-poohed elsewhere. Simply, the idea is to give the basic functionality away for free to employees. When a significant mass of employees sign up, then you tell the company what it costs to get the data you’ve collected on it. It’s probably not the best way to begin a relationship.
We’re living in an era that prizes good ideas with business models that pivot as a result of learning. That’s certainly what Emooter will do.
Meanwhile, we’re left to ponder the future of feedback between employees and their employers. This line of communications is traditionally pretty one way. Projects like Emooter point to a future where the conversation is more reciprocal.