SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE#LOVE120 Heather Gupta • August 23, 2015
Happiness is a subjective state of being. Some people seem to walk around with perpetual grins on their faces, spouting sentiments of joy and gratitude and peppering their whatsapp messages with smileys. Others appear perpetually bad tempered, failing to see the lighter side of life and stressed by the ups and downs of an average day. So, if happiness really is open to interpretation, then can we really expect to measure it?
Our recent Happiness Survey was an attempt to get a read on the views of our one hundred plus employees about their lives at The 120 Media Collective. We asked a bunch of questions which required a single answer selection, and we also solicited qualitative feedback on what we are doing well, and what we can do to improve. Although this was ostensibly a completely anonymous survey, the fact that the HR team would see responses as they collated findings meant that many responses were naturally biased. The results therefore have to be read with a slight pinch of salt given that the happiness quotient is probably slightly exaggerated, but the comments made, particularly in the area of suggested improvements, will help us to ensure that employee gripes are addressed where possible.
First of all, most people are broadly happy. Three quarters of all of our employees claim to be either very happy or happy. Twenty percent are quite happy, and a very small number claim to be actually unhappy. Three people, to be precise, feel unhappy in their work. People seem to feel that we are communicating well, at a company wide level, and that senior management are pretty open, transparent and accessible. Team members generally feel that their skills and talents are being properly utilized, the company is flexible and understanding when it comes to their family responsibilities. Furthermore, morale is high right across the company, with people claiming that they work well together, that people in other departments and teams are helpful, and their supervisor is encouraging and gives them clear direction.
From the survey, it is clear that the atmosphere and culture of the company is our biggest strength. Specifically, it is fast paced, fluid, open and ambitious. We have a great bunch of people, who help make the workplace fun and lively.
One of the main areas for improvement is in formal and informal training. As the person responsible for delivering training across the company, I will be the first to admit that we haven’t done an awful lot of training in the past year. We have run a couple of sessions, in client servicing and production, which people found helpful, but that clearly hasn’t been enough. We therefore plan to introduce monthly training sessions, aimed primarily at our mid management levels, but open to all, using our internal and some external resources. We also plan to improve our onboarding session, with mandatory week long rotations through other departments and verticals, to help new joinees to get a deeper understanding of the different parts of the company and the business we do.
A lot of people mentioned that our systems and processes are a bit chaotic, with projects managed poorly especially when they require the involvement of several teams. This is something we are actively working to improve, and the new Mumbai office is already showing clear signs of helping to facilitate faster and more effective communication within teams. We have to work hard to ensure that our people in Delhi and Bangalore are thoroughly integrated, and that physical distance doesn’t hamper communication and workflows, and we are getting better at that.
The 120 Media Collective is the sixth company I’ve worked for in the past 2 decades. It is also by far the fastest paced, and the most ambitious. We have a bright future, and we are already a company to watch. We need people to be open and honest with us, as we journey to greatness, and in turn will try to solve problems and offer solutions wherever we can. Don’t wait for the next Happiness Survey to express your feelings, whatever they may be. We will repeat it in a few months, so we can track progress, and we will share those findings with all of you.