Can you measure happiness at work? Of course you can't… But you can get pretty close

10 October 2023

You might wonder: what does ‘happiness at work’ mean? And how do you measure such a thing, enabling you to become better at creating a workplace where people feel happy? First of all, at TriFinance, we prefer to talk about fulfillment instead of happiness. Secondly: happiness, or should we say fulfillment, is no exact science 一 which makes it a somewhat ‘unmeasurable’ concept. Yet… you can get pretty close.

At TriFinance, we are committed to creating a positive work environment that brings out the best in people, in a very people-custom format. We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all career growth. We do believe that work becomes much more fulfilling and effective when you empower people in finding and shaping their own path, away from the ‘beaten career tracks’. Finding your intrinsic professional drive doesn’t suddenly appear overnight. In fact, it is rather normal that it will take you multiple years to figure out what truly floats your career boat.

Custom development requires feedback in many shapes and sizes

Creating a positive work environment that builds upon personalized career tracks, requires various feedback mechanisms. When you support people with an exploring mindset, it is crucial to comprehensively understand what drives and triggers them. It is the why behind our extensive set of internal tooling and processes that challenges, encourages and supports people as they step into the unknown. It explains why our feedback framework heavily relies on qualitative check-ins that are driven by various conversations about personal development, career planning, coaching, mentoring, sharing knowledge with peers, and the many spontaneous chats in between these formal talks.

Yet it remains crucial to zoom out and take a snapshot of the entire company once in a while. Our annual employee survey, conducted in all four countries where TriFinance operates, complements our conversation-driven foundation with a quantifiable feedback mechanism. It is also a primary source for capturing employee sentiment ー like feeling happy, energized and fulfilled in your professional life.

Employee surveying: an underestimated part in the field of EX

Employee surveying is a discipline of its own, and basic company hygiene in a people-centered organization like TriFinance. Consider it a building block in your elementary equipment to monitor employee experience, foster a feedback culture, show that you care for people, and empower yourself as an employer to take impactful actions in the workplace ー both at local and international level. It also allows you to benchmark with the outside world: a healthy mindset that prevents from being blind to external dynamics. Yet most of all, it is important to map your own internal trends over time, and proactively take action when specific EX drivers are performing lower than usual.

The TriFinance version of employee surveying

Like any other employee survey, our annual check-in asks people about multiple timeless employer topics 一 such as how they perceive leadership, rewarding, wellbeing, communication or the sense of purpose in their work. The TriFinance version additionally includes a remarkably big chunk of questions about growth and development, simply because that’s what constitutes our employee promise: you join TriFinance with an ambition to grow at an accelerated pace.

Some examples:

    • During the last 12 months, my client assignments were challenging enough to allow me to grow professionally.
    • The company makes good use of my skills and knowledge.
    • Our mentoring and coaching processes help me with my furthering.

Besides an overall employee satisfaction score that we pull out of the survey, the topic-filtered results in particular inspire our decision-making about how we can impactfully improve the TriFinance employee experience, and our outspoken commitment to personal growth as a driver for fulfillment.

Insights from TriFinance’s recent employee survey

Next to a soaring employee Net Promotor Score* of 53, there is another takeaway that really lingered from our most recent survey. While an overall employee satisfaction score depends on very diverse parameters, not all of these EX topics carry the same weight. Our survey from May tells us that TriFinance unites people who uniformly confirm that, among the many drivers of employee sentiment, questions about ‘growth & development’ correlate most strongly with our overall workplace satisfaction 一 indicating a workforce eager for personal and professional advancement. While this observation is a true energizer, the real magic of impactful employee surveying resides in pinpointing what sub-topics perform poorly among those heavyweight drivers of employee sentiment in your company. Act on those concerns, and you will make a difference. It is why, at TriFinance in particular, we are currently looking into improving transparency in role accountability, and how to act on it.


That being said… Can you measure happiness at work? It is a claim we don’t stand by, because happiness doesn’t begin or end at your office’s front door. But yes, by leveraging a mix of feedback mechanisms, you can get a pretty solid idea of how people experience their company as a place to work ー and if they find fulfillment.

*eNPS or Employee Net Promoter Score is a globally used health metric for companies to measure employee satisfaction on a scale between -100 and 100, and is calculated with one question only: ‘how likely are you to recommend your company as a place to work?’. Given its simplicity and global use, an eNPS has solid benchmark potential, yet the main goal is to focus on how your company score develops over time, as this number only tells a part of the story. A score between 10 and 30 is considered good, 30-50 as very good, and above 50 as excellent.