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Although employee mood is important for a company’s success, its importance is often overshadowed by the need to meet stringent deadlines. In an effort to shift focus toward employee needs, David Tomas proposes some strategies for evaluating employee happiness levels and making company decisions based on the results.

In order to carry out his plan, Tomas devised a traffic light survey that assesses an employee’s mood that day. The employee’s response to each question would consist of the following: super green (great), green (good), fair (yellow), or poor (red).

Next, the team meets every week to discuss the results of the previous week. Employees are welcome to comment on their mood during these meeting, but they are also allowed to talk about these topics in private.

Finally, employers use these statistics provided by the employees and compare it to the overall growth of the company. Results indicate that a high employee satisfaction rate is linked to higher performance and employee retention rate. For example, after applying this method for three years, the Tomas’ company received a high rate of red responses to their surveys. The company attended to this issue right away and discovered interesting some interesting patterns.

It turns out that the company held a client that demanded some intense deadlines that caused the employees to work longer hours and sometimes to exhaustion. Clearly, this is unhealthy both mentally and physically, and so they addressed the issue by laying off the important client.

While this may seem like a shock to the company, it actually strengthens the employees both psychologically and emotionally. They are more likely to feel cared about and respond positively through effort, attitude, and production. In fact, the company’s EBITDA margin increased by about 5% annually between 2012-2014. This ultimately led to increased motivation to provide the clients with stellar customer service.

Based on the results, Tomas strongly recommends surveying employees regularly as the feedback will both benefit the employees and the company. The traffic light survey is easy to administer and cost-effective. However, the management must keep the collected data organized and attend to the findings, in order for the survey system to work.

Nevertheless, Tomas’ positive experience and confidence in this system should encourage other business leaders to utilize it as well.