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HappySignals makes good mood a currency

HappySignals’ motto is “employee experience made easy and actionable”.Credits: : Istock.com/Vadim_Key

Saving a euro here can add costs elsewhere. Finnish HappySignals has calculated a price for employee happiness and wants to make it a global trend.

Pretty much everyone in the office hates calling IT support. Printer not working? Webmail stuck? There’s never a fun reason to contact the IT folks.

Things get even more frustrating when one doesn’t receive an immediate response or the first point of contact doesn’t know what to do and transfers the call to someone else – and the explaining starts all over again.

“People can feel like tennis balls, bouncing from one person to the next,” says Sami Kallio, CEO of HappySignals. “It’s a comparison I’ve heard various times from several people.”

The same goes with in-house HR and finance requests. Plenty of productive working hours are wasted, let alone the frustration that takes the edge off people’s good mood.

Kallio should know: HappySignals has collected data from employees of big companies asking about the things that do their heads in the most when it comes to internal processes. Speed, or rather the lack of it, is the number one annoyance by a clear margin, followed by the need to explain problems numerous times.

This is what HappySignals has set out to change. The company wants to improve the happiness levels of employees at both ends of the spectrum. It’s not only about soft values, pillows and hearts; all of it can be converted into hard currency.

15 versus 150

Companies have tried hard to save cash on support functions by outsourcing them, sometimes to far-away lands with lower wages. Kallio says that this isn’t automatically a bad choice to make.

The problem is that the savings are looked at from the wrong angle.

“A ticket cost of 15 euros can look cheap, but looking at the internal costs altogether, it can actually mean 150 euros go down the drain in lost working hours,” Kallio explains.

Although service speed of course matters, HappySignals’ focus is on employee experience. It wants to support companies to provide its employees with the best kind of service, be it in-house or outsourced, to smoothen their working days.

After each ticket, employees are sent a questionnaire that is used to finalise the process, give feedback to the support staff and collect information that will be used to improve the service. To ensure action points are actually utilised, HappySignals offers the first analysis as a part of the implementation process.

“We want everything to be easy and actionable for all parties,” Kallio points out. “Few people get excited about questionnaires, but if you know they’ll be listened to, you’re much more inclined to respond.”

Unmeasurable wellbeing isn’t everything: the 15 to 150 euros thinking is HappySignals’ selling point in the global market. As the company targets firms with over 1 000 employees, the extent of savings catches executive attention.

Pumping on turbo

On top of continuously collecting feedback and data from employees and service providers, HappySignals has also compiled what is calls a benchmark: a list of anonymous results from its customer companies. This way, HappySignals users can see how they’re doing in comparison to other firms and learn from each other’s best practices. Firms can also use their high score as a competitive advantage in, for example, recruitment.

CEO Sami Kallio

This summer, HappySignals was chosen for the Microsoft accelerator programme Turbopump. Next, Kallio is moving to the UK to conquer the market from within. Although currently the majority of customers are Finland-based companies, now half of new orders come from abroad.

The best option would be to find partners to ride with. The wave of the trend is definitely growing.

“The change has been radical,” Kallio says. “It wasn’t long ago when companies were saying ‘workers always complain anyway’. Now they see the value, including financial, of keeping staff happy and loyal.”

By: Anne Salomäki