THE WORLD NEEDS AN EASIER WAY TO TRACK EMPLOYEE HAPPINESS

I've been writing three business ideas a week in a journal for over two years. So, I decided to start a series where I put on my UX Designer hat and wireframe how some of these ideas could come to life. This is an exercise to help me get better at taking ideas into development by myself. Got it? Ok, here we go. 

Leaders are always the last to know when an employee is unhappy. And by then, the employee has either found another job, or they've passed their breaking point. It sucks. It's unfair to leaders and to employees who may miss out on a great future with the company if they had just spoken up earlier. 

Why don't employees speak up?

I have a few theories for this. One, employees think the leader is too busy to care about what one employee is feeling. Two, employees see others feeling a similar way and immediately conclude the leader doesn't care — because, of course, the leader should just know. And a third possibility is the opposite of the second — with employees feeling like they're the only one who feels the way they do, so it must be a personal problem and the job isn't the right cultural fit. 

In any case, the employee finally tells the leader, and two weeks later, the leader is stuck spending time and money to backfill the position. And the employee is off to figure out if the grass is actually greener at another job. Again, this sucks for both sides. 

Don't employee feedback systems exist?

Emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is the capacity of individuals to recognize their own, and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and to manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt environments or achieve one’s goal(s).
— Wikipedia

Of course. The manual way for most companies includes asking for employees to answer a survey once a quarter to once a year. There are platforms that make this interaction more frequent, such as 15Five, Weekdone, and Reflektive.

These are great tools, but they can be overly complex and don't necessarily gauge the mood of the employee, or help increase a manager's EQ. These tools also allow leaders to have control over what questions are asked. And being people who don't have a lot of time, they'll inevitably try to use this tool to replace the need to have 1-on-1s with their employees. There needs to be a tool that doesn't replace much-needed 1-on-1s, just helps leaders figure out when and who needs their time — before the employee determines it's too late. 

Ok, so what's your solution? 

To minimize employee insecurity and give leaders the chance to be leaders and managers, I believe we need to make it easier for employees to signal their boss. I call this concept, EVNCE (pronounced like evince). 

evince verb \i-ˈvin(t)s\: to show (something) clearly
— Merriam-Webster

The premise is about as simple as it gets. It's one question that the employee gets asked twice a day. Once at the start of their workday and again at the end. The whole goal is to get employees to answer honestly, but quickly (because employees are busy too). 

EVNCE shows up on every work computer after an employee logs in in the morning and at logout at the end of the day. 

EVNCE shows up on every work computer after an employee logs in in the morning and at logout at the end of the day. 

Once the employee answers, the boss is able to check how his employees are feeling in a dashboard. They can use this information to know when they should be paying special attention to specific employees — whether that's:

  • Scheduling a 1-on-1 if they see a lot of days at "unhappy"
  • Identifying the happiest employees and consulting with them to replicate it around the office
  • Building a stronger connection with remote workers

Think of this as a leaders way of walking by and asking how everyone on their team is doing, and them feeling free enough to answer honestly. 

So that's all we need to make employees happy?

Well, no. To work, this requires the business to really care about the happiness of its employees (ahem, all because retention). It requires leaders to pay attention and be active in utilizing the answers. And, it requires the employees to be honest. I also believe the more full-length survey should be used in concert with the concept I'm talking about. 

But yeah, with all those factors at work, I believe leaders and employees will have a better understanding and a platform that raises not just leaders, but employees' emotional intelligence about themselves. 

IF KIDS GAMES BECAME MOVIE TRAILER SCRIPTS

I'm not sure what's worse — that I spent time on these, or that I could see them actually getting produced.

While 30 seconds *tick* by
you better be on the right *tac*
because even though you try to tip *toe*, you might not ever come back.
Xs and Os.
While 30 seconds *tick* by you better be on the right *tac* because even though you try to tip *toe*, you might not ever come back.  Xs and Os.

GOODNIGHT TWENTIES

In the wee hours of the morning

There are hangovers raging

And cars in front of bars with parking warnings.

There’s texts from your ex

Hashtag First World Problems

And ‘friends’ who just want to have sex.

And debt to rack up

And boxes to pack up.

And internships to apply for

And car races you almost died for.

And fights to be broken up

And times you should’ve spoken up.

Being real life crash test dummies

And everything else that happens in your twenties.

Goodnight hangovers every morning

And goodnight ignoring every warning.

Goodnight all-nighters

And, goodnight one-liners.

Goodnight minimum payments

And, goodnight losing my patience.

Goodnight never forgiving

And, goodnight selfish living.

Goodnight to most of my wasteful spending

And, goodnight to my twenties, and everything with it that’s ending.

THE MAKING OF A HERO

In advertising, we're always being asked to make the brand, product, or service the hero. How do you make it the hero? Look no further than your favorite movie, that also happens to be pretty much the same as every other heroic, action-packed flick.