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Our Data-Led People Strategy

At The Happiness Index, we’re dedicated to helping organisations develop a people strategy based on data insights. It’s really important to us that we lead by example as well as by teaching others. That’s why today, we’re sharing our people strategy to help inspire other organisations to use feedback data to inform their strategy. 


Plus, we’re hoping a few of you might be inspired to come and join our team!


Listen First!

We believe that any good people strategy should start by listening to… you guessed it - your people! That’s why, prior to putting our strategy together, we completed both our Cultural Assessment survey and a follow-up Neuroscience Theme Survey. We’re big believers in investing in our culture and our data. So, just like any of our other customers - we have a dedicated Customer Success Manager who supports our People team. The amazing Alex helps our People team to understand the feedback we get, analyse the results, and decide on any further surveys or actions we need to take. 


We also use our Employee Voice survey to keep our finger on the pulse of how our people are thinking, feeling and behaving. By listening to our Quokkas whenever they have feedback, we’re able to be more agile to their needs. This means that although the pillars of our approach stay the same, the delivery or focus might change depending on what our people need and want. 


The Biology of Business


You read that correctly! There are many ways in which businesses and biological ecosystems overlap. In order to survive and thrive any individual, organism or organisation needs to be able to adapt to the environment it finds itself in. Animals, plants, and yes, businesses, are more likely to be sustainable if they're able to react well to the changing environment. The seismic level of change we’ve seen in the world of work over the past few years has demonstrated this perfectly.


You might be wondering what this has to do with our people strategy? Well, we’re dedicated to helping our customers thrive and grow. But we are just as passionate about this being done in a sustainable way that puts our people first. It's not just the business environment that's volatile and characterised by perpetual change and uncertainty - our people and their individual circumstances are constantly evolving and changing, too. As such we need to be able to adapt to their needs AND to the business environment.  


It’s important to recognise what we can control and what we have to adapt to. This will allow us to build a culture that is robust and sustainable but also allows our people to grow and thrive. This is similar to a tree - it cannot control the amount of rainfall but can grow deeper roots in order to get the water it needs. There are always going to be some things we can’t control, but that we can adapt to support our people. 


The Pillars of Our People Strategy


With all this in mind, we’ve built the pillars of our people strategy around biological ecosystems to help us remember to adapt to our environment. 


1. Soil = create an environment where everyone can thrive:

This is all about making sure that we give everyone the space, nutrients and direction to grow in a way that supports our vision and mission. We want to be a natural habitat - no tightly controlled border, no pruning or hemming in, and certainly no fertilisers or pesticides. Instead, everyone here is part of a natural and self-supporting ecosystem where people have everything they need to grow freely, but support each other for mutual success.  At The Happiness Index we believe that the old “command and control” business structure is toast. Instead we work on a flatter, Quantum structure (listen to this podcast episode for more info!). Our people team is dedicated to ensuring we live by our Q9 principles every day. 


2. Roots = build strong foundations to ensure stability:

One of the most urgent things our people team is working on at the moment is centralising and processing all our policies into one clear library of documents. As with any fast-growing organisation, our policies and processes have grown in a piecemeal and reactive way. As we continue to scale globally, it’s important to us to give our people clarity and provide uniform guidance to help our organisation grow in a sustainable way. Just as plants never stop growing more roots as they grow, so this piece of work will continue to grow and evolve with us!


3. Watering can = nurture our people and understand their needs:

It’s vital to us that we are people-centric in everything we do. But this isn’t about passively listening. We’re also dedicated to actively bringing water and nutrients to where they’re needed. This could include DE&I initiatives, improving our team’s physical environment or creating opportunities for social connection We’re also supporting our people’s wellbeing in a variety of ways - we have a wellbeing peer group and have regular wellbeing days. You can read all 10 ways we support our Quokka’s mental health and wellbeing


4. Blossom = support the growth of every Quokka and the organisation as a whole: 

Just as a tree can’t survive and thrive if it doesn’t help buds to blossom and grow into fruits, so we need to support the development of our team to help the growth of our organisation. We’re committed to creating and communicating growth strategies and expectations for everyone. From job descriptions to goals, bonuses to salary review processes - we’re committed to standardising growth, and the sustainable growth mindset across the business. The grow-at-all-costs mindset just doesn’t work for us!


5. Photosynthesis = be a force for good:

Just as plants use photosynthesis to turn sunlight into energy both for themselves and for the other organisms in their environment, we want to create incredible things from good things! This one is a big one for us as we want every decision we make in the company to be informed by the question - ‘is this going to change the world for the better?’ A key part of this is becoming B-corps accredited so we’re really held to account for doing everything in the right way. 


Transparency For Everyone


For us it’s important to share our people strategy not only with our Quokkas but also with our customers and those of you we might work with in the future! That’s because we want to be clear that we don’t only talk the talk but also walk the walk. It’s not enough for us to help others to grow and thrive if we don’t apply the principles to ourselves. 


Hopefully by sharing our people strategy, we’ll encourage you to start listening to your people and create your own action plan. Or maybe you want to join us for our journey? If so check out our careers page, we’d love to have you on board. 


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Laura Page

"Spending time with people she loves, playing the French horn and peanut butter all make Laura happy."

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