Emotions at the Heart of Measuring the Employee Experience


This text was originally published in "Sensory Technologies for Improving Employee Experience and Strengthening Customer Relationships" research in Society as an Interaction Space -book.  You can see the book here

VibeVision® is a tool for measuring and analyzing emotional experience developed in a university collaboration. The tool is used either as a continuous measure of employee experience or as individual measurement periods, such as, for example, during periods of change. The meter is based on the PAD framework (Mehrabian et al. 1997 ), according to which emotions can be described by three dimensions- Pleasure, Arousal, and Dominance. The meter therefore takes into account the range of emotions broader than the traditional positive-negative way of thinking. For example, embarrassment and irritability guide us to behave as employees or customers in very different ways, although both emotions are seen as negative. 

The most effective way to measure emotional experience and, above all, the reasons behind emotional experience, is to ask about it from the staff or from the customers themselves. The aim of VibeVision® is not to study a person's deepest  emotion, but rather the strongest emotions that come from a certain experience and the reasons for those, as well as a few questions related to the business.

In this way, we learn to understand our experience deeper than before and develop our experience in a business-oriented and goal-oriented way. We can also set aims for our emotions. The goal may be, for example, that under a change in strategy, less than 5% of the employees feel fear, or even that the working weeks would start with 80% of the staff in an enthusiastic state of mind. 

VibeVision® provides deeper insight into the customer experience, but also more common business metrics such as NPS, Customer Effort Score, or grouping questions. On the staff side, one can monitor employee load and recovery, the meaningfulness of work tasks, attitudes to change, or the impact of training programs on the staff's emotions. At the same time, you will also learn about the influence of emotions on these factors-which emotions predict successful customer meetings or which emotions correlate with a high overtime workload.

Making the results and emotional atmosphere visible is essential. It is important to point out why an organization has a certain emotional atmosphere and what can be done for this or done at its best. The every Monday morning irritation is not always related to work or the organization. Irritation can be caused by very simple things, such as constant traffic or stress can cause very personal issues. However, these things, which are independent of the work, affect our work performance, and therefore the identification of these issues is also important. Is it possible to make it easier for staff in the Monday morning traffic to stagger the work time flexibility or by the work organization giving more support for employees to handle personal life situations? To simplify, by measuring, one also learns what negative emotions stem from-a poor leadership culture or a constantly temperamental copy machine.

Identifying emotions as part of the experience, whether it be employee or customer experience, gives a business not only a competitive advantage, but also helps to identify the risks hidden in the experience. Only through consciousness of emotions can experiences lead to genuine leadership and development of customer relationships.