Organizations often tend to use different tools to track productivity and performance in the workplace. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) keep teams on track and monitor deviations or variations from the norm.
But what about factors that affect an individual’s capacity to perform?
When a person under-performs, is it always a capability issue or is there a need to dig a little deeper to understand what it is that’s impacting their productivity?
The Niko Niko Calendar, a.k.a the ‘smiley calendar,’ was invented in 2006 to track teams’ happiness/morale quotient.
What is a Niko-Niko Calendar?
“Niko” means ‘Smile’ in Japanese.
Backed by Agile methodology, the Niko-Niko Calendar emphasizes that it’s essential to quantify something ahead of measuring it.
It’s a simple calendar with everyone’s name on it. Each team member is required to share their mood that particular day on the calendar with the help of smileys. There is no restriction on the different types of smileys. But it’s a good practice to keep it simple. So, a happy smiley, a frowning smiley, and an angry emoji are the common ones used. Organizations also use colors like Green, Amber, and Red to represent emotions.
Although it may not be an accurate measure of your team’s morale, it’s a start. It helps to quantify the well-being, motivation, and morale quotient of the team.
Feelings are the fastest feedback of mental health. And we all know it.
So, the faster we track those feelings, the quicker we can address the underlying factors impacting them.
So, how can you use a Niko-Niko Calendar to boost your team’s morale?
Your job, however, doesn’t end by just having the calendar in the workplace.
Getting regular feedback on each team member’s moods, identifying those facing challenges, and figuring out how to provide the support they need is how the team's overall morale can be improved.
- Getting regular feedback on each team member’s moods, identifying those facing challenges, and figuring out how to provide the support they need is how the team's overall morale can be improved.
- The calendar will also help you identify ways to help team members feel valued and recognized. Sometimes, an informal chat is all we need to motivate ourselves. Knowing that the management cares about your feelings goes a long way in reinstating trust. Remember, listening is the first step to improving.
Once you have that transparency in the way people feel, you can several things to make them feel valued. You can:
- Celebrate personal and team achievements
- Invest In Employee Learning & Development
- Nurture a culture of positivity that values individuals for who they are
- Provide benefits like encouraging real lunch breaks and time off from work
- Introduce a flexible working policy.
The list is endless.
What changes you want to bring about will depend on the feedback you receive from your team based on the mood tracked in the Niko-Niko calendar.
Doing your best to improve your team morale can prove the best investment for your organization.