Back to Blog happy team at work

How does HappyTeams work?

An overview of how HappyTeams works, along with answers to some of the questions most commonly asked by our customers during their thirty day free trial.


Jul 16, 2021


Hey there, this blog post answers some of the most common questions we get from our customers during their thirty-day free trial of HappyTeams.

We have put a lot of thought and science into ensuring that HappyTeams allows you and your organization to keep track of employee engagement and happiness over time. At a high level, we have some guiding principles that drive every decision we make, and this applies across the board: for employees, for leaders, and for the questions that we ask our users.

Employee Principles

  • Every interaction must be anonymous.
  • Every interaction must take a minimum amount of time.
  • Every interaction must be simple.
  • Every interaction must require the smallest amount of thought and effort possible.

Leader Principles

  • Every piece of data we show must be simple and intuitive.
  • Everything should be glanceable.
  • Problems should be prioritized and shown front and center.

Question Principles

  • We should only ask questions that are directly related to a known engagement problem.
  • Questions should be simple and intuitive.
  • Questions should drive an emotional reaction.

A later blog post will describe the reasoning behind each of these principles, but we just wanted to give you a quick high level of our guiding principles before diving into the most common questions we get, as they are directly related.


Who Comes Up With the Questions?

Organizational Psychologists. At HappyTeams we have a team of truly exceptional Organisational Psychologists, who spend a lot of their focus on researching, implementing, and improving our bank of questions.

Our questions are scientifically validated in many ways: validated through research, validated via existing methodologies, and a large amount of validation with users and focus groups. All of these validations allow us a very high degree of confidence in the methodology we use to measure engagement.

It also affords us an understanding of the interplay between specific questions, their categories, their groupings, and the significance of influence on a particular answer to one question has on potential outcomes for other questions.


Does Everyone Get the Same Question?

No. While it is common in surveys and polling tools for everyone to get the same question or set of questions at the same time, we feel this does not lend itself to an accurate snapshot of organizational health on an ongoing basis.

Our questions are randomized for each user, each day. This allows HappyTeams to measure a more accurate snapshot of employee engagement across an organization each day. This means that there is a very low likelihood of two people sitting beside each other receiving the same question on a given day.

This also allows us to help ensure anonymity for the employee, as, for example, if Ann and Bob are sitting beside each other, and both receive their question at 2 pm, Bob will receive a different question to Ann, and even if he sees how she responded, he won't know which question she's answering.


Why Do You Use Emoji For Answers?

emojis at workSimplicity. Emojis offer an intuitive measurement of happiness for anyone responding to a question. They also require a minimal amount of effort, are ubiquitous, and offer HappyTeams and its users a measurement system that is high-signal, low-noise.

The latter point is possibly the most important. Our questions are designed to trigger an emotive response, and it is easy for our users to translate that emotive response to an emoji. Responding via emoji is also a glanceable, minimal interaction, and requires the lowest amount of effort from users.

Common surveys and polling tools use text-based responses to their question or sets of questions. We feel that this takes too much time from our users, and can contribute to the negative engagement generated by interruptions in the workplace. The use of emoji also allows us to capture the emotional context around the answers that employees provide for their questions, which allows us more confidence in the data that HappyTeams provides and the recommendations that we make.

Text-based responses require a degree of thought before responding and are often sanitized for common workplace politics. They also degrade anonymity, as it is often possible to match written text to a team member. As such, they are a poor measure of engagement, offer poor safeguards around anonymity, lack of emotional context, and require more effort from the employees answering the questions.


Why Do You Ask Questions Every Day or Two?

Continuous Measurement. Most traditional employee engagement tools offer a periodic or once yearly measurement of employee engagement. We feel that this amounts to little more than just a snapshot in time, and these snapshots merely contribute to the well-known problem of employee engagement being something that is looked at once a year, and then forgotten about to the next.

Continual measurement is the only way to accurately and meaningfully track employee engagement. This allows leaders and employers to maintain a real-time view as to the engagement levels of the people they employ and lead, and to see how the context of events and deadlines in the workplace can impact employee engagement.

Our questions are designed to be as simple, quick, and intuitive as possible, and by using emoji for responses, our questions are glanceable, require minimal interaction, and have the lowest amount of effort from users.


Do the Questions Get Repetitive?

No.  As discussed earlier in this post, our questions are randomized per user each day. We have a large bank of scientifically backed questions that are designed to capture emotive responses around specific areas that are known to cause issues with employee engagement and happiness.

Our team of Organisational Psychologists is continually evolving the question bank, often in line with customer feedback, in order to capture more areas where there may be issues with employee engagement. This means that the questions that employees are asked are always changing and evolving.


How Do You Minimize Interruption?

interruption at workSimplicity. No one wants to be interrupted continually. It's well documented that a significant interruption can require up to 23 minutes to recover from and that this can have a substantial negative impact on employee engagement. The last thing we want to do at HappyTeams while trying to solve employee engagement problems is to create another one. We have spent a lot of time and research ensuring that our questions and interactions with employees take the smallest amount of time as possible.

As we've discussed above, our questions are designed to be simple, quick, and intuitive, requiring the smallest amount of cognitive effort from our users as possible. Using emoji to capture employees answers makes the interaction as quickly as possible and, our questions are designed to be glanceable, taking less than two seconds to read, interpret and respond, both allowing employees to provide their feedback on employee engagement issues, and continue their day without any significant interruption.



HappyTeams has been designed from the ground up to capture meaningful responses around employee engagement in the shortest amount of time possible. We ask questions grounded in organizational psychology which are designed to generate emotive responses.

These questions are continually evolving and emoji are used to capture responses, providing an emotional context to employee engagement data that is often overlooked. Employees are safe to answer questions using their truest feelings about the question that has been asked, as we ensure their anonymity.

Every interaction a user has with HappyTeams has been designed to be as simple, quick, and intuitive as possible, minimizing interruptions and allowing organizations to capture accurate, real-time, and ongoing insights into the organizational health and employee engagement status of their organization.

If your organisation hasn't already started its free trial of HappyTeams, please feel free to join here. Our no obligation trial lasts thirty days, and requires no credit card, no contract.

I hope you found this article informative, and I hope it answered some of your questions. If you have any questions, feedback, or insights you'd like to share, please feel free to reach out to me at any time at


Elements Image

Subscribe to our newsletter

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Semper neque enim rhoncus vestibulum at maecenas. Ut sociis dignissim.

Latest Articles

Lets Talk Leadership Podcast with Charley Swords &COO Ben Jacobs.

Lets Talk Leadership Podcast with Charley Swords &COO Ben Jacobs.

HappyTeams COO Ben Jacobs sits down with the Lets talk Leadership podcast and host Charley Swords. With the great resignation on the horizo...

The Importance of Motivating Your Employees

The Importance of Motivating Your Employees

Motivating your employees starts with motivating yourself. You cannot always control what’s going on, but you can always control what goes ...

Hybrid Workplace Model : The Evolution Post-Covid

Hybrid Workplace Model : The Evolution Post-Covid

The traditional work model before the global pandemic is no longer seen as a viable workplace model. Find out what is and what employees ex...