Here’s a quick exercise we call the 1-10 Litmus Test

We like to use it when we’re measuring happiness at work. It’s quick and surprisingly effective.

To complete the test, follow these simple steps:

First, ask yourself, “On a scale of 1-10, how happy or unhappy do I think our employees are?”

Then, write your number down on a sheet of paper.

That’s it.

Now, what’s your number?

Is it 7? We bet it is.

We ask this question a lot when measuring happiness at work. Believe it or not, it gives us a pretty good answer very quickly. Plus, since we’ve asked it so many times, and kept track of the answers, we have a pretty good grasp on the average. We generally ask CEOs, business owners, executive directors, chancellors and other leaders and 80% of the time, they answer 7.

Now you’re asking, “Okay, what’s the significance of 7?”

What does it mean if I answered 7?

  • Our company is good, but we’re not great.
  • I chose 7 because I really don’t know.
  • I chose 7 because I think we’re okay, but honestly, I’m not sure.
  • I chose 7 because I’m on the fence. Some employees are pretty content and others aren’t.

It also means that getting to 8 or above is quite attainable. In fact, over the years, we’ve worked with a lot of 7s. And through that work we’ve developed a proven method that works to move companies beyond 7.

What if we’re less than 7?

If your answer was below 7, you’ve probably got elephants roaming around your organization. In our experience, we find that only 10% answer 6 or below so if this is the case for you, it’s probably time to seek some outside help. And you know what? That’s entirely okay. You’ve got to start somewhere and the fact that you took the Litmus Test means you understand the importance of culture.

Keep in mind, however, the answer does come from your perspective.  In many cases, when we ask this question of other people at the same organization, leadership and management tend to answer 1-2 points higher than the rest of the team. 

Of course, we know this is a simple, on-the-spot test, but it does give a good sense as to whether or not you have some work to do on your company culture and overall employee happiness.

What if we’re above a 7?

If your answer was 8 or above, you’re pretty bold. We like bold because it often means there’s a good chance you have good organizational culture.  Unfortunately, we find that only 10% answer 8, 9 or even 10. (We wish that percentage was a lot higher…)

So, keep up the good work. And if you really want to continue to be a high achiever, and are looking for some great tools to maintain your great culture without breaking the bank, we can help with that too.

Go the Extra Step and Get Certified

If you really want to show how committed you are to incredible company culture, become a “Choose People Certified Company”. To do so, your organization has to score 40 or higher on our Company Culture Audit which places them in the top 20% of organizations in the country for workplace culture.

Companies that show the seal of a “Happy Company in the Making” are committed to having an extraordinary workplace culture and are actively working towards becoming certified.