Happiness door: measure your team by their satisfaction



I have been using the door of happiness continuously for many years with my teams. It is a tool that combines the comment wall and the happiness index.

The door of happiness allows you to place notes with comments being the owner of your level of happiness, it is the best radiator of information to collect a score level as well as continuous improvement. 

More info here: https://management30.com/practice/happiness-door/



In many organizations, employee feedback or satisfaction is measured with annual or semi-annual surveys in the best of cases. With the door of happiness we empower the team to open and show how they are, to give immediate feedback and to constantly feed on it. To worry not only about work but about their own teammates.

I applied very successfully in a service company through 3 interconnected teams, with people from AI and machine learning, front developers and back developers.

The purpose was to create a safe context where people could express themselves naturally and empathize with the rest of their colleagues, in order to help each other and generate a high-performance team that was so necessary for the product they were developing.



I applied this dynamic in the teams, explaining it from the beginning, creating a shared purpose with them to create a more open and empathetic team, not only focused on work and its development goals, but as people in the common well-being of all. In said organization at that time there were no satisfaction surveys among employees other than annual one-to-one reviews. Initially we thought that this would help improve the work environment and raise problems that together we could solve or transfer more quickly to the responsible people.



Creating a safe startup environment, with transparency and communication, the feedback and empathy that is generated, the synergies and support between team members is incredible. It allows to have very fast information about the team, about how their behaviors are and why they are like that.


By looking for feedback, you can get a boomerang effect in the sense that there is no feedback when the emoticon is negative. That people are not motivated enough to put their sad face, and always put in the middle to try to go unnoticed and not make noise.


It is a very powerful tool that allows a lot of gamification (later I will explain some of the examples and experiments carried out). It allowed us to grow as a team, not only with their state of mind but also the motivation of that state of mind. It helped us to create a very strong space, where they establish their own work rules for the benefit of all, important notes such as:
  •  Meetings must last 1 hour.
  • If something cannot be done or explained in less than an hour, schedule a workshop that is lively and never exceeds 2 hours of time.
  • 2 statutory breaks, 1 in the morning at 11 in the morning and another at 4 in the afternoon to be able to recharge energy all together.
  • If a person has a sad face for 3 days in a row, an "angel" will talk to you on the third day with a good response for all participants.

We invented the figure of the random "angel", which is a person from the team, random, not assigned in time, or weekly or anything, that is, a volunteer from the team who talks to the person who has put the sad face 3 days in a row and together they give each other feedback and establish an improvement card.

In this way, after the return of the 2 regulatory breaks, if an "angel" was needed, this would be his moment, initially every day after the daily we reviewed the comments, later, after 2 months, a behavior internalized by all the teams and constantly interacted around the door of happiness, supporting each other, implementing improvements or simply asking "how can I help you?"


I learned a lot about how emotions and feelings influence not only you but also the rest of your teammates.

Like the positions of people initially more withdrawn or shy, people open up, and above all collaborate with others to see what happens.

Even in people who did not want to collaborate or stayed away from the group, by simply seeing the mood of the rest, the notes of the rest were opened without forcing them to participate in the dynamic.

Monthly in the team retrospectives (biweekly they have the retrospectives of each team with sometimes different cadences), we take the learnings from the door of happiness and the measures to improve.


Among the experiments that I carried out and continue to carry out with this dynamic is the:

- Do not force anyone to wear or portray themselves at the door of happiness. It is voluntary and as such it must come from you to open up to the rest of your colleagues. On one occasion when there was no success with the dynamics, I applied this experiment. Initially, out of 7 team members, only 3 participated, and the rest were watching, but after 2 weeks with the first team retrospective, the following week one more member was added and after a few days the other 3.
Why did that happen? In the next conversation we had we opened the topic, and the answer was very simple "shame to show my mood when I'm not motivated".

That gamified into new experiments:

- The cards can be anonymous or each person can put their name
- A new scale has been introduced, instead of just happy, neutral, or sad, 5 have been introduced to visually explain much more how people are and how the rest of the team can come to help.






With the angry face we hope to identify annoyances with other colleagues or simply a continuous jam of a person and that by visually seeing their anger in a note someone can help to unblock quickly!

-We have also identified a medium with a blue color on another card that can help or create synergies!

- With COVID I have introduced the dynamics in my teams in a mural that we share virtually as we are all remote!