Happiness is important.Happiness is a leading indicator of your team’s success. Many economists think a happiness metric is more important than GDP and other metrics.

Want to knew whether your team is happy–whether your team is trending toward success? Play this game, and find out.

Rock-paper-scissors Happiness
In this game, team members gather face to face. The game leader asks,

On a scale of 1 to 5, how happy are you with work? 1 means “not very happy.” 5 means “wicked happy.” How happy are you with work?

In the style of rock-paper-scissors, players simultaneously hold up one hand and a number of fingers.

The number of fingers each player hold up is the player’s happiness metric. The game leader records either each person’s happiness metric and the team’s average happiness metric. The leader may track happiness metric over time, on a chart like this:

Based on the team’s current happiness metric, the game leader may guide the team through a discussion. Why are we so happy today–what is going well that we should continue doing? Why are we so unhappy today–what do we need to fix? Because happiness metric is a leading indicator of team success, the leader’s goal is to discover how to maintain or improve the team’s happiness.

Happiness Poker is an alternate way to gauge the team’s happiness metric. In this variation, the game leader gives each player a partial deck of poker cards, ranging from 1 (ace) through 10. The leader asks the team, “How happy are you with work?” In the style of Planning Poker, the players simultaneously hold up a card to indicate their current happiness metric. The leader records the result and leads a discussion.

Is your team happy? How do you know? Are you sure?

Here’s a sample of sources on happiness metric: