Research Projects

At EHERO we have several research projects running at the moment, mostly regarding happiness in organizations and happiness in the public domain. Recently, we also studied the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on happiness levels in the Netherlands.

    Happiness in organizations 

    How satisfied and happy are the employees in your organization and how can this be improved? The engagement of employees worldwide is disappointingly low, the lifespan of organizations is diminishing at an alarming rate and it is becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to find, retain and engage the best talent. It is therefore time to look for the codes behind happy employees, sustainable growth and returns. Employee happiness is the catalyst for sustainable growth and returns.

    With the Codekrakers Project we aim to find the codes behind happy people and profit in various organizations; varying from international private companies to public institutes such as hospitals. Do you also want to crack the codes behind happiness at work in your organization? Click here to read more (in Dutch) or request a brochure. 


    Happiness in the public domain

    In addition to research in organizations, EHERO also conducts research into happiness in the public domain. For example, we study the effects of hope, happiness and geography, happiness and politics, and what research methods to use best. Besides, sharing knowledge through the World Database of Happiness is one of EHERO's primary activities.

    COVID-19 and Happiness

    The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are felt everywhere. In the chaos, everyone in the Netherlands is forced to organize, innovate and improvise life differently. To contribute its bit, EHERO has launched an action-oriented study into the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the various initiatives people are taking to get through this uncertain time. With a drop from 7.5 to 6.3, the Dutch population seems to feel less happy during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decrease is greatest among people with children at home, or income insecurity. Click here to read more about the results of the research project and the tips & tricks of the Dutch population on how to deal with COVID-19 restrictions.

    In addition, we researched in a ZonMW project (together with ESHPM and Sodexo) how decreased job security affects the happiness of employees in the hospitality sector and what organizations can do about it. The White Paper is available here. In a second ZonMW study we analysed the potential effect of COVID-19 and automation on job opportunities in the hospitality sector. You can find the White Paper here

    The World Database of Happiness 

    In line with its mission, the development and sharing of knowledge through the World Database of Happiness is one of EHERO’s  primary activities. Under the management of ‘Happiness Professor’ Ruut Veenhoven, this database has recorded all scientific research results in the area of happiness since 1984. This project is unique, as it is the first and until now the only database in the world that maps, categorizes and makes openly accessible all scientific findings from an area of scientific inquiry.

    The database includes a bibliography of over 15.000 publications about the relationship between happiness and themes such as work, education, health, culture and consumption. The World Database of Happiness is openly accessible and, despite very little having (yet) been done actively towards greater public awareness, it already attracts 50,000 - primarily academically oriented - visitors annually from across the world. And this number of visitors will only increase because of the fact that the subject ‘happiness’ has grown rapidly in popularity in recent years, also driving up the number of scientific publications sharply. Do you want to know more about the World Database of Happiness or become a Supporting Partner? Click here to read more or request a brochure.

    The Hope Barometer

    The Hope Barometer is a scientific project aimed at finding ways to measure and increase hope in organizations, cities and other groups. We define hope as an engaged desire for an achievable, but always uncertain goal. As such, hope can be an important incentive for change and innovation, and it can help people deal with, and flourish in, a quickly changing world. To understand hope, we need to be able to measure hope, and to measure hope we developed the Hope Barometer. On this website, you can find a shortened version of the Hope Barometer, an overview of previous research and many other things related to hope. Also, at EHERO we conduct and publish academic research on the correlates and levels of hope of several groups of people.  

    Happiness Indicator  ("Gelukswijzer")

    The Happiness Indicator is a self-help website as well as a scientific follow-up study. Participants record periodically how happy they feel and how they spend their time. Every year they report on major changes in their life. 

    Benefits for participants
    The website offers its users instant feedback on their happiness. Participants can:

    • Accurately assess how happy they feel most of the time
    • Compare their happiness with similar people
    • Track their happiness over time
    • Chart how much they enjoy daily activities using the happiness diary
    • Compare with similar people who use their time differently

    Scientific uses 
    The website provides longitudinal data on a lot of people at low cost. The Happiness Diary allows within-person comparisons and as such provides a better view on causal effects than current cross-sectional studies. The instrument can be used to assess:

    • How people really spend their time
    • How happy particular people feel during particular activities
    • How interventions such as of trainings or organizational change work out on happiness, both in the short-run and on the long-term
    • How life-choices, such as early retirement, work-out on the happiness of particular kinds of people.

    Effect on happiness
    A first effect study among 5000 participants who had used the Happiness Diary at least twice observed an upward change in average happiness. This study is reported in 2020 in an article in the International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology (5, 153-187) entitled Raise of Happiness Following Raised Awareness of How Happy One Feels: A Follow-Up of Repeated Users of the Happiness Indicator Website.   

    Satellite projects
    Now that the system is developed, we can host parallel projects in other countries and variants that focus on specific purposes, such as effect studies. Satellite projects can draw on a common database and will also contribute to its enlargement. A prospectus describes the options and costs.

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