The Economics of Happiness: Achieving Prosperity Through Job Satisfaction

Truth be told, money does not buy happiness but it certainly does help.  Money in terms of employee compensation is finite.  So, how can business make their employees happy without increasing salaries and financial incentives?   Understanding the keys to finding long-term life personal satisfaction and applying them to your work environment is a good start.  What makes people feel satisfied?

  • A strong sense of support from belonging to a group, whether this group is family, a club, a sports team, or a church.

There is no reason why this “group” cannot be your company.  But, how can you apply this underlying dynamic in practical ways?  HRInsights would recommend that you think about these 5 simple and low cost/no cost approaches:

  1. Initiate a group activity:  There must be some shared interest that your workers have.  Start a reading group, art or music club, investment society, architecture club.  There must be something simple and low cost which could bring workers closer together.
  2. Invest in Planned “Time-Off”:  Research points to the obvious.  Experiences are more valuable than “things”.  Make a special trip to a customer who could demonstrate their product to the team.  Invite a guest speaker to talk about an important, local project.
  3. Create a Business Journal or Scrapbook:  Develop a “newsletter” for employees to share their experiences and what is important to them.
  4. Donate to a Small, Local Charity:  The emotional benefits of giving appear to be greatest when the giver feels a social connection with the recipient.
  5. Have a Tetherball Competition:   Or, take a daily walk with colleagues around the parking lot or block.  Anything that gets you up and about stimulates your mood-enhancing endorphins.

These ideas do not require a great deal of creativity nor investment.  As a business leader, to the extent that you can improve employee satisfaction by reinforcing their “membership” in your organization (group/club), that is a very positive outcome.

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