Because I’m Happy! Why It Pays to Be Happy At Work

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say, but a study reported in the Harvard Business Review conducted by Shawn Achor (author of “The Happiness Advantage”) found that engaging in one brief positive exercise a day for three weeks can have a lasting impact on employees’ levels of happiness – yes, even tax managers heading into one of the worst tax seasons in decades (the study was conducted at the end of 2008). Every day for three weeks participants had to choose to do one of the following activities:

•Meditate at their desk for two minutesbigstock-Happy-Businessman-11445590

•Exercise for 10 minutes

•Take two minutes to describe in a journal the most meaningful experience of the previous 24 hours

•Write down three things they were grateful for

•Write a positive message to someone in their social network

The results showed that the managers who participated in the activity were more engaged, less depressed, and much happier – even for months after the exercise ended. And remember, all they had to do was one of those items! Even if you’re a bit skeptical, it’s worth taking the time to consider how intentional you are about boosting everyone’s level of happiness at work. And here’s why your boss and your boss’s boss might be happy to talk about being happy:

•By focusing intentionally on boosting employee happiness, the online gift retailer Red Balloon went from a 64% employee turnover rate to an employee engagement rate of a whopping 90%.

•A Gallup study found the companies with happier employees have 20% higher profits.

•A meta-analysis by researchers Lyubomirksy, King and Diener, found that happy employees have, on average, 31% higher productivity; their sales are 37% higher, their creativity is three times higher.

•A study by Gallup Healthways found that happy employees are absent from work an average of 1.25 days less per month.

•A study by Jennifer George and Kenneth Bettenhausen found that happier employees score significantly higher on customer satisfaction surveys.

Results like that will make you feel like clapping along like a room without a roof…because when everyone is truly engaged in a rockin’ happy workplace, the sky really is the limit.

Michael Kerr. Humor at Work. Michael is a Hall of Fame speaker who is known as one of North America’s leading authorities on how to create more inspiring workplaces by helping audiences tap into their humor resources.  And yes, he’d be happy to talk you about how to create a happier, more successful workplace.

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