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Budgeting Bliss into your Business: What Happiness is Costing You

Paying attention to employees' happiness is good for them—and the company.

Submitted by: Guest Contributor

Posted: Dec 05, 2013 – 09:00 AM EST

Tags: happiness, employee engagement, measurement, jobs, employees, careers, management, sustainability, csr, health and wellness


By Shawn Ellis

Did you know that there are over 1,200 happiness books in the business section on Amazon.com? This is a very interesting – and encouraging – thing to see. Creating happiness has literally become a business itself.

Yet, statistics prove we’re far from being able to call happiness in the workplace “mainstream.” Many leaders are still asking, “Is this really something I should be concerned with, or is it just some touchy-feely, feel-good fad?”

Workplace Unhappiness Costs Employers

Check out the stats below and see for yourself how happiness may be the pendulum piece of your budget:

  • Unhappiness leads to over half the absences from work, costing American companies alone $30 million in lost productivity.
  • Unhappiness leads to over half (60% to be exact) of workers saying they are “at” work, but not really present – costing American companies $200 billion in lost productivity.

Why aren’t we listening happy-employees-green-paperclips-graphwhen it is literally costing us?

Increasing Happiness at Work

Here are some ways management can increase the happiness vibe at work:

Give employees the “bonus” of time rather than stuff. Many times, corporations will spend thousands of dollars per year on plaques, emblems, special pins or “fancy” company swag when really the employees would love some free time to make memories with their friends or family. You can call it Memory “Money” and reveal how much time-off “bonus” they get in their Christmas card.

Splurge occasionally. Surprise your employees by renting out a masseuse for a couple of hours after they did well on a large project or after the team really rallied together in a collaborative style while a couple of co-workers were out on leave. Or hire a motivational speaker when you know morale is getting down in the office.

Create partnerships with cause. Nothing helps people feel gratitude like helping other people. Find a local organization that has members who can come share their stories directly with your team. When people can connect a face with a cause, they are that much more invested. Have your office think of creative ways they can help the partnership within the community.

Show you care. Schedule check-ins with your employees where you share coffee over non-work related conversation. Leave your smartphone in the drawer so your attention is on the person rather than your pocket. When you invest time in truly connecting with one another, you build a relationship rather than a rapport.

Create happiness for yourself. It’s hard to lead a movement when you’re the leader and feeling pretty defeated. Take steps to incorporate happiness and purpose into your life so leading by example doesn’t feel happy-employeesso exerting.

The Happiness Advantage

Here are the figures we want to see on your next business report:

  • Happy employees are 85% more efficient with their time.
  • Happy employees stay twice as long in their job.

Is there really a “happiness advantage?” You bet. You can literally “bank” on it.

About the Author:

Shawn Ellis is inspiring people worldwide to rise above the busyness of life and work by reminding them “This Moment Matters” – after all, everything happens in this moment. It's a message born out of his own experience as an entrepreneur, business leader, husband and father, and backed up by decades of research and thousands of case studies in the fields of mindfulness, neuroscience and psychology.

Shawn would like to gift the CSR community with a free “This Moment Matters” Manifesto you can post in a spot where you will be reminded of the power held in a simple moment. Read more from Shawn on his blog at ShawnEllis.com/blog. Find Shawn at Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by CSRwire contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of CSRwire.

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