Friday, March 11, 2011

More On Happiness . . . Are You Listening Corporate America?

"Social Animal," a new book by David Brooks is scheduled to be published soon. In the meantime, a small piece was published in "The New Yorker" under "Annals of Psychology," and the excerpt is interesting.

Mixed in the story are a number of fascinating statistics and studies about happiness and satisfaction, including this:

"There's a debate in our culture about what really makes us happy, which is summarized by, on the one hand, the book "On The Road" and, on the other, the move "It's a Wonderful Life." The former celebrates the life of freedom and adventure. The latter celebrates roots and connections. Research over the past thirty years makes it clear that what the inner mind really wants is connection. "It's a Wonderful Life" was right.

"Joining a group that meets just once a month produces the same increase in happiness as doubling your income. According to research by Daniel Kahneman, Alan B. Krueger, and others, the daily activities most closely associated with happiness are social -- having sex, socializing after work, and having dinner with friends. Many of the professions that correlate most closely with happiness are also social -- a corporate manager, a hairdresser."

So, what does this information offer corporate America?

Only that increasing meaningful connections in the workplace will result in a happier workforce, and as we have known for at least 50 years, happier people are, in general, more productive.

As yet, most of corporate America has turned a deaf ear to the importance of connections, i.e., relationships with others, in their workplaces. It has and will continue to be everyone's loss.


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