CUNA Corner

'The Happiness Advantage'

May 18, 2012
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Build staff’s social support

One way to augment employee positivity is to develop the organization’s social support system. Achor recalls a Harvard study that found social support was the best predictor of happiness during times of high stress, with a 0.71 correlation—higher than the link between smoking and cancer (0.37).

People in the top quartile of giving social support at work were 10 times more engaged than the bottom quartile, says Achor. They were also 40% more likely to be promoted within two years.

“If you give to the social support you reap an advantage not only in terms of happiness, but a financial one as well,” says Achor.

Some simple ways Achor advises organizations to improve their social support systems: help employees when they’re behind in their work, organize lunches, and set up other social engagements.

Even small changes can improve the happiness of others, he adds.

“The more we smile, the more optimistic we are, and the more we’re positive actually ripples out to other people around us—our coworkers, our family members, and our clients,” Achor says.

It’s also important to remember you’re in charge of your own happiness.

“Happiness is a choice,” says Achor. “The research is clear; you’re not controlled just by your genes. So if you make a positive habit change you can raise your levels of happiness.

“Happiness,” he says, “is actually the greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy.”

Shawn Achor will address the America’s Credit Union Conference in San Diego, June 17-20. Click here for more information.

 

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