A question for ya

A Question For YaThere is little doubt that happiness at work is linked to the bottom line, and many studies confirm this. But how does it work? How much of an effect does it have? How can you boost it? What factors matter and which don’t?

To answer these questions better, I’d like to gather a list of quality resources (books, articles, studies, statistics, case stories) that examine this link and this is where I need your help. I’m not trying to assemble every study ever done – I just want some good ones.

Just to give you an idea, here are some that I’ve been using:

Do you know any other good evidence-based resources that look at how happiness at work improves the bottom line? I’d also like to see any studies that don’t find any effect!

7 thoughts on “A question for ya”

  1. I don’t have any resources at hand but, I think that an environment where people are happier is an environment more conductive to flow. Flow does wonders for productivity.

  2. -Book – Positivity by Barbara L.Frederickson, Ph.D. http://www.unc.edu/peplab/purpose.html
    -Research – Effect of Workplace Laughter Groups on Personal Efficacy Beliefs
    http://www.bellylaughday.com/images/laughterlinksAuthors_20Full_20Text.pdf
    -Research – Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Desk
    The Effect of Mood on Work Performance
    http://www.upenn.edu/researchatpenn/article.php?1101&bus
    -Smiling Makes You Happy research from Bob Sutton
    http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/12/smiling_makes_y.html
    Article The Link between Laughter and Creativity
    Professor Julian Evans Uhiversity College London
    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0907/09071303
    Personal Experience Story – Learning, Laughter, Ideation, Creativity
    http://www.paceth.com/regions.php

  3. Alex,
    When I picked up the book Positivity to see if Positivity matched your question criteria I happened to open to a discussion of September, 11, 2001.
    On page 98 in Positivity Dr. Frederickson writes about her journey from Minneapolis to Ann Arbor on September 12 by train (planes were grounded). “That September 12 train was filled with displaced airline passengers and that day this group of strangers was talking….All hearts were tender with a fusion of empathy, vulnerability and more….Every so often, a peal of laughter would erupt somehere in the car. “Did you hear that? I asked my companion. “People are laughing. I think they are already the same.” Hurt, yes but still the same. Around September 14, I was plagued with doubt. I wondered, Who will care? I honestly felt that the science of positivity was no longer relevant in this new era of terrorism. For the first time, I questioned the relevance of my life’s work. My mission was unraveling into a lifeless heap of numbers and words. About a day into this gloomy funk…. Then I remembered those people who’d been laughing on the train a few days earlier. Was their laughter irrelevant? My past work told me it wasn’t. Data from my published studies suggested that positivity would be a lifeline – an important way of coping with adversity. I regrouped and began to wonder how I could best test the idea that even now, in the midst of this national tragedy (9/11/2001) positive emotions were still valuable. I was instantly energized. Then it hit me. (page 100) We had just completed a large study in which we measured the purported resilience levels of more than 100 college students using a simple survey. Perhaps we could find these folks again to investigate resilience in action in the wake of 9/11.”
    study information pages 100-103
    Dr. Frederickson continues:
    “The events of 9/11 shocked the world. Serendipitously, I had the data in hand that ranked a large group of students by their resilient personality styles. Impressively, that pre-crisis measure of resiliency could forecast the degree of positivity people experienced during the uncertain and troubling weeks after the terrorist attacks. And positive emotions turned out to be the active ingredient that enabled certain people to bounce back and grow stronger. I’m thankful that I regained my own faith in positivity in time to gather these eye-opening data. Positivity matters. And it especially matters during trying times.”

  4. From the book Positivity by Dr. Barbara Frederickson
    “If you want to reshape your life for the better … seed more moments of heartfelt positivity into your life – increase your quantity of positivity over time.”
    On Global Belly Laugh Day, January 24 we increase our positivity ratio.
    We connect, create and celebrate the great gift of laughter.
    The celebration is playful, easy and fun. On Global Belly Laugh Day, January 24 at 1:24 p.m. (your local time) smile, throw your arms in the air and laugh out loud. Join the Belly Laugh Bounce ‘Round the World.
    Your laughter is contagious. We look forward to catching your laughter.
    Where in the world will you be on January 24? Tweet your location as you laugh out loud at 1:24 p.m. (local time).
    with a smile and a belly laugh,
    elaine

  5. how about these:

    bob sutton’s no asshole rule

    The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First

    The Customer Comes Second by Rosenbluth

  6. This here?
    http://www.theworkfoundation.com/assets/docs/publications/187_peopleandbottomline.pdf

    “Does the way people are treated at work make a difference to the performance of the organisations that employ them? Are there returns to investment in human capital in a similar way to investments in physical capital?”

    One ‘A’ in the 4A model that is central in this study is Attitude:
    “it is clear that skills are not the totality of what makes people do an excellent job. There is also the engagement, motivation and morale of the workforce and the meaning they find in work, their beliefs about the workplace and their willingness to put in additional effort.”

  7. My book, Joy Rules! 30 Lessons to Help Leaders Harness Heart Power at Work has several examples linking fun at work with high performance and productivity. Send me your mailing addess to me at fwarihay@takechargeinc.com and I’ll mail you a complimentary copy. My resolution for 2010 is to start a joy resolution – I hope you delight in the book.

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