Why Wellbeing Counts – The Happiness Factor

Employers are fast-becoming ‘guardians of wellbeing’ | Employee engagement closely tied to health and wellbeing.



Out of nowhere, it seems, there was suddenly a CEO who cut his own salary from nearly $1 million to $70,000 and decided to raise the salary of even the lowest-paid employee to the same amount. Wow! That is a true Person we Love!

Dan Price, the CEO and founder of the company with a team of about 120, realised, after reading a research on Emotional Wellbeing¹, he did not need more money while for people who earn less than about $70,000, extra money makes a big difference in their lives. He dared to care.

This research¹ found that what they called emotional well-being — defined as “the emotional quality of an individual’s everyday experience, the frequency and intensity of experiences of joy, stress, sadness, anger, and affection that make one’s life pleasant or unpleasant” — rises with income, but only to a point. Income above the threshold doesn’t buy happiness, but a lack of money can deprive you of it. Income however is not worth much without for example health to enjoy it, and good health is part of allowing people to live a full and worthwhile life.


And here you find a link to a key aspect of Consuming Passions. We believe that we can realize our full potential of living our lives to the fullest when we have a balanced life in all five elements of well-being.

Well-being has five prominent elements, the aspects of life that matter most to people — our sense of purpose, our relationships, our financial security, our connection to our communities, and our physical health.

We invite you to join us in thinking beyond the traditional metrics used to measure work standards, and to work on well-being for any population that’s important to you — your employees, your community, your country — or, just as importantly, yourself and your family.

In this article we will elaborate more on why addressing your staff’s wellbeing will not only make them happy but give them greater job satisfaction, increase productivity, creativity and, ultimately boost the organisation’s bottom line.


Most employers know that an engaged workforce is more likely to be a more productive one, but less acknowledged is the link between engagement and the health and wellbeing of employees.

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest we are motivated at work by things other than money and that, as long as we are relatively job-secure and earning a reasonable wage – see the story of Dan Price above – , the quality of working life is at least as important. The top motivator is “respect” – how valued and trusted by their organisation employees feel.


A decade of research proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality of life improvements. Yet even those companies that do take leadership training seriously still ignore the role that happiness plays in leadership effectiveness.

Gallup² estimates that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units.
Managers’ influence on employee engagement is vital to a team’s success. An engaged manager supervising engaged employees leads to increased productivity, better-quality work and lower turnover; the employees have the opportunity to do what they do best every day and that there is someone at work who encourages their development.

At the organizational level, workers who are engaged in their work have more energy to take on challenges, increase their productivity, and positively affect those around them. Undoubtedly, one of the reasons that happy, satisfied workers are more likely to be high performers on the job is that they are less likely to show “job withdrawal”—namely, absenteeism, turnover, job burnout, and retaliatory behaviours.


Research also shows that when team members are happy at work, they are better collaborators, work to common goals, and are more innovative. When people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves.

Yet happiness is perhaps the most misunderstood driver of performance. For one, most people believe that success precedes happiness. “Once I get a promotion, I’ll be happy,” they think. Or, “Once I hit my sales target, I’ll feel great.”

In fact, it works the other way around: People who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge. This is called the “happiness advantage”—every business outcome shows improvement when the brain is positive.



Towers Watson research published in May 2013 found that while more than two-thirds of UK organisations planned to increase support for health and wellbeing programmes, a third said a lack of evidence of financial returns was a significant obstacle to improving the health and wellbeing of their workforce. Moreover, only 16% of employers measured the impact of their programmes on staff health. Strangely enough do also do not measure their turn-over, absenteeism and recruitment costs.

In 2015, although European respondents recognise the need for a more strategic approach, Europe lags behind other global regions in providing wellbeing and health management programmes. While contemporaneous research finds a strong association between effective health and wellbeing programmes and financial results

Employers who are not taking wellbeing seriously also lose out on higher levels of employee engagement, retention and creativity. By taking a more holistic approach that includes all of the facets of an individual’s well-being (purpose, social, financial, community, and physical), local, regional, and multinational corporations of all sizes unlock additional value of their employee base.

For companies, happy employees mean better bottom-line results. Employees who score low in “life satisfaction,” a rigorously tested and widely accepted metric, stay home an average of 1.25 more days a month, a study by Gallup Healthways shows. That translates into a decrease in productivity of 15 days a year. Here is your ROI …

Some firms say they care about the well-being and ‘happiness’ of their employees. But how?CONSUMINGPASSIONS

A comprehensive well-being strategy that encompasses all five elements of well-being — not just financial and physical health — and that builds on the relationships among the five elements is crucial to improving managers’ and employees’ well-being.

What we see in our consultancy work is that most businesses focus only on taking care of guests’ well-being as this can lead to a healthier balance sheet if companies do it right. That’s because there’s a strong link between guests’ feelings of well-being and customer engagement, according to Gallup’s 2014 Hospitality Industry study.

But the same goes for the employees and productivity as all the background information & research above gives evidence of. A company can only succeed at making employees feel wanted and welcomed — and helping them experience a sense of belonging — when it embeds these objectives into its culture and the ongoing training it provides to its people.


We work with an easy to implement Hospitality Strategy Model that provides tools for both employee and guest health & wellbeing satisfaction. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us on info@consuming-passions.com

1. http://www.pnas.org/content/107/38/16489.full
2. Gallup-Healthways Analytics
3. Towers Watson

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