How the "feel good" chemical reaction can be a morale boost for
Holidays naturally bring people together – a sense of giving, family
and all-around good feelings generally rule the holiday season. Fundraising
or volunteering organized at work can also promote a sense of community
among employees during this time and build camaraderie.
Why does giving feel so good?
Many studies have shown that performing acts of kindness, either through
the donation of money, goods or time, reduces stress levels and boosts
STUDY ONE: Life satisfaction
- Participants started by taking a life satisfaction survey
- Group A performed a daily act of kindness for 10 consecutive days
- Group B performed a new or novel act each day for 10 consecutive days
- Group C received no instructions
Groups A and B experienced a significant boost in happiness when taking
the same life satisfaction survey 10 days later. Group C saw no change.
Study published in Journal of Social Psychology.
STUDY TWO: Stress reduction
- Participants were asked to perform good deeds daily for nine days
Following the nine day period, stress levels were lowered both by self-report
and other measures.
Study performed by University of Sussex’s Mindlab.
Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky of Stanford University attributes the mood boost to a sense by the good Samaritans that what they are doing matters. Further
studies by Lyubomirsky found that those who felt their beneficiaries truly
appreciated their good deeds felt the biggest mood boost.
Why should businesses promote giving?
Gallup reported that when employees are disengaged, businesses lose up to $300 billion
annually due to lost productivity. Besides
promoting wellness and a
positive work environment, encouraging employees to participate in a holiday fundraising or volunteering
program can help build morale among workers and give employees a sense
of satisfaction only obtained through helping others.
In addition to nurturing employee happiness, campaigns can bring positive
attention to your business. Whether your employees host a successful food
drive or volunteer out in the community wearing company shirts, all giving
activities command respect for your business and employees. Additionally,
matching donations or certain donations made by businesses to a registered
501(c)(3) non-profit can be deducted from the company’s tax return.
The most important factor in organizing a holiday giving program –
or at any time of the year – is to make sure employees are motivated
to participate. An initial survey to find out what causes employees are
interested in or connecting the program to an organization one or more
employees have personal ties to is a good start.
Happy holidays and feel good by giving back!
Written by Leeann Garms