Despite the ongoing uncertainty, team gatherings are still an excellent
opportunity to say thank you and improve morale. And, we certainly see
an uplift in happiness and wellbeing after an office get-together, but
does it last?
Happiness is a Habit
The answer — unfortunately — is no. The bump in morale doesn’t last.
Happiness scores tend to dip when people return in the new year.
This graph represents one of our client’s wellbeing scores, before and
after a party. Prior to the party, their scores were in the mid 70s. The
party caused a spike to 90 before dropping back to the 70’s again, a
week later. This trend is fairly common — we’ve seen it repeatedly
across a wide range of clients.
So, while it’s great to have a party (and we certainly encourage you to
have one safely), it’s also important to think about what would make for
a Happy New Year.
Aristotle once said, “Excellence is a habit.” To that, we add,
“Happiness is a habit.” If you want your people to be happy at work,
then happiness needs to be a priority and something that is worked
towards weekly. Happy teams don’t just materialize; they are built
through consistently checking in on your people and asking them how
their week has been. It comes from reflecting on things that go well and
things that can be improved.
Happier teams are created when people of all levels take charge of their
own fate. When team members and leaders both own their experience at
work and commit to making their workplace happier, real change happens.
This commitment is vital — while there will be inevitable ups and downs,
the trend will move upwards.
Through the Friday Pulse platform and analyzing client data, we’ve
repeatedly seen how a weekly pulse check and weekly team meetings create
a happier workplace. We know from tracking weekly employee wellbeing
numbers that low team morale can result in losses of approximately
$1,000,000 per year (based on a 200-person business). However, even a
modest investment in employee wellbeing through a platform like Friday
Pulse can translate to a 7.5% increase in productivity. A happy team
that enjoys what they are doing reaps a massive return on happiness and
a great ROI too — as much as a 5X return in year one.
In a normal year, the average UK company spends approx. £80 per person
on a Christmas party. But, for the same amount, you could get a whole
year of supporting team happiness with a lasting effect on wellbeing.
The draw of a fresh start
The allure of new year’s resolutions is that it’s an opportunity for a
fresh start. Yet, they also have a bad reputation, and it’s not entirely
undeserved. According to Katy Milkman, Wharton professor and author
of How to Change, over a third of resolutions fail before the end of
January, and more than 80% fail overall. But as she points out, there’s
a silver lining here — 20% of these goals succeed.
Why new year and not just any other day of the year? With all things
being equal, New Year’s Day is probably the same as any other day,
albeit one with a potential hangover. But significant days like the first of the year, a
birthday or a holiday are temporal landmarks that offer a fresh start.
These days naturally cause people to evaluate their lives and seriously
consider new directions. That, in turn, results in an extra motivational
boost towards achieving a better goal.
How Friday Pulse can help
By adopting good habits, workplace happiness is well within your reach.
So, why not make lasting happiness a key goal for your organization
Friday Pulse is a tool designed to track the happiness scores of your
people on a weekly basis. The data we gather offers real-time insight
for senior leaders so that they know how their people are really doing
and identify any problem areas that can be improved in the coming weeks
and months ahead.