Contrary to everything we’ve been taught to believe, new research suggests that money can, in fact, buy happiness.
However, before you all rush out to max out your credit cards on self-indulgences, I should tell you that the research shows that joy does not stem from buying ourselves fast cars and designer watches. Rather, as HBR’s recent blog post highlights, it comes by spending our hard earned cash on others. In a series of experiments, researchers found that asking people to spend money on others — from giving to charity to buying gifts for friends and family — reliably made them happier than spending that same money on themselves.
Google have been putting this theory into practice with their innovative bonus scheme, in which employees can nominate each other to receive a $150 bonus. Although not a life-changing sum of money, the emotional payoff of this symbolic act of giving is sky high.
So it seems worth thinking how peer-to-peer giving can be incorporated into your workplace culture, to keep your people happy.