Gift giving isn’t just for families sitting around a tree or birthday cake. Sometimes the act pertains to coworkers trying to spread goodwill. A manager may also appreciate the recognition from time to time. Giving gifts the right way can raise the morale in an office, improving mental health all around.
A 2008 study by Michael Norton, a professor at Harvard Business School, found giving money to someone else creates more happiness than spending on a person’s own wants even though the study participants predicted otherwise.
“This study addressed a paradox that economists have talked about for a long time — that increases in income don’t tend to lead to big increases in happiness,” Norton said. “People buy bigger and bigger houses, but they don’t seem to get much happier as a result.”
Norton and his colleagues reached their conclusion by surveying 632 American men and women regarding how much they make and what they spend their money on. The study found that those who spent more money on others were happier than others who spent on themselves.
Another test from the same study looked at the happiness of employees at a Boston-based company. Happiness was rated before and after employers provided bonuses. The size of the bonus didn’t make an impact on satisfaction, however, whether or not it was spent on others did. Generosity increased pleasure.
Jason Marsh and Jill Suttie from the Greater Good Science Center find gift giving promotes a sense of trust and togetherness that leads to increased cooperation and positive mental health.
Bosses in workplaces deserve a good mental health boost as well. There are certain points of etiquette to follow when showing this kind of appreciation to management. Lalhe Wolfe, CEO of LA Wolfe SEO & Marketing, says while giving gifts to a boss isn’t always expected in the workplace, if an employee does choose to give a gift to an employer, there are rules to follow. In this scenario, Wolfe suggests multiple employees chip-in for the gift so no one feels outshined.
Wolfe notes that if a gift is from one person, said employee should give it discreetly. Employees should decide on a simple and inexpensive, choosing to give gift cards instead of larger, more direct gifts like cash. Giving is about the act, not wanting some item or advantage in return.
Not everyone has the benefit of a positive, generous workplace. Some may struggle with their mental health due to constant negativity and hostility in the workplace. In this case, contact Sovereign Health Group for a referral to a facility near you by calling us at any time.
Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group writer