New research shows workplace happiness—as well as personal happiness—can come from doing nice things for others.  Things such as giving gifts and they don’t need to be big or expensive.

Workplace happiness

Photo via Mark Leslie, Flickr

Research shows time and time again that a happy workforce is a more engaged, productive one, so it’s clearly in your best interests to keep your employees happy.

“The greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy is a positive and engaged workforce.”

So says Shawn Achor, founder and CEO of Good Think, Inc., and author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, in a Leader to Leader post, “The Importance of Happiness in the Workplace.”

1. Support Each Other

The greatest predictor of success and happiness at work is social support, the Leader to Leader post says. And the greatest way to increase social support is to provide it to others. In Achor’s words:

“In an era of do-more-with-less, we need to stop lamenting how little social support we feel from managers, coworkers and friends, and start focusing our brain’s resources upon how we can increase the amount of social support we provide to the people in our lives.”

One way to foster workplace happiness is to provide opportunities to socialize and build relationships. A Huffington Post article, “Workplace Happiness Survey Finds Friends Are More Important Than Salary,” by Caroline Fairchild, a reporter at Fortune Magazine, includes data from a Jobsite survey of 1,000 United Kingdom workers. A majority of respondents, 70%, said friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life, while only 55% said money was most important.

2. Give Gifts

You can also encourage employees to reward one another frequently, perhaps by allowing them to give a certain number of gThankYou! Gift Certificates of Gratitude per month or quarter. You’ll want to model the process yourself by handing out rewards with personal thank yous. This will not only help people make friends; the simple act of giving will increase workplace happiness.

3. Get a “Helper’s High”

[Tweet ““Acts of kindness not only benefit the recipient but also ‘create a pleasurable helper’s high that benefits the giver.””]

Susan H. Greenberg, a freelance writer and former Newsweek editor who blogs at, makes that statement in “Jennifer Aaker: How to Make Yourself Happy,” on the Stanford Graduate School of Business site.

4. Give With Goals

Aaker, a professor at the school, has studied this concept with University of Houston’s Melanie Rudd and Michael I. Norton of the Harvard Business School. To produce the biggest spike in happiness, they find:

It’s much better to have a specific goal when giving a gift—“I want to make him/her smile,” will make you happier than “I want to inspire him/her.” You can see if you made someone smile, but inspiration is more difficult to assess.

5. Start a Cycle of Giving

Furthermore, the article says, giving with concrete objectives can start a cycle of doing good deeds for others. 

“As Rudd explains, ‘When we experience a bigger helper’s high, we not only feel greater happiness in the moment, we may also be more likely to give again in the future.’”

Get your helper’s high today—give a gift, lend a helping hand—do something nice for someone.

For more about workplace giving, download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
gThankYou, LLC ( is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Learn More About gThankYou!
Gift Certificates

Learn More About gThankYou! Gift Certificates Download Our Free Guide Now!

How gThankYou Certificates Work

Step 1

Order Certificates

Choose the gThankYou Certificates you want and order them online or by telephone.

Step 2

Ship directly to your business

Your order is delivered by UPS. Nearly all orders ship the day received. Overnight shipping is available.

Step 3

Distribute to your employees

Personalize your gThankYou Certificates with Recipient and Giver names (optional) and give them to employees.

Step 4

Redeem at any grocery store

Recipients redeem Certificates at major U.S. grocery stores and select the items they want.