Chief Happiness Officer Strategy #3: Encourage Wellness
Paul Zane Pilzer wrote a book titled “Wellness: the Next Trillion Dollar Industry.” Pilzer is a Harvard-trained economist and thought-leader around this whole wellness movement. One of the things he talks about is how businesses don’t want to be in the healthcare business because healthcare costs too much on the back end.
The job of the Chief Happiness Officer is to encourage wellness and well-being on the front end. Invite people to think about things like: Are they eating properly? Are they taking mental breaks? Are they getting enough rest? (Arianna Huffington has written a plethora of articles and devoted a whole book to the idea of a “sleep revolution” that shatters the exaltation of the sleep-deprived executive. Huffington argues that sleep is the new competitive edge, and she encourages everyone to get more sleep in order to succeed in work and life.)
For the good of both the holistic person and the organization, the Chief Happiness Officer must be the proponent within the organization to prioritize things like meditation and sleep rooms (cite the research!). People are spending 8 to 10 to 12 hours a day in the business. They’re at work more than they are at home, so businesses have to be places that really care about their employees in order to earn the right to their best work.
Another example of something the Chief Happiness Officer should consider is how do we think about the nutrition that’s offered in the employee cafeteria or in break areas? One of my favorite examples is my experience at the Lynda.com offices. They have probably one of the healthiest employee cafeterias I’ve ever been in. There’s no fried food, everything is green, there’s a lot of kale, and what that said to me is they care about what employees put into their bodies.
Provide an abundance of physical fitness resources that will cater to multiple interests. For example, go beyond just having a fitness center relationship with one gym. Consider how do you begin to collaborate with other gyms that have a different format like Cross Fit or Pure Barre.
The Chief Happiness Officer literally can increase employee happiness and boost the bottom line by offering preventive measures. They can help people think about what they need mentally, how much sleep they’ve had, and ensure that they exercise and eat well. Show people the benefits of living a health lifestyle, because if they live a healthy lifestyle they’ll have longevity, not just for the business but for their loved ones and for themselves.