The New Scientist published a superb article this week “The happiness revolution: How to boost the well-being of society”. The overriding and undeniable message: equality is the biggest contributor to human happiness and welling.
As human beings we tend to compare ourselves to others. A great example was a study of Olympic athletes as they received their medals: The gold medallists were extremely happy; the silver medallists were miserable (as they struggled to deal with the feeling of having missed out on the top spot) The bronze medallists were happier (because of the sheer relief of reaching the podium at all)
The article references a dozen large scale global studies over a number of decades which identified many of the financial, social and psychological factors that are linked to emotional well-being. Some of the statistics are profound: for example, India, where income has doubled and then re-doubled yet happiness is declining (because of huge rise in inequality) and visa versa in Finland, which has seen little economic growth but rising life satisfaction for the past decade.
Reducing inequality benefits everyone too, its lower inequality was shown to improve wellbeing across all the income groups, not just the poorer ones. Another study showed how the happiness of parents can be explained by the level of parental leave, flexible working hours, affordable childcare, and holiday leave within a region, which reduce the potential for work-family conflicts.
Given the huge focus and investments into employee wellbeing right now, it is a huge surprise that Total Reward Equity is not front and centre in policies. Income is the greatest driver of inequality. Total Reward Equity should be front and centre, and a core part of companies “Purpose”, if they want to truly begin to deliver on their promises and have a positive impact on employee wellbeing. The first step, gather and understand the total reward of everyone you employ.
Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg25333703-200-the-happiness-revolution-how-to-boost-the-well-being-of-society/#ixzz7J039V3tI