Even better, such behavior fueled by compassion, kindness and generosity tends to spread “like wildfire,” according to studies reviewed by Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education — adding to the increasing body of evidence that emotions are as contagious as the common cold. (If you’re interested in reading about more compassion-related research, Huffington Post has a helpful RSS feed of articles from Project Compassion Stanford.)
Being compassionate often requires a shift in perception. On Huffington Post, Emma Seppala, Ph.D., illustrates the power of this mindshift with a Buddhist myth about lunch in hell vs. lunch in heaven. In hell, diners are placed before a scrumptious buffet but cannot eat because the forks are too long. As a result, the diners live in eternal frustration and hunger. In heaven, diners are placed before the same buffet and eat heartily by using the same long-pronged forks to feed each other.
“The same circumstances can be experienced very differently depending on our attitudes and behavior,” Seppala writes. “Scientific data suggests that compassion is the intelligent way.”
Here are three scientifically proven ways a generous act like sharing employee appreciation gift certificates can be a win-win for you, your employees and the overall culture at your workplace.
1. It inspires others. A researcher at the University of Virginia describes the feeling generated by altruism as a state of “elevation” — like a chemical high — and suggests this may be the force behind the chain reaction of giving. The appreciation you show coworkers and employees is likely to spark a wave of goodwill in your workplace that can affect even those who aren’t the direct recipients, such as clients or customers.
2. It’s energizing. Depression and anxiety — individual or collective — are linked to self-preoccupation, an energy-sapping emotional state that is draining on everyone who comes in contact with it. When you share gifts, you shift the focus to others and to a culture of giving. Self-absorption dissipates and your whole workplace is energized.
3. It breeds happiness. Generosity wakes up the “pleasure centers” in the brain — the same ones activated by chocolate, money and sex — and actually makes us happier than if we were just buying something for ourselves.
Speaking of happiness, Pharrell Williams sings in his hit song “Happy” that happiness feels like a “room without a roof.” It’s a great turn of phrase, and it also describes well the expansive potential that researchers have discovered in the act of giving. The more you give, the more you get and the happier everyone is. Try it today.
When was the last time you experienced the “chain reaction” effect of generosity? How do you spread altruism in your workplace?
For tips on sharing your employee appreciation, download our FREE “Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving” by clicking below.
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 (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-484-1658.
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