I have been researching and innovating in the AI happiness landscape for the past three years, and there is nothing more important than ensuring that we create a healthier world. There is an imperative in my mind to drive home the urgent reality check that our individual health, our community health and our ecosystem health are imperative.
Although the global pandemic seems like yesterday’s news; the long tail implications are still reverberating everywhere. Contrary to what we thought would happen there are many concerning trends.
- Boston College researchers found reports of anxiety increased to 50 percent and depression to 44 percent by November 2020—rates six times higher than 2019—according to a new report in the journal Translational.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that anxiety and depress globally is up by over 25%
- Car Accidents are up nearly 10% in North America (2023).Forbes advisors, Christy Bieber and Adam Ramirez, calculated that one fatal car accident occurs every 15 minutes in the United States. There has also been a 7% increase in the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents between 2019 and 2020.
- Mental Health Claims have soared by 75% in Canada , for example.
What is happening?
The Gallup Negative Experience Index which has already surveyed over 200,000 people globally has asked numerous questions on stress, pain, anger, sadness, worry and the respondents claiming their lives are the worst every possible has literally quadrupled in the past fifteen years.
At a corporate level only one in four employees globally in Gallup’s database strongly agree that they have received recognition or praise for doing good work in the last week. Their research further found that if the median business in their Gallup database doubled the number of employees who strongly agree to this item, that business could see:
- A 9% improvement in productivity A 22% decrease in safety incidents
- A 22% decrease in absenteeism using these results
They also calculated how much an average U.S. business of 10,000 employees could expect to save based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, and the results they found were striking.
By simply doubling the one in four employees who strongly agree, in Gallup’s database, to receiving recognition or praise for doing good work in the last week, an average business could expect to save: $91,989,474 in gained employee productivity $2,807,200 due to decreased injuries $3,801,336 due to fewer unscheduled absences.
There is major research justifying that board directors, C-level leaders and all leaders must up their focus on health. Health is not only a personal matter, rather we need to be alert to looking after all of our employees and being stewards for their happiness.
We need to bring the whole person to work and we need to ensure they are engaged and happy.
Most research studies show employees are only productive about 60% of the time and are more likely to be productive working from home. Being interrupted every 3 minutes at work and ineffective meetings contribute to employees’ unproductivity.
So its only natural to appreciate that having happier people in our world – will unleash trillions of productivity increased opportunities.
The World’s Happiness Research Report tracks evidence about people think about about a successful life, in other words, what makes them happy and how happy are they – really? Creative questions are asked in the survey like: Imagine yourself on a ladder, where the bottom run (Number zero) is the worst possible life and the highest rung (10) is the best life. Where do you stand?
I asked ChatGPT this question with a minor variation with my own happiness life assessment and this is what it said:
Verbatim Question: “I am imagining that I am on a ladder, where the bottom run (Number zero) is the worst possible life and the highest rung (10) is the best life. I have rated myself as a 9, what do you think?”
ChatGPT Response: “As an AI, I don’t have personal opinions or the ability to evaluate individual lives or assign ratings. The rating you have given yourself as a 9 on the ladder indicates that you consider your life to be very close to the best possible life. It’s a subjective assessment that reflects your own perspective and satisfaction with various aspects of your life. Remember that life experiences and perceptions vary from person to person, so it’s ultimately up to you to determine how you perceive and rate your own life.”
Although we have increased the conversation about happiness. There remains major concerns about potential increases in mental health conditions which has promoted according to WHO for 90% of countries to include mental health and psychosocial support in their COVID-19 response plans, but major gaps and concerns remain.
“The information we have now about the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s mental health is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General has said : “This is a wake-up call to all countries to pay more attention to mental health and do a better job of supporting their populations’ mental health.”
Cracking the Happiness Code may require some very unique approaches to increasing employee engagement practices to be daily mental health and wellness check-ins. Will we start to see a global publicly traded company have the courage to put on their corporate intranet on their employee login screen.
Start your Day with a Smile. If Not Happy, tell us why. At ABC, We Simply Care More.
Using AI can be a very creative solution to track real time happiness, I can hardly wait to experience my car asking me if I am happy, my home door asking me, my login screen, and most important daily checkins with my family on their happiness and well being. At SalesChoice, there is a ritual of a morning happiness check in, and the company is building AI software striving to crack or unlock the happiness code.
Another renowned happiness researcher is, Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen has a great perspective on life as his statement has the essence of simplicity and purpose, “ We do need good coffee and good food, we need connection, we need to take a step back and feel happy with what we see. We need purpose and meaning in life.”
What we can all agree on is that happiness will require increasing employee engagement, providing new coaching approaches for managers to engage and inspire their employees, and help them achieve the quality of life they deserve. New employee engagement and support tools will also be needed.
Finding ways to disconnect is healthy as living in the age of constant noise and distraction could not be more important to enabling healthier mental mind sets. Hence the rise of apps like: Calm, Headspace, Kaji, Medatopia, MoodInsights, etc
Boston College Research Report
Employee Productivity Statistics.
From Praise to Profits: Research Report (Gallup and WorkHuman, 2023)
Kaji (An App that encourages you to Disconnect and Reflect)
SalesChoice – Mood Insights
The Happiness Research Institute
The Wellby Survey
The World’s Happiness Report
The World Health Organization Report
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