The SilverBridge Buying Happiness initiative that forms part of the insurance software services provider’s employee wellness programme is designed to improve their overall happiness by perpetuating the culture of giving within the organisation.
“In 2015, I was watching a discussion on how money can buy happiness if it is spent on someone else. This was based on international research across people of different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. The common sentiment was that irrespective of the amount that was given, when someone got the opportunity to give money to someone who they felt deserved it, it increased their happiness. I started thinking of how to apply the principle within SilverBridge and Buying Happiness was born,” says Lee Kuyper, executive director at SilverBridge.
Buying Happiness sees each person in the company nominating someone they would like to see receiving an amount of R1,000. This typically happens when there is a company event and, except for a few people, the Buying Happiness exercise is a surprise. Employees get five minutes to write down the name on a piece of paper. The following day a list is put up with all the nominations and the amount each person will receive. The company then pays it over to the individuals.
“This fits into a core SilverBridge belief that if our people are happy, they will make our clients happy. And while we thought most people would nominate someone they felt had made a difference to their job, most employees awarded the money based on who they felt needed it the most. For example, the person who received the most nominations had just lost her son to cancer. This came with high medical costs and people felt she could really benefit from such a pay-out.”
Kuyper says that there have been other examples of people who received money giving it away again.
“This just really emphasises that we have a great company with people who really care about each other.”
Buying Happiness forms part of several wellness initiatives at SilverBridge designed to boost the overall wellness of its most important asset – its people.
“Buying Happiness, amongst other people wellness initiatives, has resulted in so many positive things happening inside the organisation. It creates a special kind of energy which translates into business success. People are the most important factor that will determine whether you are successful or not. Your people set you apart from everyone else,” concludes Kuyper.
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