Who doesn’t want to be happier? Who doesn’t want to improve their business? Why should the two be mutually exclusive?

We recently saw an article by Harvard researcher and The Happiness Advantage author Shawn Achor recommending a few simple strategies to boost happiness, and our ears perked up. Our Core Values of Foster Happiness and Innovate leading the way, we took Achor’s advice and crafted a “Happiness Journal” for our staff. By the end of the program, our people were happier, and fascinatingly, even our numbers were happier.

Before the journaling campaign, we had 1 reported error for every 1,000 calls – an impressive percentage for a traditional answering service, but not good enough for Ruby.

Within six weeks of the journaling program, errors dropped down to 1 per 2,500 calls, a dramatic 60% decrease.

The daily journal entries took minutes and asked participants to:

  • List three new things you’re grateful for that day.
  • Write about a positive gratitude action for the day.
  • Write about a positive experience from the past 24 hours.

For an extra happy pick-me-up, employees could meditate for two minutes or exercise for ten. Simple stuff, but it had a big impact!

Ruby Receptionists Founder and CEO Jill Nelson came up with a bonus incentive to get Rubys excited about the program, and truly WOW them. Those who successfully completed the thirty-day journal became eligible to win an expenses-paid trip to Hawaii for two!

Tasia, a virtual receptionist at Ruby for over four years, told me, “The first few days were kind of a struggle to fill out. But then I noticed a change. My daily bike rides to work turned into scavenger hunts where I would notice every beautiful flower and blooming tree. Overall, the experience left me with a tendency to look for the bright side in life. Finding out I won the trip to Hawaii just gave me one more thing to be happy about!” The trip to Hawaii couldn’t have gone to a better person; Tasia got engaged recently and is planning on using the trip as her honeymoon!

Overall, the “Happiness Journal” was a great success; so much so that we’ve started including the program with our initial training from now on. Each new Ruby receives a Welcome Book and is invited to keep a Happiness Journal of their own!

Fostering happiness is worth it. We’ve seen the effects first-hand!