Harvard did a study that affirmed that spending $5 dollars a day on others increased people’s sense of self and well being. (According to Dr. Phil June 6, 2010. You can also refer to a study by University of B.C. psychologist Elizabeth Dunn.)
The overall message here of course is that giving is one of the most powerful elements in creating positive well being.
So why do we have such difficulty with this in the work context? We do not literally have to spend $5 dollars on people at work, but we can generate positive well being by giving in small yet meaningful ways. One of these ways is to give encouragement and recognition. When we take the time to observe and acknowledge other people in a positive way, everybody wins.
Tom Peters suggests in his book The Little Big Things, 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence that the positive to negative ratio might be out of balance at work, “A lot of managers have the hardest time giving any positive reinforcement.” So how about you and I commit to spending “five dollars” on each other at work EVERY DAY by recognizing one another in a genuine way. The Return on Investment is fast and bigger than we may realize.