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Updated by Rosaria Cirillo on Oct 02, 2021
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Yellow Factor - Happiness in & through Business

A Yellow Goldfish is anytime a business does a little extra to contribute to the happiness of its customers, employees, or society.
A Yellow Factor is the little extra that each of us can do to seed happiness, shine sunlight and contribute to a happier, healthier world.
Based on nearly 300 case studies collected in 2018 with Stan Phelps, we identified nine Yellow Factors and six stages for happiness-driven growth, productivity, and prosperity in business and through business. The nine Yellow Factos are: Health, Autonomy, Purpose, Play, Integrity, Nature, Empathy, Simplicity and Smile.
This list collects examples of companies and leaders embracing at least one Yellow Factor to contribute to the happiness of customers, employees or society overall.
Please add the ones you are aware of to this list so it can provide further inspiration and motivation to other companies to do the same.
The examples collected in 2018 during crowd sourcing project powering the book, Yellow Goldfish by Stan Phelps and Rosaria Cirillo (published 09/18/18) can be found on the Yellow Goldfish list on
The book "Yellow Factor: Happiness in Business" with examples collected in 2018 is available on

To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation

On a recent October morning in the White House mailroom, on the ground floor of the Executive Office Building just beside a loading dock, 10 interns sat at two long tables, each trying to get through 300 letters. Grab a bundle, sit down and read. It was pretty straightforward: Read. A girl doesn’t want her mom to be deported, and can the president please help? A guy finally admits to his wife that he’s gay, and now he would like to tell the president. A car dealer writes to say his bank is shutting him down, and thanks for nothing, Mr. President. A vet who can’t stop seeing what he saw in Iraq writes a barely intelligible rant that makes his point all the more intelligible: “Help.” An inmate admits to selling crack to all those people but he wants the president to know he is not a lost cause: “I have dreams Mr. President, big dreams.” A man can’t find a job. A woman can’t find a job. A teacher with advanced certification can’t find a damn job. A lesbian couple just got married; thank you, Mr. President. A man sends his medical bills, a woman sends her student-loan statements, a child sends her drawing of a cat, a mother sends her teenager’s report card — straight A’s, isn’t that awesome, Mr. President?

"Happiest Chewbacca Mom" story: 8 learnings about Happiness & CEXP - Wow Now

In May 2016 Candace Payne’s Happiest Chewbacca Mom video went viral in no time with pivotal lessons about how happiness can drive growth

  1. “It’s the simple joys in life…” Candace’s description of her video is spot on. Her authentic laugh & joy is why her video is so engaging to watch. Candace is a real person, a human being which in 4 minutes, while sitting in the car park of KOHL’S, totally takes us into her life. As a mother I could immediately relate to her experience at many levels: finally taking a moment to buy myself a birthday gift, letting this gift be a toy which usually would be for kids, knowing that the kids will take it over (I continuously get even my office items confiscated by my kids) and that she can eventually take it back to her room as soon as they put it in one of their toy boxes. I also have a toy which I bought for my baby 5 years ago just because I loved how it was saying “wriccapukketio” and I’m still keeping it because it makes me laugh every time I play it!
    Candace is one of us, she is authentic, she is brave in her sharing, she is looking at the camera talking to her friends, people who love her and she loves back. We trust her and feel a connection with her. Her laugh has an immediate “happiness ripple effect” for anyone watching. It’s contagious! For the 4 minutes of this video, we can all relate to Candace, and we all feel to be her friends: that is what makes this video so special to re-share

  2. Facebook Live is a feature that is only three months old, yet is already completely changing our way of communicating and engaging with our friends and acquaintance, and even with total strangers, increasing exponentially possibilities of “butterfly effect“.

    The quote “When a butterfly flaps its wings in one part of the world it can cause a hurricane in another part of the world” never seemed more truthful.

  3. Candace had initially gone into KOHL’S to make “a couple of returns”, clothes that didn’t fit her because too big.
    While this is all Candace’s mentions about it, I assume that these returns were enough of an easy, fast and pleasant experience, which made her have the time, energy and will to stay longer in KOHL’s and buy herself a gift!

  4. This video is Awesome and even more awesome, especially for me as CEX Professional and Happiness Driven Growth Evangelist, is what the retailer KOHL’S did afterward. They very quickly and promptly reacted, taking the chance to deliver Candace a WOW customer experience that made her entire family happy. Candace had given the Internet the best laugh of the year, and they wanted to do something in return.

    This is real Customer Engagement, this is making your customers Happy, this is making a little difference in someone’s life! It’s proactive, it’s acknowledging of the difference this customer is making to KOHL’S, and it truly makes someone’s day.

  5. Just a few days before, KOHL’S had announced declining sales and profit, attributing that to bad advertising choices. They also had announced to move away from digital marketing and invest more again in printing advertisement instead. The video of KOHL’S gifts to Candace has gone viral too with 22,5 M views & people are Tweeting thank you message to KOHL’S for “giving back” to the woman who contributed to everyone happiness with her laugh! This is an amazing and unexpected turn of events.

    This is the best new form of advertising! Advertising that uses (a small) budget to give tangible value to its customers, contributing to someone’s happiness. Traditional TV commercial add no real value to anyone’s life, at maximum they can make us smile if they are really good.

  6. This video had an immediate impact on sales! Everyone wanted to FEEL the same joy & happiness Candace feels in her video, even if we don’t like Star Wars.
    @Victoria_Lynn84 Unfortunately, we do not have any information on when/if the Chewbacca mask will be restocked. Sorry for any inconvenience.
    — Kohl’s (@Kohls) May 21, 2016
    Because we all felt like being Candace’s friends (see learning 2) we trusted her recommendations both for the item and for the retailer. Not only KOHL’S shelves quickly ran out of Chewbacca’s mask (and I would be curious to learn about the cross-sales effects on other items people bought once in the shop), but even Amazon sales skyrocket by more than 1,300,000%

    Since we are all pursuing happiness and all we want is happiness, happiness does drive sales and has a real impact on companies sales and profits, hence on their growth. We buy products or experiences not because of what they do, but because of how they make us FEEL and we want to feel HAPPY. We trust our friends’ recommendations and, often, emulate their purchases or experiences.

  7. KOHL’S ran out of stock in all of their stores, online including warehouses. They are doing a great job at answering every Tweet request on this, but unfortunately, they don’t have updates on when the mask will be restocked. This reminded me of Walmart 1 million American flag sales in the days following 9/11, an example which I described back in 2002 in my master thesis on CEXP: Walmart was able to do so thanks to its real-time monitoring of the demand, thanks an automated system of re-ordering as soon as stock was below a critical level and thanks to its partnership relationships with the suppliers and shipping companies involved. This time I was quite surprised to see that even Walmart seems to have run out of stock, missing out on this amazing sales opportunity and leaving plenty of loyal customers disappointed and forced to keep looking elsewhere. I’m curious to see which retailer will step up in the upcoming days, before this impulsive desire to get a Chewbacca electronic mask fades off.

    When companies’ systems are not good enough to identify demand picks and restock quickly, we not only loose out on potential sales but we also upset customers and create a chance for them to go searching and buying elsewhere. Inventory management & supply chain are a key element of delivering an amazing CEXP and of enabling sales and resulting business growth.

  8. This entire “Happiest Chewbacca Mom” story:
    shows how everything starts with emotions (a desire to feel an emotion, a simple action that triggers an emotion, the sharing of that emotion that makes so many other people feel the same emotion),
    proves that the delivery of amazing Customer Experience and consequent exponential business growth require an orchestrated effort from everyone and every function in the company: front-lines employee at every retail store locations, returns policies, marketing, supply chain, digital, social media, suppliers…

My tips for happiness in 2018 | Virgin

I’m often asked: What is the key to success? My answer is always simple: happiness. Happiness should be everyone’s goal, but I understand that it can seem out of reach, with many, for instance, affected by mental health problems that alter their outlook on life. 

We Need This - Mexico has found a beautiful way to clean...

Mexico has found a beautiful way to clean its polluted air.

Southwest surprises newlyweds with mid-flight ‘wedding’ ceremony | Fox News

Taylor and Mikaela Flowers were treated to a second set of nuptials en route to their honeymoon.


The author of Eating Animals Jonathan Safran Foer was sitting in a Chipotle one day. Then he realized that he had not...

The author of Eating Animals Jonathan Safran Foer was sitting in a Chipotle one day. Then he realized that he had nothing to do. He had not thought of bringing a book or magazine along, and he didn’t yet own a smartphone. In his own words “I really just wanted to die with frustration.” Then he had an idea. What if there were something truly good to read on his Chipotle coffee cup? He reached out to the CEO that he happened to have met a few years earlier, and the idea took off from there.

Now, under its motto Cultivating Thought, in Chipotle stores you can have cups and bags with original texts written on it by renowned authors like Foer, Malcolm Gladwell, Jonathan Franzen, Paulo Coelho and many others. The writings are "two-minute reads". As Malcolm Gladwell described it: "The goal of storytelling should be to make stories as ubiquitous as music." And it is. Small bits, easy and accessible. Chipotle put it beautifully: "We’re hoping [to] create a moment of analog pause in a digital world, provoking introspection or inspiration, and maybe a little laughter."

Of course I am intrigued. I am marveled about the simplicity of it. I think the aim is fantastic. And I believe that to engage an organisation you need to be clever and daring. To do something new. Even if it's a small thing like using an everyday item for something novel and inspiring. In Chipotle's words:  Must a cup, or bag, suffer an existence that is limited to just one humble purpose, defined merely by its simple function? So well put.

In letter posted to LinkedIn, Patagonia’s CEO announced her company is donating all $10 million to non-profit groups who work on issues related to climate change and the environment.

Patagonia's Unapologetically Political Strategy and the Massive Business It Has Built |

Gone are the days of companies trying to stay neutral on hot-button issues. Consumers want corporations to take strong stands--and Patagonia is pioneering how to do it.

CVS Pharmacy Unveils New Beauty Aisles Reflecting Significant Progress in Commitment to Transparency and New Standard...

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Jan. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), today announced significant progress toward the goal of full transparency for all of its beauty imagery by the end of 2020 and its efforts to create new industry standards for post-production alterations of beauty imagery. Just one year after the Company made the commitment to create new standards for post-production alterations of beauty imagery, nearly 70 percent of beauty imagery in CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide will be CVS Beauty Mark compliant.
#integrity #empathy

Thames Water launches a Nightclub for mental health

June 9, 2019: Karl Simons posted images on LinkedIn. #Health

Karl Simons on LinkedIn: "Thames Water launches a Nightclub! “How many times have you laid in bed at night with worrying thoughts about work racing through your mind?” One of the greatest challenges we face in the modern digital era is the demands and pressures placed on our people. This arises in part from the non-stop connectivity we all face and the balance and discipline of knowing when to switch off, take time to relax and unwind...this has undoubtedly become gradually harder for the workforce. Great leaders are becoming increasingly aware of the risk this presents, manifesting in excessive stress levels and fatigue which can be extremely dangerous, thus I believe setting the right tone across a company is an initial and crucial step for anyone in a leadership position. Then it’s providing awareness, support, the tools and tips to aid all in managing their own perception and demands... The ‘Nightclub’ launched this week in Thames is helping our people through providing access to psychological advice and guidance... #mentalhealth"

Airbnb offering free housing to Hurricane Dorian evacuees and relief workers | Miami Herald

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2019 Aetna Voices of Health Competition

Aetna Voices of Health is an initiative to support visionaries who are closing the gap around healthcare disparities by changing behaviors through informing and empowering others.

Action Works: Patagonia opens pop-up activist café in London

Outdoor clothing company Patagonia has opened a pop-up café in central London, which will play host to climate activist training courses.

Salesforce to donate $17 million to fight climate change, economic inequality -

Salesforce said Sunday it will donate $17 million to nonprofits over the next year to advance the United Nations’ environmental sustainability and economic equality goals.

Nike reveals Space Hippie — sustainable sneakers made from waste

Take a look at the new Nike sneakers, aptly named Space Hippie, which are inspired by space waste and are made using recycled materials from the factory floor.

The boss who put everyone on 70K - BBC News

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UST Global feted for best innovation in employee engagement - Business Line

Digital transformation solutions company UST Global has won the award for ‘Best Innovation in Employee Engagement’ at the Employee Engagement Summit 2020 by UBS Forums.

Being Inspired at IDEO

“It’s your job to be inspired.”
That simple phrase rang in my ears. Paul Bennett, a passionate creative and colleague, noticed that I had fallen into a slump, and asked me to join him for breakfast. What he offered wasn’t fortune cookie advice. It was an imperative, a mandate, a Jedi moment.
When designing something new is your job, you can’t just wait for inspiration to strike, he said. You have to go after it.
At IDEO, projects span from 3 weeks to several months—short and intense sprints that range across a variety of industries. Somehow between two of my projects, I had stepped into the mire of creative despondency. I wasn’t feeling generative or inspired. Worse, I had become distracted by those haunting voices of self-doubt—“Are you good enough,” and “Are you really doing enough”—the grime of the dark side.
To get unstuck, I turned to my Jedi Master guides—three innovative leaders who I greatly admire: Paul Bennett (Curiosity Chronicles), Diego Rodriguez (Metacool), and Tim Brown (Design Thinking).
I was driven by a single question: What inspires those who inspired me?
They seemed inexhaustible in their ability to get others excited about new ideas—never disengaged or tired of whatever they were working on. I emerged with three guiding principles for how to stay inspired.
“You must unlearn what you have learned.” — Yoda
Remember your childhood wonders—half material, half magical? Your creativity wasn’t pretentious. It wasn’t contrived. It was driven by pure curiosity. Somewhere along the way, as you got older, you lost that force, or buried it. But cultivating curiosity sets us back on a path of discovery. It pushes us out of the realm of complacency, and opens us again to the (im)possible. There lots of ways to stoke it. One way I recommend is taking a human centered design approach to problem solving (download the Human Centered Design Toolkit as a start).
#2: DO
“In my experience, there’s no such thing as luck.” — Obi Wan Kenobi
I got my next bit of Jedi wisdom on a walk with Diego Rodriguez, an insightful design leader here at IDEO. As we talked about doing great work, he said, “The truth is, I’m most inspired when I’m producing, not consuming.” Instead of just putting down work that is uninspiring and waiting for some answer, he said, I’d be more likely to alight upon solutions by picking up something entirely different—something creative, generative, or simply active. It’s important to unfocus sometimes, and allow space for other ideas, outside the specific challenge, to help your work along. In other words, don’t just wait around for inspiration, mine for it.
“You will find only what you bring in.” — Yoda
There is something to be said for connecting the dots. I was chatting with Tim Brown, the third of my Jedi Masters, and asked him, “How do you stay inspired when you’ve seen it all?”
He seemed genuinely surprised. “Me? No way! I’m always trying to find ways to connect interesting things that initially seem unrelated.” Figuring out how disparate things relate to one another often uncovers something entirely new, he said.
Not long after these talks, I got out of my rut. Not by identifying what inspires, but by figuring out how to stay engaged. I now follow the gerunds: searching, doing, and reflecting, to find inspiration and bring it in.


Ben & Jerry's wants to improve the quality of life and promote well-being / happiness

Ben & Jerry's wants to improve the quality of life and promote well-being / happiness

To operate the company in a way that actively recognizes the central role that business plays in society by initiating innovative ways to improve the quality of life locally, nationally and internationally

It’s Not Climate Change… It’s Everything Change
Backstory: In 1978, good friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield decided to start a business together. The duo briefly considered bagels, but found the equipment was too expensive. Instead they opted for opening a shop featuring homemade ice cream in Burlington, Vermont. Armed with a five dollar correspondence course in ice cream-making from Penn State, they renovated an old gas station into a store. On their first anniversary, the pair gave away free cones to thank customers of their new business, a practice that continues today at Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream stores. Ben and Jerry were pioneers in developing a socially conscious business. They were proponents of the idea that business needs to protect the environment. Ben & Jerry’s is an advocate for what they call Climate Justice. In their words,

We live in a world where the effects of climate change are increasingly real; from melting ice caps to rampant forest fires, it can no longer be denied that manmade carbon pollution is affecting our fragile planet. The scientific evidence is settled; global warming is real and already impacting people around the world. The question now is, “What are we doing about it?” Every passing year, we see changing patterns of precipitation, including more intense rainfall events around the world, dramatic changes in the arctic, changes in agricultural growing seasons and rising sea levels and ocean acidification. Some of these changes in our climate will have dramatic ecological and social consequences. The cruel irony of climate change is that people in the developing world, who can least afford to adapt to climate change, will pay the steepest price for the 200 years of industrialization and pollution from the developed world. It truly is an issue of climate justice.

The company believes that we must take steps to dramatically reduce global greenhouse gas emissions – and to do it in a way that equitably shares the burdens and risks of climate change among the nations of the world. There is no quick fix to solve climate change, but the company advocates for:

Divesting from fossil fuels
Increasing renewable energy sources
Putting a price on carbon pollution
Working with developing countries to invest in renewable energy

Ben & Jerry’s Chunkinator
The company has calculated its carbon footprint, and is working to reduce it. They are working with suppliers to reduce methane emissions from farms. They are changing to a cleaner, greener freezer in the US and have built the Chunkinator at their Netherlands factory which helps power the factory from ice cream bi-products. It’s one step toward doing more. Ben & Jerry’s aims to get to 100% clean energy at all of their U.S. sites by 2020.


Barnum Museum - P.T. Barnum believed the noblest art was making others happy

Barnum Museum - P.T. Barnum believed the noblest art was making others happy

P. T. Barnum is famously quoted as saying, “The noblest art is that of making others happy.” With The Greatest Showman, the Australian duo of director Michael Gracey and star Hugh Jackman fully embrace this sentiment in retelling the birth of show business. From the sensational opening scene, watching the film is a joyful experience. An homage to big musicals of the past, it progresses from start to finish linked together by one grandiose song after another, full of over-the-top production and exciting choreography. The passion poured into the project oozes off the screen in every performance and its multiple positive messages about chasing your dreams, using your imagination, and accepting everyone as they are serve as inspirational lessons for child and adult alike. Also creating that emotional connectivity are the excellent songs, featuring lyrics from Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the break-out songwriters of La La Land‘s award-winning “City of Stars.”



Clif-Bar believes a healthy employee is a happy one

Clif-Bar believes a healthy employee is a happy one

Employers are finding that supporting and providing incentives for their staff improves motivation and engagement, which in turn impacts productivity. (Source:

Let’s look at a handful of relevant examples from Clif Bar:

The Emeryville-based nutrition company offers employees a half-hour of paid time to work out. Additionally, employees get 2.5 hours of free personal training per year.

Environmental issues are very important to the company. Clif Bar gives their employees $6,500 toward the purchase of a fuel-efficient vehicle and $1,000 to do an energy upgrade on their home.

The company was born on a bike. Clif Bar gives employees $500 for the purchase of a commuter bike so long as they agree to commute by bike at least twice per month.

Employees receive a $350 stipend to help cover the entry costs for races, events and competitions.

Every week the company assembles for a company breakfast — bagels, fresh fruit, eggs, oatmeal, juice, bacon and sausage and more are served — and the team shares news, announcements and a consumer’s letter of the week.

TAKEAWAY STAT: Clif Bar enjoys a retention rate of 96 percent.


Peppercomm believes laughter is the best medicine in a happy workplace

Peppercomm believes laughter is the best medicine in a happy workplace

About a decade ago, Steve Cody, one of Peppercomm's founders and a managing partner, started taking stand-up comedy classes for fun. He worked with Clayton Fletcher, a touring stand-up comedian, to build his chops.
"As he started doing more and more stand-up, he started to recognize that, although he was very good at client meetings and presentations, he was getting a lot better" says Deborah Brown, Partner and Managing Director, Strategic Development. (Source: Matt Wilson,
Brown credits the training with developing not only speaking skills, but listening as well. It wasn't long before the entire management committee at Peppercomm was taking comedy training. It was sprung onto the team at an offsite meeting. Soon after that, everyone in the company was involved. "For the past five years, it's become part of our DNA," Brown says. Clayton Fletcher is now the Chief Comedy Officer at Peppercomm.
In fact, comedy training is now mandatory at the agency and part of the onboarding process. The training consists of learning about the different types of comedy such as observational humor. It’s become a great way to meet the new hires with graduation consisting of a five minute set of stand-up. The agency has created fundraisers out of the performances as well as incorporating them into agency offsite meetings.
Funny Business
The training has become an integral part of Peppercomm. Deb Brown credits it with improving productivity, building teamwork and injecting fun into the agency. Humor is now part of the fabric of Peppercomm, whether it takes the form of spicing up an interoffice e-mail or creating a funny video for a client pitch. The agency has received a number of positive stories in the press and has recently started to extend the training to existing and prospective clients.

The biggest benefactor has been the culture at Peppercomm. The agency was recognized by Crain’s as one to the Top 50 places to work in New York City. In case you are interested, here are the Top 5 in descending order:
5) Microsoft
4) Conductor
3) Allison + Partners
2) Squarespace
Drumroll please... 1) Peppercomm
This whole approach of taking the business seriously, but not yourself can be summed up in one quote from the agency:
“Comedy training does more than create a unique culture. It produces a better business executive, someone who is just a tad ahead of their peers when it comes to listening skills, building audience rapport, and thinking in a nanosecond. Happy, funny employees are also the reason why we maintain so many long-term client relationships, experience low turnover, and produce amazing creativity. And that’s no joke.”


Google-O-Meter measures culture and happiness

Google-O-Meter measures culture and happiness

The Google-O-Meter gives all employees a voice on employee suggestions and potential cultural changes. Google's Chief Culture Officer Stacy Sullivan implemented the company's charting tool, the Google-O-Meter, to gauge the popularity of employee suggestions, such as housing more doctors on site or bringing overseas employees to headquarters for a visit. "It wasn't something that we would just go and implement for them," she says. "Their suggestions had to be reflective of things about the culture that [many] people wanted to change." (Source: Entrepreneur)


The Happiness @ Work Game by Happy Brain Science

The Happiness @ Work Game by Happy Brain Science

Do you ever wish your workplace was a little happier? Let’s face it most organizations could use a little more joy, connection, kindness, hope and authenticity when it comes to the ways people go about their jobs. But how can you introduce evidence-based positive psychology practices without making people groan in the process?

The Choose Happiness @ Work game by Happy Brain Science is an evidence-based tool to boost positivity, increase team morale, and enhance performance in workplaces that gives you a safe, enjoyable way to discuss issues and solve real workplace problems. You can use it as leadership tool, with teams, or in coaching to introduce positive psychology into the workplace.

The card game consists of 50 scenarios cards that identify common workplace situations and provides a 100 evidence-based solution cards under four categories: Practice Positivity, Subdue Stress, Flow to Goals, or Revitalize Relationships. The dealer takes a scenario card and each player then chooses a solution from the seven cards they’ve been dealt, and explains to others in the game why they feel this solution may best help resolve the scenario. Then the dealer chooses the most helpful and creative response and points are awarded and team actions agreed, before the rounds continue with the dealer rotated.

For example, if the scenario card drawn was: “The politics at work have been especially intense lately. It feels like I must walk on eggshells to avoid problems”. It explains that this is an issue because much of our stress – and happiness- comes from our relationships with each other. Politics can be demoralizing.

Then you could suggest a way forward from these possible solutions cards?

Specific Gratitude – Think of three big or little specific things at work you are grateful for and tell others about them in detail. Everybody try it now! (Practising Positivity).
Midday workout – Take an exercise break in the middle of your work day. This timing is helpful, giving you more energy for the remainder of your day. (Subdue Stress)
Positive Goals – Phrase goals in positive terms. Don’t include what you are trying to prevent or avoid, just describe the future you want. (Flow to Goals)
Take Responsibility – Take responsibility and do the right think, acting ethically and authentically. If you made a mistake, act to correct it for all involved. (Revitalize Your Relationships)

What Have Researchers Found?
Practice Positivity – research suggests you can train your brain to be more positive and resilient by adjusting how you interpret and respond to what’s happening around you. While you can’t always change the scenarios you face in the workplace, choosing to look and feel grateful for the good things around you can help you feel more engaged, motivated, happy and successful at work. And it appears that experiencing positive emotions at work – such as awe, gratitude, forgiveness, and hope – doesn’t just make you feel happier, but can leave you more likely to be open to new ideas, better at problem solving, and able to foster better relations with others.

Subdue Stress – looking after yourself by choosing healthy food, sleeping well, moving regularly and connecting with others can help you buffer stressful events and feel happier as a result. One way to improve your connections with others is to respond enthusiastically to their good news through practicing active constructive listening. Research has found that if you change your relationship with stress, so rather than regarding it as something to be avoided at all costs, you embrace it as an energizing force that can help you stand up for what matters most to you and reach out to others for support you are more likely to feel confident, connected and have higher levels of wellbeing.

Flow to Goals – when you are completely absorbed in an activity – in state of flow – you are more likely to feel engaged, energized and satisfied in your job. Flow involves finding the right balance between your skills and new challenges, so you can bring your best strengths and talents to your task at hand. And a growing body of evidence suggests finding new ways to develop your strengths – those things you are good at and enjoy doing -each day can help you feel more engaged, be more productive and find a greater sense of meaning in your work.

Revitalize Relationships – building and maintaining high quality connections – the small moments of genuine connection with others –have been found to be critical building blocks for bringing out the best in people and organizations. Focusing on these moments can help enhance your performance, engagement, creativity, commitment, and that of others around you. Studies suggest you can build high quality connections by giving others your undivided attention, encouragement, assistance, support and trust.


Engineering Happiness at Zappos

His job is to design activities that keep employees smiling — and loyal to the company.

Tyler Williams, 33, is the head of experiential marketing for Zappos, an online retailer based in Las Vegas.

Q. In the language of Zappos, you’re called a fun-gineer. Why?

A. Our chief of staff dug up the title for me. My job is to bring joy and smiles to Zappos’s 1,500 employees. (Without the hyphen, by the way, I’d be a technician of fungi.) For example, I built an instant dance party in the company lobby. It works like this: When you push a button with a sign under it that says, “Don’t ever push this button,” lights go on and music blares. My position comes within our brand aura department, which is similar to other companies’ brand marketing departments.

Zappos sells shoes and clothing online. How did you get a job there?

In truth, I did not have work experience related to anything at Zappos. I’d been a professional drummer since high school, had built stages and knew audiovisual technology. I had heard it’s easier to get accepted to Harvard than to get a job at Zappos. I took the creative route and wrote, starred in and produced a video about the company’s 10 core values. Once hired, my first job was at the customer call center.

That doesn’t sound like a good fit for a creative type like you. Was it?

Not exactly. But the job I applied for was filled internally. That made me admire the company for its integrity to promote from within. Everyone — even our C.E.O., Tony Hsieh — has worked the customer services lines. After six months, I became a new-employee trainer.

How did that eventually evolve into your current position?

Because I was handy with constructing things, I became known for developing and executing fun ideas. The turning point was when Tony was preparing to give a speech for Amazon in his apartment. He needed to show the video in three rooms simultaneously. I knew how to do that. That’s when a light went on in Jamie Naughton’s head. She’s our chief of staff, and suggested I write my own job description. Jamie started calling me a fun-gineer, and it stuck.

Do you miss playing drums?

I managed to create a musical opportunity for myself and the many other musicians working at Zappos. We set up a music stage in the trailer park where a lot of employees, including Tony, live. Once a month, musicians show up to jam. We call it Open Air. I don’t miss the life of a musician on the road at all, so this is a wonderful compromise.

  • Rosaria Cirillo is a TEDx Speaker, CX Advisor, Certified Happiness Trainer (HSA), Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) & Former CXPA Authorized Resource Trainer. After 12+ years in various roles across sales, customer service, business improvement, e-commerce and customer experience for leading companies like Forrester, Stream, Adobe, and Philips, in 2013 she founded Wow Now to inspire and help companies to choose, design, and deliver WOW life-enriching experiences that contribute to everyone’s HAPPINESS! Rosaria is the author of Yellow Goldfish, My Circle of Connections, and Words of Wisdom Nurturing Our World. Originally Italian she lives in The Netherlands with her husband and two boys.

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