Want to cut employee turnover and absenteeism and save $$$? Need to create a healthier, more productive and positive work environment? Here’s the most simple and cost-effective solution ever.
Job stress is estimated to cost American companies more than $300 billion a year in health costs, absenteeism and poor performance according to study by Umas Lowell.
The American Institute of Stress shares these statistic:
25% view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives
40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful
75% of employees believe that workers have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago
29% of workers felt quite a bit or extremely stressed at work
26% of workers said they were “often or very often burned out or stressed by their work”
Job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems
Some companies invest in expensive stress management and wellness programs. The solution can also be a very simple mindset shift in culture and employee behavior. Welcome the basic hug! It’s a win win that reduces stress by stimulating the release of oxytocin.
OXYTOCIN: Teams that caused or encouraged oxytocin release in each other were more productive and innovative, and enjoyed the tasks they were doing more, than those whose brains did not connect to their teammates. (Research by Paul J. Zak: )
The feel good factor is contagious and will impact your personal performance, your culture, your customers and of course your bottom line. The fact is, the majority of humans need, desire and enjoy a good old hug.
During a recent book signing, following a keynote presentation for approximately 800 attendees, I was surprised at the amount of people who wanted and initiated a hug. Each hug caused a positive ripple effect, inspiring connection. Corporate America is missing out on the power of hugs.
HORMONAL BENEFITS OF A HUG: When we hug someone, oxytocin is released into our bodies via the pituitary gland. That hormone release lowers our cortisol levels (hormone responsible for stress, high blood pressure, and heart disease).
Hugs lower our heart rates
Hugs enhance relationships
Hugs can increase your self-esteem
Hugs can lower stress
Hugs can lower the risk of heart disease
Hugs can boost immunity
In addition, hugging makes us more approachable, relatable and trust worthy. Research shows that when we trust somebody, more oxytocin is released, adding to the existing amount. The hug makes the other person not only feel good about us, but feel good about themselves. WIN WIN.
Bring back the hug in the workplace. As humans we thrive when strong meaningful connections are made. Modern society has potentially become too politically correct and hugging (physical contact) has become “inappropriate”. As adults we are aware and responsible enough to understand and set our personal boundaries. If a hug is creepy or inappropriate, just say so to that person… communicate clearly and effectively; I’m aware it’s more complex than that, however Corporate America should not miss out on happiness and overall wellness because of a few people are adding a blurred boundary to fundamental H2H connection.