How much should organizations invest in happiness?

Now that we have compelling evidence that happier people are better at work than their otherwise crabby or apathetic peers, organizations have a new question: How much should organizations invest in sustaining a workplace conducive to meaning and well-being, the key markers of happiness in life and work? Although some workplace leaders will argue it's a space fraught with too many intangibles, the question might be definitively unanswerable. In "The Joy Of Thriving" I talked much about how workplaces could support happier cultures and now we must move onto the nitty-gritty of how organizations could assess a reasonable and effective approach to investing in workplace happiness.

I would suggest two approaches. One is to estimate the sum of compensation the organization invests in people who actively spread ill-will and toxicity that diminishes the happiness of others. The other is to estimate the sum of what it currently costs the organization it maintain the kinds of policies, practices and structures that drive people crazy and make them miserable.

These are calculable numbers and when estimated represent the logical investment the organization should instead make into happiness at work.