Chip Conley is CEO of the Joie de vivre hotel chain. He is also an International author and speaker. In this TED talk he talks about how he created a chain of joyful hotels where customers and employees realize their fullest potential and happiness.
This is Day Six of my Seven Days Of Happiness Series, where I watch TED talks for seven days, instead of watching television, to increase my happiness and excitement for life.
In an earlier TED talk, Nic Marcs talked about measuring the happiness of nations. In this talk Chip talks about measuring happiness in a business environment. Based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Chip took the five levels of the hierarchy of needs pyramid and turned them into into what he calls, the transformation pyramid:
He then started addressing the higher level needs of success and transformation in his own company, starting first with employee and customer surveys. As a result, customer loyalty skyrocketed and employee turnover plummeted.
Measuring Happiness Is Difficult
Is it difficult to measure the higher level needs? Einstein believed so.
“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” ~ Albert Einstein.
For measuring the higher level needs, Chip turned to Bhutan where the king of Bhutan had implemented the world’s first GNH (Gross National Happiness) measure of happiness. It consisted of nine key indicators and 72 different metrics . The formula that stuck most in Chip’s mind was:
Happiness = Gratitude (for what you have) / Gratification (having what you want)
An interesting observation is that in Western society we spend too much time on the Gratification side of the formula. The Bhutanese are more centered on the Gratitude side of the equation.
There is joy in connecting with fellow employees and guests, no matter how mundane or repetitive the work. The joy of identifying with people. Leaders can also improve the quality of the product by creating conditions for employees to live their calling. For example, “A Calling” could include intangibles such as making customers feel good. For the bottom line, inspired employees help make sizeable profits; employees that customers can always count on to make them feel good.
My Next Action
I really like Chip’s happiness formula. On the gratification side of the equation, in the western world we compare ourselves to the image portrayed by advertising and the media – artificial and and in most cases unattainable. We lose sight the things we have that we should be grateful for, such as family, friendship, our health and nature.
My next action is to build or seek out businesses where the higher level needs of employees and customer are valued and fostered.