Turns out money does buy happiness.
The kicker, of course, is that it depends how one spends that money. Believe it or not, people are happier spending money on others rather than on themselves, regardless of the amount. This is what authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton discovered in their book Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending.1 Michael Norton says this is true because spending money on others "creates social connections.” 2
It was this idea that inspired Beekley Associates Joanne Labaddia and Kelly Lucey to launch and chair Beekley's R.E.A.C.H. program in 2015.
R.E.A.C.H. is an associate-led program designed to help build camaraderie on an interdepartmental basis. This program places a focus on associates acting as ambassadors, rather than electing winners by committee, and also on employees reaching out to award other associates for helping them with their successes. Recipients of the R.E.A.C.H. program are recognized in front of the company and treated to either a special breakfast or lunch break with Ayn LaPlant, Beekley's CEO.
Kelly, our first ambassador in 2016, selected the first four recipients:
Candice LeBlanc, Director of Business Development, Prestige Lane Hospitality Brands (a division of Beekley Corporation), recognized for helping to generate ideas and feedback on the 2016 R.E.A.C.H program; Melissa Vibberts, Senior Product Manager, for her collaborative efforts with Elequil; Dawn Beaudry, Super Star Customer Service Representative, for going above and beyond in assisting a radiation therapy customer; and Jonathan Padua, Medical Inspector, was recognized for helping to increase PointGuards® throughput, which in turn helped Kelly provide her customers with quality products.
“I was extremely surprised that my colleague nominated me,” said Melissa Vibberts. “All I did was recognize my colleague for helping to bring on a new customer, an initiative that took over a year.”
But it is when associates go above and beyond, even in the small ways, that departments are connected and emotional bank accounts are created between associates. Melissa said, “Being nominated instantly impacted our emotional bank accounts because although we appreciate each other (all associates) everyday, it is nice to actually hear the words.”
Another obstacle R.E.A.C.H. aims to overcome is the ability to get caught up in the day-to-day motions of a workplace. This program breaks down that wall. As Candice LeBlanc said, “Being a winner was a nice surprise and gave me the opportunity to interact with associates I don’t see daily. I now find myself reaching behind my bubble and making more of an effort to get to know people throughout the organization. I am looking forward to being a future Reach Ambassador some day!”
As the program continues, it will be interesting to see how R.E.A.C.H. grows and who it connects!.