Louisville was ranked the 5th saddest city in the U.S.
We’ll give you a moment to grab a tissue and cry over that.
Yes, it’s true. We, Louisvillians, are sad, sad people (according to Men’s Health magazine that is).
Men’s Health magazine just produced their list of “Frown Towns” which was compiled after months of statistical research (at least that’s what they claim).
The magazine calculated suicide rates, unemployment rates and the percentage of households that use antidepressants as well as the number of people who report feeling the blues all or most of the time.
The countdown started at #100 (being the saddest city) and that not-so-coveted place went to St. Petersburg, FL. Not sure how any city that had 768 straight days of sunshine could be so depressed! The top 5 rounded out with Detroit, Memphis, Tampa, and of course, our beloved city Louisville (#96).
Our neighbor to the north, Indianapolis hit the middle mark at #50, but considering the Colts season this year we think they need to move a little close to our side of the sad spectrum.
And then there’s Louisville’s fellow horsing-loving city, Lexington, who landed much closer to the happy side with spot #22!
What was the top “Blues-proof town?” Well, Honolulu, HI of course! Big surprise there.
So what does this not-so-scientific-survey mean for employers in one of the saddest cities in the U.S?
Well, we need to be extra sensitive of our employee’s feelings. No, you don’t have to baby them, but we are just suggesting that you take into consideration that employees are people too. Implementing a learning management system in your organization is one way to improve business execution and engage all employees effectively for happiness and success.
It’s a simple equation:
Happy Employees = High Productivity
(Don’t worry, we researched this for months. We even had control groups. We promise we didn’t just make that up…)
Now, what we’re about to share doesn’t just apply to sad cities. Those happy cities or cities who didn’t even make the count down (like the Sunny-Side of Louisville aka southern Indiana) also need to make an effort to please their employees if they want to be successful.
In our previous blog, “An Effective, But Not-So-Obvious Way To Improve Employee Morale,” we gave some tips on how to liven up the office.
Some of those tips included:
-Arrange fun activities that allow your employees to take a break and blow off steam (ex: silent auctions that raise money for charity, provide lunch once a week, or start a quick game of corn-hole in the office hallway), but make them voluntary.
-Host company parties off-site and avoid talking about business. (Read our blog about how to avoid disastrous holiday parties here).
-Read the complete blog “An Effective, But Not-So-Obvious Way To Improve Employee Morale” here.
Some other suggestions to increase employee morale (from our, “To Increase Motivation Eliminate These Demotivation Behaviors” blog) include:
- Provide constant and efficient feedback
- Communicate clearly, and be sure to gain agreement
- Ask for and accept input from your employees
- Avoid favoritism
- Promote accountability and trust your employees
Now, we’d like to add something else employers should consider since we live in a very depressed city: provide Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
EAP is a worksite-based program designed to assist organizations in addressing productivity issues and assist employee clients in identifying and resolving personal concerns, including, but no limited to, health, marital, family, financial, alcohol, drug, legal, emotional, stress or other personal issues that may affect job performance.
Three reasons to offer an EAP:
- Employees are a valuable and vital part of an organization.
- Recovering employees can be productive and effective members of the workforce.
- Offering assistance for personal problems is more effective than discipline or termination.
EAPs can result in lower absenteeism, savings in worker’s compensation claims, lower health care costs, decreased use of medical and insurance benefits, fewer grievances, and lower employee replacement costs.
The point of all of this is to ensure that you are providing a fun, rewarding, and most of all, positive work environment for your employees – a place where they will look forward to going to each morning (and to make living in the 5th saddest city in the US a little more enjoyable).
These steps will not only increase the productivity of your employees, but will also keep your turnover down, which further increases the benefit to your organization (the cost of a hiring a new employee is usually at least half of their annual salary).
Adding a little bit of levity in the workplace is a great morale booster. And investing employee morale is a win-win for everyone.
To see Men’s Health complete list of “Frown Towns” click here