One tradition we have at Meister Media Worldwide is bringing in food to celebrate our birthdays. This time, as part of our Meister Means Wellness initiative, our human resources (HR) department celebrated with flowers instead of food.
It just so happens that our HR Director and Vice President Cindy Gorman and HR Supervisor Vikki Gamier (pictured) have their birthdays close together in July. Vikki surprised Cindy by having friends bring flowers in to decorate her office instead of the typical food spread. Being surrounded by flowers all day really made a huge difference, Cindy says.
On the way into work, Cindy was planning on a full day of meetings, interviews and stacks of insurance paperwork. With that schedule there wouldn’t be much time for celebrating.
“I walked into my office and saw Vikki had brought me flowers, and shortly after, several other friends here brought in flowers,” Cindy says. “Sue Stearns even made little bouquets in margarita glasses that were so special. It completely changed my mood. I went from not looking forward to my birthday at all to completely enjoying the day. All those flowers made me so happy. Every time I looked at them, I was reminded how lucky I am to be surrounded by such thoughtful people. I could be a case study for how being surrounded by flowers really lifts your mood. And it’s far healthier than spending the day eating.”
The next day, Cindy returned the favor to Vikki, who also got to be showered with flowers. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get more people to do this in the workplace?
This also ties in with the “happiness” studies the Society of American Florists funded with Dr. Jeanette Haviland-Jones at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Her challenge was to study the effect of flowers on human emotion and well-being. Her studies showed people expressed happiness receiving flowers and giving them. In studies with senior citizens, flowers eased depression and inspired social networking.
In the workplace, Dr. Roger Ulrich at Texas A&M University found flowers and plants inspire better business ideas. Problem solving, idea generation and creative performance improved substantially in workplace environments with flowers and plants.
Collectively, we spend too much time at work to not be happy, productive or creative. Let’s see how we can turn up the flower power in corporate America!