Generosity has been shown to improve happiness not only for those receiving it, but also those giving it. And this is true not only in people’s personal lives, but also their professional lives.

Financial generosity, whether charity or the giving of gifts, spreads happiness for the recipient and the giver. Research shows that when employees are given bonuses to spend on gifts for one another, they become happier and perform better.

Likewise, the sharing of social and professional resources can bring communities together. When we play matchmaker, even if platonically connecting people or introducing colleagues who may collaborate, we feel a greater sense of well-being.

Finally, be generous with yourself; sharing a piece of information about your life can increase creativity, performance, teamwork and connection with others.

In this Three Things video, Darden Professor Lalin Anik discusses three ways generosity improves your happiness and performance — and the research that shows it.

Three Things is a Darden School of Business video series designed to offer tips to help you and your business succeed.

About the Expert

Lalin Anik

Assistant Professor of Marketing

Anik’s research on behavioral economics and marketing delves into how social connection impacts consumer behavior, both through motivation and influence. Her work has been published in Journal of Marketing ResearchSocial Psychological and Personality Science and Social Influence, as well as noted in mainstream channels including Bloomberg, CNN, ForbesHarvard Business Review, National Public Radio, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Before coming to Darden, Anik was a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She has consulted with companies, organizations and governments to help people lead happy, healthy, productive lives.

B.A., Brandeis University; DBA, Harvard Business School