Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Happiness isn’t a Four-Letter Word. Engagement is.


The word “engagement” annoys me.

Employee engagement. Member engagement. Community engagement.

The word engagement is just a cop out in place of the word: happiness.

We use it because it makes it acceptable to report: “My employees aren’t engaged.”   If you say that, it’s just an annoying cost of doing business and a little issue you have to deal with.  But what if you said this instead:

My employees aren’t happy.

Whoa! If your team isn’t happy – it’s a much bigger problem than if they aren’t engaged. Isn’t it?

But doesn’t it really mean the same thing?

If you are an association – you are certainly talking about and measuring member engagement and maybe even member satisfaction – but how much different would your sense of urgency be if you simply asked “Are our members happy?”

Using the word happy makes it real. Happiness is somehow tangible. It’s pretty much black and white. You are either happy or you are not.   I think happiness is the goal that we all should seek for our organizations and let’s stop kidding ourselves using the e-word.

It’s no coincidence the top thought leader of the last few years on great cultures, Tony Hsieh titled his book and his movement Delivering Happiness.


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