Credit: Elnur / AdobeStock

Can happiness be bought for $85,000? Studies show people who reach this annual income level are “generally happier” because their basic needs (food, shelter, financial safety) are being met. However, that’s the peek; more money doesn’t necessarily equal greater happiness. Once basic human needs are met, it allows time to reflect on higher needs like belonging and self-actualization. More money doesn’t cure sadness, loneliness, stagnation, and discontentment. But still, some employers think they can just throw wads of cash and jam-packed benefits packages at their employees like a piñata, hoping for a shower of engagement to rain down. But extra dollars and paid time off aren’t magic wands; they’re just money and perks.

Trends like “bare minimum Mondays,” the Great Resignation, and rage applying took center stage in media and boardrooms beginning in 2021. But just when we thought the “greats” were behind us, the Great Gloom is looming, with employees reporting feeling more unhappier than ever before. Gallup’s 2023 State of the Global Workplace Report shows that 59% of the global workforce is participating in quiet quitting. People are filling the seats and counting the minutes without actively engaging in their work. Instead, they are feeling lost and psychologically disconnected from their work. And the truth is employee engagement has dropped to its lowest level June 2022, according to APA. Why does this matter? Disengagement costs $7.8 trillion (yes, with a T) dollars in lost productivity. 

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.


BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2024Event

The premier educational and networking event for employee benefits brokers and agents.

Get More Information


Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and
  • Exclusive discounts on and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.