Forrest Gump didn’t create the smiley face. Harvey Ross Ball gets credit for that moment of genius. An artist and ad guy, Ball was commissioned in 1963 to create a graphic to help raise morale for employees of an insurance company that had been through a few tough mergers and acquisitions.

The goal? Get the employees to cheer up and smile more. Just 10 minutes of brilliance and $45 later, the iconic black-and-yellow smiley face was born.

The Science Behind The Smile

Ball’s art has science on its side. Smiling and laughing release endorphins, “feel-good” chemicals that boost happiness and relieve stress and pain. Bonus: When you smile, you activate the joy region of the brain in a cool feedback loop—you either smile and are joyful, or are joyful and then smile.

“Smile” is the ninth and final factor of the H.A.P.P.I.N.E.S.S. equation. It’s the last in a nine blog series on Forbes taking a closer look at all of the factors that help businesses increase happiness to drive growth, productivity and bottom-line results.

The post looks at several companies creating happy moments that make employees smile.

Are you creating experiences such as awards and recognitions, special celebrations and acts of kindness to drive engagement?

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Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

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