Follow Heather Twitter Facebook
Email Heather Email
Education
Jan 8, 2020

Put Happy In The New Year

Sponsored Content provided by Heather McWhorter - Director, UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Engaged and happy people are the secret ingredient in every success story. Imagine an unhappy entrepreneur or employee setting the world on fire with a new idea and an enthusiastic team of followers – not happening.

A global Gallup survey found that only 13 percent of employees feel engaged at work. And this unhappiness is impacting the bottom line. Companies in the top quartile for engaged employees generated 22 percent greater profitability than those in the bottom.

But what’s the key to happiness? Why aren’t we making it a priority at work? According to the groundbreaking 75-year Harvard study, we already know the answer to long-term happiness and fulfillment. It’s our relationships.

Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development reported, “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”
 
Just knowing a lot of people or working around a lot of people isn’t enough. True relationships have genuine connections. Consider how we grow close to our colleagues while working on challenging projects or our cohort while participating in a business boot camp or accelerator – and feel a letdown when the team splits up at the end.

One of the most powerful ways to forge strong connections is by creating micro-experiences that cause an emotional uplifting in others. Cue the well-planned team-building retreat!

Unfortunately, in business, we don’t often take the time to invest in deepening the professional relationships that could provide the connections and support that would make us feel happier and more productive in our careers. As entrepreneurs, we’re willing to work 60 hours a week, but somehow can’t find the time for keeping up with friends or making new ones. We’re just too busy.

But think about this…according to another Gallup survey, those who feel they have a best friend at work are seven times as likely to be engaged in their jobs, are better at engaging customers, produce higher quality work, have higher well-being and are even less likely to get injured on the job.

Think about at what's happening in today’s workforce. We’re now in an era where many employees seek out and stay with organizations that have exceptional workplace cultures. And while there are numerous components to these cultures, they are often characterized by feelings of trust, belonging, and inclusion.

We spend most of our waking hours at work, and it's only natural that we want to build connections with our team members. It feels good to have work friends when we want to celebrate or commiserate. Without that outlet, work can seem lonely and isolating.

I tell my entrepreneurship students to get ready to be both lonely and social. They’ll be heads-down struggling to build a business – and networking like crazy to build the relationships needed to grow it.

Make it one of your New Year’s Resolutions to recognize your positive feelings and express them. Create those micro-experiences. Drop off thank you notes, take 30 seconds to express appreciation, bring in flowers or treats, stay in touch with friends, and remember…your happiness and success, and everyone else’s, depends on it. Grow the “happy” in this Happy New Year.         

Diane Durance, MPA, is director of UNC Wilmington's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The CIE is a resource for the start-up and early-stage business community to help diversify the local economy with innovative solutions. For more information, visit www.uncw.edu/cie.  

Other Posts from Heather McWhorter

Uncw cie 22
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Untitleddesign2 9202334730

New Scotts Hill Medical Center to be a One-Stop Destination for Many Health Care Needs

Novant Health - New Hanover Regional Medical Center Novant Health
2022052 75 142344351

Bridging Futures: The Case for Toll Funding in Wilmington’s Cape Fear Memorial Bridge Revamp

Natalie English - Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
Georgiarowe

Salling and Tate Dentistry Launches Annual "Gunner’s Runners" Shoe Collection Event, Aiming to Surpass Last Year's Success

Georgia Rowe - Wide Open Tech

Trending News

EPA Makes $3B National Announcement At Port Of Wilmington

Audrey Elsberry - Feb 28, 2024

OsteoStrong Opens On College Road In Wilmington

Emma Dill - Feb 28, 2024

Patricia Kusek Resigns From Endowment Board

Audrey Elsberry - Mar 1, 2024

Polyhose To Double The Size Of Its Wilmington-area Facility

Emma Dill - Feb 29, 2024

Report Finds Economic, Environmental Impact Of N.C. Railroads

Audrey Elsberry - Feb 29, 2024

In The Current Issue

Born To Create Affordable Housing

The competition is stiff, and the work is hard, but Stephanie Norris wouldn’t give up her job for anything....


Fallout From Natural Disasters, Pandemic Puts Strain On Insurance Companies, Consumers

New arrivals to the North Carolina coast are often pleased with the amount of house they can buy here from the proceeds of their home in lar...


Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2023 Power Breakfast: Major Developments