Positive Business DC Advocates Well-being in the Workplace
Our economy remains in the doldrums, but until the Gallup Organization released information about the number of startups needed to fuel a healthy economy and the number of new businesses that launch annually, I had no idea how embedded the problem really is. Gallup’s research tells us that we need 2 million new businesses each year, and yet the current run rate stands at 400,000.
Why the slump? Gallup doesn’t tell us. However, it seems apparent that we have a responsibility to take action locally to ensure our communities thrive. That gets to the heart of a new Meetup group we’ve called Positive Business DC (@PositiveBizDC). The goal is to give local business leaders a resource for learning how the science of happiness can help companies improve the bottom line.
Getting Local Business on A Positive Track
Earlier this year, Shannon Polly, Donna Hemmert, and I recognized a common theme in the way we approach business. We’re fascinated with the science behind well-being and productivity in the workplace. Although we each approach healthy business from a different angle, as a whole we believe that how well one takes care of the people within an organization drives competitiveness and profitability. That common thread led us to launch Positive Business DC and a speaker series called “Well-being in The Workplace.”
“We are excited by the opportunity to give local leaders tools to help them infuse well-being into their organizations thus improving the bottom line. Managers work through people, and yet they often either focus improvement programs on process or look to improve employee weaknesses. We intend to change that equation and help them put people first by focusing on their strengths and well-being.”
—Shannon Polly, MAPP
The speaker series will feature experts in the area of Applied Positive Psychology who will teach how the science of well-being can improve companies, corporate culture, and the bottom line.
The 5-1/2 Secrets of Resilient Entrepreneurs
Our inaugural event showcases Doug Hensch (@DougHensch), coach and entrepreneur, who will disclose 5-1/2 Secrets of Resilient Entrepreneurs. His depth of experience in the field of well-being and passion help his clients lead extraordinary businesses and lives. Doug uses a pragmatic, three-pronged approach: Set meaningful goals; identify strengths; and work regularly in the ‘strengths zone.’
Doug co-founded an investor-backed happiness website that had over 100,000 registered users and was featured on CNN, in the Boston Globe and the L.A. Times. His new website myhappier.com helps people increase their well-being and resilience. Dr. Martin Seligman, Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and ‘father of Positive Psychology’ has referred to Hensch as one of his “most talented young colleagues.”
Well-being by The Numbers
Research conducted through the Gallup Organization by Donald O. Clifton and James K. Harter show that employees who have the opportunity to do what they do best every day have a 44% greater likelihood of success to cultivate customer loyalty and a 38% greater chance of performance success. In a related study by Marcus Buckingham and Clifton, employees who report that their managers focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses have only a 1% chance of being disengaged in the workplace. And yet, locally, we’re not all that well off.
DC Places Last on Happiness Scale
One might think that living and working in the Metro DC area would insulate us from the effects of a poor national economy. That assumption has proven false. The folks at Delivering Happiness (@DHMovement) have determined that Washington, DC exhibits the lowest level of happiness in the country. More than a decade of rigorous scientific research proves that happy employees are more engaged, productive, and creative in the workplace and thus produce better returns for their companies. We need to take action and inject energy into our local communities.
Join the Well-being Movement
We’d like to invite you to become part of the movement to instill well-being as part of every workplace. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook. And, if you live in the Metro DC area, we’d like to invite you to attend the Positive Business DC meetings. Next week’s session will be at Teqcorner in McLean, VA. The facility at Teqcorner seemed like a natural fit. The organization provides office space and services that take startups from concept to company in a manner that fosters a vibrant, entrepreneurial community.
About Positive Business DC
Positive Business DC (@PositiveBizDC) was founded in 2012 by Shannon Polly, Marcia Moran and Donna Hemmert to inform and inspire leaders across the Metro DC region to increase well-being, productivity and profitability in the workplace. More than a decade of rigorous scientific research shows that well-being can be measured, taught, and increased through the tools developed from the science of positive psychology. Infusing these elements into corporate DNA enables organizations to increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and turnover, and drastically improve the bottom line.
About The Founders
Shannon (@ShannonPolly), MAPP, is President of Accentuate Consulting. She is one of only approximately 300 people in world who has received a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania under Dr. Martin Seligman. She is also the co-author of Does Happiness Really Drive Results? Shannon is passionate about the science that underlies positive psychology as a discipline and how to apply the science in a way that enhances well-being in the workplace.
Donna (@dhemmert) has been an executive in the Internet industry since 1994, driving marketing programs, forming strategic, multimillion-dollar partnerships, and leading companies. She is fascinated by positivity and its effect on teams, leadership, and profitability and has role modeled positive leadership since she began her career. Donna has honed her abilities by repeatedly creating enabling cultures that encourage her teams to produce ‘star quality’ results. Having been on a number of Donna’s teams, I can tell you from personal experience that she’s one of the best in the industry.
Anyone who reads my columns on a regular basis knows that I (@mmoran76) have a burning interest in the intersection of leadership, culture, entrepreneurship, innovation, and neuroscience. I delight in helping entrepreneurs build exceptional cultures from the ground up. I also enjoy the challenge of transforming underperforming teams and companies—some with very toxic cultures—into positive, strengths-based organizations. My methodology is grounded in the research conducted by the Gallup Organization, Marcus Buckingham, Daniel Golemen, Jim Collins, Steve Blank (and more…)
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