10 Ways to Increase Positivity in the Workplace
For some people work is an addiction as they are workaholics and love their work. Work is what defines them. For some people work is drudgery and they only go to work because they must. They may be habituated to what they do during the day, but that does not mean that enjoy it. They only work for the money to pay the bills and because they have responsibilities to fulfill.
While a workaholic may be passionate about his or her work, he may also lead an extremely stressful life and actually not be as productive as he could be. Those who treat work as a necessity and are resentful and just punching the clock will probably do as little (or as much) as they are expected to. They may or may not have other hobbies, interests or passions that drive them more than work.
The happy medium is when people love their work, but they also have work-life balance. They are usually creative and happy and lead more fulfilling lives.
Of course, if you provide a happy workplace, have a nurturing environment and are ready to listen to your workers, then you will benefit as your workforce will be more productive and efficient. Positivity in the workplace will go a long way to making workers happier. On the other hand a toxic work environment that is physically not great and where leaders are either bullies or bossy or there is a great deal of politics in the office, can build a negative atmosphere, leading to greater stress at the workplace and less productivity as well.
So how do you increase positivity in the workplace and reap the benefits? Here are 10 ways to do so.
- Positivity Contributes to Worker Health
You want workers who are healthy. And workers who are in high pressure jobs with tight deadlines, high expectations and the necessity for delivering in a short time are increasingly suffering from stress. Stress causes many health problems. It is a contributory factor in
- Heart disease
- Brain stroke
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Some Cancers
- Acid reflux disease
- Stomach disorders
An employee can also be financially stressed if he or she feels that he or she has too much debt or an extravagant lifestyle or is simply not making enough money or going through any traumatic event (death, divorce, illness). This can happen regardless of how much the salary actually is.
A positive work environment leads to more contented employees and helps in reduced health costs, decreasing sick days and absenteeism and less stressed employees. This improves productivity in the workplace.
- Open Communication Lines
Whether you are the big boss or the manager or team leader or supervisor, you need to open lines of communication with your employees. They should feel comfortable talking to you about their work related problems in the very least. If you can reach out on a personal level it is even better.
Do not inculcate a culture of fear – it can be counter-productive and foster negativity. Your employees should never be hesitant or even afraid of coming to you. They should also feel that they are going to get a hearing – though you may not always be able to act on their complaints or suggestions. You should at least assuage their fears and give them a sympathetic ear.
You should also recognize that all employees cannot do well all the time. So it is important to be supportive when they are going through a down phase whether it is due to physical reasons, personal ones, health or financial or anything else. Give them some latitude.
- Respect Your Employees
As a boss you expect your workers to respect you. Do you respect them? Avoid talking down to them for one thing. Always control your language and your temper, no matter how angry you get. If your employee makes a work-related error do see if the problem can be solved to mutual satisfaction.
Do not get personal when criticizing your workers and don’t bring up past mistakes or point to possible future ones. All the worker will feel is resentment. Don’t play the blame game, but allow the employee to take responsibility. If you talk things through it is more likely that the worker will take better care that the mistake is not repeated. And when you act responsibly and maturely, the employee will respect you more.
Another thing is that anger and resentment has a spiraling effect. This can vitiate the atmosphere in your office by fueling negative feelings.
- Be Clear in your Expectations
If you do not set well defined goals and expectations, then how do you expect your employee to measure up? It is easier to work towards a clear-cut goal than something that is vague and undefined.
Make sure that your employee understands what is expected of him or her. Give a realistic time frame to achieve the result and you will be more likely to get the outcome that you are looking for. At the same time if your employee needs any help in getting to the goal then see that he gets it, whether it is cooperation from other team members or pointers on dealing with clients or billers or even doing work.
Once you establish certain parameters, it is easier for employees to work towards the goals. You will also not be disappointed.
- Celebrate Wins
If your employee singly or in a team gets a new account, payment that was not forthcoming, reaches a milestone or makes even a small contribution to the betterment of the company, make sure that it is acknowledged. You don’t have to go out of your way or spend a great deal of money to celebrate even small victories.
When you give a pat on the back, take team members out for a celebration (or have it in the office), you help boost employee morale and this encourages positivity in the workplace. Other workers will also feel that they have to their best in the work that they are doing. Studies show that in many companies workers are not as engaged as they should be. To make sure that your employees are fully invested in their work, you have to treat them empathetically.
- Encourage Creativity
Your employees spend a great deal of time in the workplace and no doubt they are invested in it for the most part. Most employees are happy when the business grows and when processes get more streamlined as they can then work more efficiently. This gives them, too, a chance for personal and professional growth.
If you encourage your employees to come with ideas that will help in various aspects of the work, whether it is planning, customer acquisition, accounts, billing, investments or anything else, you can be assured that some of them will come up with ideas. If any of the ideas work, you are surely in for a good thing.
The workers, too, feel more self-assured that their ideas have borne fruit. So encourage creativity and set aside some time on a regular basis where you can brainstorm with your workers. You can do this once a week or on a regular schedule so that it does not get missed out.
- Practice Gratitude and Thankfulness
Both gratitude and thankfulness help inculcate greater positivity in the workplace. If you focus on the positives rather than the negatives, you can grow faster as can your workers. It is not that negatives are bad – negative experiences and mistakes can help you and the employees learn so that they are not repeated.
If you are grateful for even small things, you can show your appreciation to your employee either by talking to him or her or even shooting off an email. Even a simple thank you helps. Gratitude is a positive emotion and develops mutual respect among coworkers and improves the boss-employee relationship.
Recognition of work well done and appreciation gives greater value to the work and shows the employee that you recognize the efforts put in.
- Improve Social Interactions
You really do need to know something about the personal life of your employees so that you can show the appropriate empathy and help them when required. If you only see your employees as people who are out to do the work that they are supposed to and for which they are paid, you are reducing their value in the workplace. Every person’s work is important and that is why he or she has been hired.
If you know that a person has personal difficulties or is lonely or is going through a stressful life event you will be more understanding and come across as empathetic rather than confrontational. This will go a long way in fostering better interpersonal relationships at the workplace.
So take time out and talk to your workers, knowing that they have a life outside the workplace. A little personal touch goes a long way in improving a more positive work culture.
- Don’t Forget the Importance of Trust
When you work with a bunch of people whether junior or senior or even at the same level as you, you need to develop trust. When your seniors delegate work and responsibility to you, you are expected to do what is asked, aren’t you? Similarly, when you assign work to juniors, you have to trust them to do the work.
Without this trust you would have to everything yourself and that is simply not possible. So you have to find the correct people for the work that you want done. And when you promote positivity in the workplace, you have the right to assume that your employees are going to live up to the trust.
After all, your employees are adults with the right skills and that is why they were hired. In fact if you expect more from you employees and challenge them from time to time, you will get more. If you keep undermining their authority and their abilities, you do not trust them to do the work. Trust encourages independent thinking and fosters loyalty, lowering the attrition rate.
- Leading from the Front
History shows that strong and decisive leaders lead from the front. This is true whether it is country or a company. Whether you lead a small team of people or are the CEO of a company, you have to work hard and show leadership qualities.
As a leader you have to be organized, clear in communicating your requirements, advocate critical and creative thinking and be a good listener. Your integrity should never be in doubt nor should your commitment to the company. Discipline and being passionate about your work with a clear vision for the future are some of the traits of a successful leader. To encourage positivity in the workplace you need to be cheerful and happy as well.
When you have strong leadership skills you can do more and your workforce is more likely to follow your example.
Increasing positivity in the workplace has immediate effects and also long-standing benefits. When you are upbeat and happy your emotions and feelings trickle down to your employees. So you will face fewer complaints, workers will come to office more positive and work to the best of their abilities.
This will result in health benefits for you and for them and benefit the company’s profitability. With fewer sick days and time lost, with workers who rise to challenges and meet or exceed expectations, your company will be a better place to work at.
With more focused and positive workers, you will also face lower attrition rates. This again contributes to your bottom line as finding and training new employees is time consuming and expensive.
For a healthy company and a healthy workforce and your own health, promote positivity in the workplace. It is a win-win situation for everyone.