Workplace positivity
Franklin D. Roosevelt once remarked that “happiness is not in the mere possession of money.”  Instead, “it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of the creative effort.” Create an environment with resources and opportunities for your team to achieve, create and continue learning, and you too can experience the kind of happiness and success FDR was inspired to write about.You or your employees may be thinking work is work. But maybe that’s why a staggering 75 percent of people are unsatisfied at work. For them, for others, and for your business in general, positivity goes a long way!

The importance of positivity
Marcial Losada is the founder and executive director of Meta Learning, a consulting organization that works to develop high performance teams. Some of his recent research demonstrates that business teams perform better when they are positive. In fact, Losada found that the highest performing teams had high positive ratios of 6:1, meaning there was only one negative statement per six positive statements. The good news is that positive tendencies are also learned behaviours.

Quality work and humming productivity are two important components of any job, but they are also two things that are heavily influenced by attitude. Show your team that there is more to the office than meetings and meeting monthly targets: Set the bar and manifest positivity for everyone to see. Like laughter, it’s infectious!

Smile, laugh and be proud
Here are some simple ideas to foster positivity—and success—at your workplace:

Create a positive work environment.

  • Exhibit a positive attitude by working just as hard as your team, by treating everyone fairly and being approachable.
  • Spice up your meeting room. Make it a relaxed and fun atmosphere to think together by throwing in a yo-yo, or a Rubik’s cube to get the creative juices flowing.

Foster team spirit.

  • Set out piggy banks in communal areas so everyone can contribute loose change to a team effort. Sooner or later you will have a full piggy bank and a fun outing for everyone to enjoy.
  • Consider investing in something as silly as a number one keychain or a big foam hand to let your team know you think they’re Number One!

Show your appreciation.

  • Give your feedback regularly. Tell your team members what they’re doing well, but also tell them what they can improve upon. An open and honest discourse will only make them appreciate you more.
  • Reward them with small gestures like a book about success and a reminder that they’re doing well, and—coincidentally—well on their way to the top!

Build trust.

  • Provide them with an outlet, a way for them to “develop their attitudes further…and an opportunity to assess their feelings, beliefs and behaviours.” To that end, distribute personalized daily planners for them to keep track of their progress.
  • One way to do that is to respect your employees’ right to privacy. If something sensitive is happening, keep it confidential.

Make it fun.

  • Break out a hand clapper for laughs (and good ideas!) at roundtables.
  • Don’t hesitate to smile and laugh with abandon. Work should be a fun place to work!

Chances are good that if you create a positive environment, provide the proper resources and take advantage of those things by setting an example yourself, your employees will do the same. At the end of the day, the success of a business is a direct reflection of the leadership, so if you manifest positivity, your employees will soon follow!

Paris, Mary Jane. “Attitude: The Power of Positive in the Workplace.” Self-growth.com, n.d. Web. 06 July 2012.

Sansom, Lisa. “Positivity in the Workplace – What Makes for High-Performance Teams.” Toolbox.com, 10 Nov. 2009. Web. 5 July 2012.

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