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5 ways to boost positivity in the workplace

April 25, 2019

5 ways to boost positivity in the workplace

By Andrea Blasdale April 25, 2019

The effects of positivity in the workplace have undeniable business benefits. It reduces employee stress, improves energy, and increases productivity. Improving workplace culture has evolved from a “soft” HR concept to one of the top HR priorities for 2019 as companies seek new ways to attract and retain top talent in the increasingly competitive hiring landscape.

A positive company culture is the new currency when recruiting and retaining talent. In fact, one third of people have said they would pass up their dream job if the company culture wasn’t a positive fit. According to HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan, “The number one muscle to flex in hiring is culture.”

positivity in the workplace

Here are five ways to build a positive workplace culture:

1) Identify the negatives through an employee survey.

The first step to improving positivity in the workplace is to identify any glaring negatives.This can be done through a short, anonymous employee survey. Consider asking the following questions:

  • Are you happy at work?
  • Do you find your work meaningful?
  • Do you feel valued for your contributions?

While some employers may not be comfortable asking these questions, once the sources of negativity are identified, the organization can begin to work on how to create a positive workplace.

2) Prioritize employee wellness.

It’s difficult to foster a positive culture with unhealthy employees. In a society that’s becoming more health-conscious, offering an employee wellness plan has benefits for both employers and employees.

Exercise releases endorphins, also known as the happy hormone. Research shows just five to 16 minutes of walking can also stimulate creativity and increase happiness.

Tinder offers its employees on-site weekly workouts and distributes monthly wellness newsletters, podcasts, and posters to help employees make healthy decisions. Topics range from healthy recipes to sleep management.

Employee wellness plans shouldn’t stop at physical health. A good program encompasses benefits for the body and mind. For example, SpaceX offers free on-site massage, and TransferWise has an office sauna.

3) Foster workplace relationships through social activities.

People spend around one-third of their lives at work, so it’s no surprise employee relationships have a significant impact on positivity in the workplace. Close work relationships can increase employee satisfaction by 50%, and employees who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be more engaged in their work.

Providing opportunities for employees to bond at work are a key component of how to be positive in the workplace. From team-building activities, like office trivia, book clubs, or sports teams, to simple exercises, like asking and sharing what employees are grateful for at work.

Teamwork plays a critical role in producing results.

Develop your team by choosing the right team-building exercises

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4) Provide a sense of meaning.

Employees value knowing that their contributions make a difference, and having a reason to come into work every day can have a significant impact on positivity in the workplace.

A sense of meaning can be derived from a strong mission statement and clearly outlined company values and goals. Once determined, they should be communicated with employees using specific examples of how their work is impacting the company.

Airbnb is an example of a company that has successfully created a mission centered on positivity. The company crafted the slogan “Belong Anywhere” and executed an internal campaign to align the mission with their employees’ everyday work experience. Airbnb’s HR department transformed into an “Employee Experience” team, and specific roles and functions were created that relate to the employee journey—from recruiting to professional development.

5) Empower cultural champions.

Every workplace has those employees who walk in the door with a big smile and a lot of energy. On the flip side, every workplace has disengaged employees who spread negativity. It’s up to the leaders to understand how their employees work and to set an example of how to remain positive in the workplace, even through hardships.

An organization’s leaders are its culture champions. They should embody the company values and mission. Talent analytics can help predict how employees react to challenges, who is likely to radiate positivity, and identify strong leaders. Once positive leaders are identified, encourage them to spread positivity in the workplace by allowing them an opportunity to influence others.

According to General Electric CEO Jack Welch, “Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. After you become a leader, success is about growing others.” To spread positivity in the workplace, managers need to work closely with employees to ensure they have the resources and attitude to support their goals and excel in the workplace.

Positivity in the workplace has a significant impact on the entire company—from its talent pool to its profits. By focusing on how to build positivity in the workplace, companies can use the power of positivity to keep momentum strong when the company is thriving and keep employees motivated and courageous when times get tough.


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