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Promoting Positivity in the Workplace
Submitted by the USPS Employee Assistance Program
Do you ever have one of those days where everything seems to be going wrong and you just can’t catch a break? Sometimes, just watching the news or scrolling through social media can make a person feel defeated. Negativity is like a sprawling weed. It starts in one area and can spread quickly and easily to other areas of our lives, in our homes and in our workplaces.
There are many things in this world over which we do not have control, but we do have control over how we react to situations. Having a positive outlook is an inside job that starts with you, your thoughts and your actions. The good news is positivity can be contagious.
There are numerous studies that support how positive work environments encourage an increase in effectiveness, productivity and employee engagement. You can directly affect your workplace environment by choosing to be positive. Those in supervisory roles determine what is acceptable and not acceptable in the workplace by how they communicate and manage their personal interactions with others.
As a supervisor, you have the ability to encourage and promote positive behavior in the workplace. By engaging in positive and respectful behavior in your interactions with your colleagues, superiors and employees, you can model what healthy and positive workplace interaction should look like.
Greeting others by making eye contact and saying “good morning” or “good afternoon” goes a long way. Encourage an environment where people move forward. Acknowledge when mistakes are made, make the appropriate corrections, then move on.
In many instances, we spend more of our time at work than we do with our families. It is important to foster a positive work environment and model positive behavior and interactions with others. Focus on the aspects of your job that bring you fulfillment. Being passionate about your job and having empathy and compassion for your colleagues help improve workplace morale.
Another great way to promote positivity in the workplace is by showing gratitude and appreciation toward others. This encourages engagement. Being authentic and sincere in your interaction with others is a wonderful way to make others feel valued. Acknowledging others for a job well done or going above and beyond is important.
The saying that a person who is appreciated will always do more than what is expected is true. It is human nature for people to want to feel appreciated. Employees and colleagues who feel valued will want to engage as team players; this will increase productivity, attendance and cooperation.
Being friendly and approachable toward your employees and colleagues will help improve work relationships and create a more positive environment. Seek to find something likable in everyone around you. Differences in personalities, work ethics and cultural backgrounds can lead to a stressful work environment. Challenge yourself to find the good in every person with whom you come in contact.
Listening and being open to others’ opinions, ideas and solutions without judgment encourage employees to speak up and feel heard as valued members of the team. Model and encourage an environment where it is okay to agree to disagree in a respectful manner to help promote a positive work atmosphere. By changing the way you respond to disagreements, you can model positive and effective communication in the workplace. Below are a few examples:
As a supervisor, your attitude and work ethic set the tone for others in the workplace because your employees naturally look to you for leadership on a daily basis. By creating clear goals and expectations of others across the board, you create an environment of fairness. You cannot expect others to follow rules if you are not going to follow them yourself.
It is important not to give special or preferential treatment to certain employees or colleagues. Be aware of inherent, unconscious and implicit biases that may impact your interactions with others. Holding yourself and others accountable for their actions is important, but, again, it is not what you say but how you say it that is important to keep the environment positive.
Quash gossip in the workplace by not engaging in it. Discourage others from engaging in gossip, as well. Talking about others will make you less approachable, less trustworthy and will not promote positive relationships in the workplace.
It is not only important to pay attention to how we talk to others, but also how we talk to ourselves. Oftentimes, we are our own worst critic. Pay attention to your thoughts. Thinking that “things are never going to change,” “I can’t handle this” or “I don’t want to deal with this today” all are negative and defeating.
Combat negative thoughts by speaking to yourself positively. For example, “I can handle this,”
“Things are going to change; nothing every stays the same” and “This is an inconvenience, but I will handle it and then move on.” Don’t let negative thinking cause you to have a bad day.
Our self-talk habits have a much bigger effect on our mood and stress levels than we realize. When we verbalize positive statements for others to hear, we are promoting a positive workplace. Focus on what is going well rather than what is going wrong.
Find solutions to problems rather than complaining about them to others. Invite dialogue from others on how to solve problems. It’s okay not to always have the answers. It definitely is okay to ask for guidance when it is needed.
As a supervisor, you can promote positivity in the workplace by:
Engaged employees and coworkers are more productive and work better collaboratively. Employees who feel appreciated typically are more engaged. Engaged employees have better work performance and attendance. This will directly affect your work performance and stress levels, as well. Creating positivity in the workplace creates a win-win situation for management and employees.
Following the ideas presented in this article is a good start to promoting a healthy, positive work environment for everyone. If you find yourself struggling with having a positive attitude toward work, your Employee Assistance Program is here to help. For more information or assistance in promoting positivity in the workplace, visit EAP4YOU.com or contact your EAP at 800-327-4968