I'm going to say something that's controversial- asking your employees to be positive can be condescending. With outside stressors influencing our lives on a consistent basis, when a manager or boss says to me, "Hey, let's put on our happy face and be excited to be here today!", my immediate reaction is, "Yeah, ok," followed by me falling back into my daily negative thoughts. Let's face it, we all have things that make focusing on our work and being mindful of our impact on the work and our workplace extremely difficult- student loans, emergency bills, that one family member who constantly causes stress, endlessly comparing ourselves to everyone else on social media... the list can go on and on. So, instead of continuing to fall into the trap of cyclical self-pity, what can I do to combat these stressors in a meaningful and lasting way? Here's how you can infuse positivity into your workplace in a way that impacts each of your unique employees:
- Inspire perspective taking- everyone has their own unique perspective when it comes to looking at challenges and workplace issues. The more you challenge that mindset, the more your workforce will be used to engaging in the process of change and challenge. Send out a video every morning to combat this fixed mindset with a story of someone who overcame challenges far beyond what they're going through. Though this sounds corny, follow it up with a conversation to keep it from being too preachy.
- Increase camaraderie- there's nothing worse than feeling alone in life, and the same can be said for the workplace. Increase the amount of required teamwork that exists in your workplace through collective goals, team group coaching sessions, team outings, etc. The more you focus on the collective, the less an individual feels they're responsible for the overall success of the team. It's important to note that not everyone loves teamwork (I know, blasphemy!), so figure out ways to incorporate those folks in ways that they're going to be active participants instead of begrudging ones.
- Provide a framework- it's easy for someone to come into a job and have their own baggage and past experience drive their behaviors and workplace attitude. If you're not giving these people, and people who exhibit the behaviors you're looking for, a pathway to get to or continue a positive mindset, negative language, behaviors, and perspectives will creep into your workplace. Give everyone a set of practice sessions, one-on-one conversations, and continuous motivation to model what you're looking for on a daily basis.
Finally, make sure that you're connecting with your workforce. There's nothing worse than a distanced manager who only engages with employees when they're going over numbers or the things that you need to improve on. Make sure you know people's life experiences, backgrounds, and things that impact their daily lives. If your mantra is, "That's not my job", maybe you need to shift it to be "My job is to inspire and motivate through humanistic positivity daily, or someone else from a different company will."
Looking for a program to get your employees to bring positive energy to the workplace daily? Check out this link to sign up for a session on skills you can implement right after the webinar.