The most successful workplaces are those in which everyone works well together to create a positive work environment.
Happier workplaces have many advantages including improved job satisfaction and better customer outcomes and each of us can help play a role in ensuring work is a happy, positive place to be.
What are the characteristics of a positive work environment?
- A high degree of trust and respect between all levels of staff
- A warm and friendly climate in which colleagues feel valued, and have a strong sense of loyalty to the organisation
- High quality leadership and management
- Open discussion that leads to resolution of conflict
- A measure of self-determination over how work is undertaken
- A culture where diversity is respected and valued
- A lack of exclusive ‘clubs’ and cliques
- Opportunities for personal development and career progression
- A high level of creativity and job satisfaction, resulting from teamwork and cooperation.
Positive staff increase the flow of positive emotions within their work teams. They choose to do this not just because it is a ‘nice’ thing to do, but because it leads to a measurable increase in positive team morale and a happier and cooperative work environment.
Studies show that positive work environments create work groups with:
- A more positive mood
- Enhanced job satisfaction
- Greater engagement
- Improved performance.
Top tips to help create a positive workplace from Converge International
The best teacher is a ‘good example’
First examine your own behaviour. Are you walking the positive talk or are you mumbling beneath your breath, “3 more days ‘til Friday.” Take great care to listen to your own language. Do you frame things in the positive, or do you often start your sentences with “No.” Do you say “Yes, but…” a lot, negating the first half of your sentence with your last? Work on becoming a positive role model in your team.
Learn (and teach) the power of positive self-talk
Often our internal chatter is negative. Re-program your own chatter and then listen carefully for signs of it in others. Our bodies respond to our self-talk, if we tell ourselves we are disorganised, we behave that way. Tell yourself, with conviction, you are an organised person, and the behaviour will begin to change. Our brain responds literally, like our computers. Learn to replace negative programming with positive.
Avoid the temptation to participate in conversations that promote a toxic workplace environment. It’s very easy to commiserate with a colleague who has had a bad day or to make disparaging remarks about a difficult client, but in offices, this type of negativity is often contagious. Stop it at the source. Try and ignore it or seek an opportunity to debrief in a more constructive manner with a colleague or supervisor.
Teach people the art of ‘win/win’
In our competitive society we have a win/lose mentality. This may be a good strategy to fill a sports stadium, not a good way to work in a team. Help people to understand that thinking “win/win” opens up the possibility for new solutions and more effective teamwork.
Avoid the drama
Melodrama is something you don’t need in your team. It saps valuable creative energy and has people running in all directions. Instead, remain calm, try and identify the facts and respond accordingly if required. Otherwise try and avoid or contain these behaviours with the assistance of other colleagues and your supervisor.
Learn resilience techniques
Make sure you understand the role you play in controlling your own stress. We don’t always have control over our circumstances. We do have control of how we perceive them. Take a deep breath, count to ten, walk away (physically or mentally) when you have to, and learn good stress management skills for maintaining your own resilience levels.
Encourage people to live in the ‘now’
Dwell on the past only long enough to figure out what you want to learn from it, and then move on. Stop talking about “the good old days.” What is important is what is going on right now. Give your fullest attention to exactly what you are doing now. Do it well, do it right and enjoy it.
When you activate the smiling muscles in your face, you activate the ‘happy’ brain chemicals that help you feel good. You can’t be unhappy when you are smiling, and smiles are contagious.
This content is an adapted excerpt from Converge International’s Healthy Work Healthy Living Tip Sheet.
Converge International is Programmed’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider. To make an appointment or speak to a consultant: Phone 1300 687 327. For our New Zealand employees, call 0800 776 327.
Programmed is a leading Staffing and Maintenance organisation, providing staffing, professional, technical, training and maintenance services across Australia and New Zealand with more than 20,000 employees supporting industry.