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Positive in the Workplace!

Why Positivity has a Position at Work

We all have those days where nothing seems to go right – traffic delays on our work commute, customer complaints, equipment malfunctions, workplace conflict, or dealing with that “one” coworker who always finds a way to annoy you! 

It can be easy to fall into the trap of allowing these negative situations to influence our mood.  While we likely cannot change any of the scenarios, what we can do is change our actions to create a positive environment in our workplace.  

Those popular phrases of “Stay positive” or “Look on the bright side” may make you cringe and roll your eyes. However, demonstrating positivity can play a significant role in your productivity and success.  Confident and upbeat thinking, smiling, kindness, and optimism are some of the main characteristics that can change others’ perceptions of you and affect how you present yourself.    

The U.S. Surgeon General released a 2022 Report1 on workplace mental health and wellbeing.  Those results reveal a positive workplace culture has a significant impact on employee well-being, productivity, and performance. 

An article by Melanie Shires, “The Power of Positivity in the Workplace2 also offers guidance on the benefits of workplace positivity: 

  1. Improved performance.    A “can-do” attitude indicates you will produce more ideas and tackle challenges. 
  1. Better relationships. Stress and tension can be diminished between coworkers, leading to stronger relationships, and improved teamwork and collaboration. 
  1. Increased job satisfaction. Feeling that you are more valued and appreciated, will likely create higher levels of motivation and dedication to your work. 
  1. Better health. Positive emotions release those feel-good brain chemicals; if you are happy and in a good mood, you’re more likely to be less anxious or overwhelmed leading to more confidence and healthier life choices.  

So how do you create this positivity in the workplace?  I’m glad you asked!   

An article on Indeed.com offers these 9 tips on how to be positive at work3

  1. Create a positive tone to start each day.  Tips could be to arrive at work a little early, so you don’t feel rushed, or create a routine and give yourself positive affirmations. 
  1. Concentrate on constructive thoughts.  Look for how you can turn negative criticism into actionable steps for yourself.  Provide constructive criticism to others. 
  1. Accept responsibility and take control. Be accountable for your actions; only you control how you react. 
  1. Express appreciation regularly. Let others know they are important, and their contributions add value.  Expressing gratitude and providing recognition to others are excellent methods.  Giving public praise or a personalized note is a special touch that can create quite an impact on someone. 
  1. Promote teamwork. Create opportunities for collaboration and encourage team members to work together.   
  1.  Maintain a healthy work-life balance.  Strive to be your best self at work and home to create a balance between work and home.  Creating a balance can also be to leave projects at work or to take time off to re-energize yourself. 
  1. Build strong relationships at work. You are more likely to be invested in your coworkers when you have established deeper connections with them.  Make extra effort to get to know them personally, and celebrate their achievements, birthdays, or anniversaries. 
  1. Approach your work with purpose.  Develop your own mission statement to remind yourself why you are there and doing this type of work.  Incorporating the company’s core values into your statement will also build a connection directly to your company’s mission and culture. 
  1. Set goals that excite you. It’s easier to be positive when you have something to look forward to.  Use the SMART method to establish realistic goals. 

This may feel like a daunting task, and it doesn’t have to happen overnight!  Don’t try to implement all the tips at once; focus on those you can easily implement and then move to the next set.   

1The U.S. Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health & Well … (n.d.-b). https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/workplace-mental-health-well-being.pdf?cdlcid=5ff92a56b52f2e83d772cb36  

2Shires, M. (2023, February 16). The power of positivity in the Workplace. LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/power-positivity-workplace-melanie-shires-1c/  

39 tips for being positive at work | indeed.com. (n.d.). https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/9-tips-for-being-positive-at-work   

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