5 ways to practicing positive psychology at work

A recent Gallup study showed that organizations in the top quartile for employee engagement demonstrated 21 percent higher productivity and 22 percent enhanced profitability – besides lower attrition and far better quality of performance.

This is what positive psychology in organizations does. The results are not surprising, and companies and leaders know that this is critical. Yet the bigger question remains – how can leaders ensure its sustained practice? 

Here are five tips to using positive psychology in the workplace.

#1 – Practice it with a growth mindset

It is no secret – besides a meaningful and shared purpose, individuals look for avenues to grow and learn in the organization they work for. It is all about aligning employees’ and organizational purpose. This can be achieved by hiring the right people who understand and care for the organization’s goals and culture, and by diligently managing and motivating them when they join. It calls for continuous and real-time coaching and performance conversations.

Developing this growth mindset is the all-important factor in positive psychology at the workplace. It means that talent is not looked at as a limiting factor of what a person can or not do with excellence, but as an inherent capability that can be improved with understanding and effort.

#2 – Practice it with thankfulness

Without a doubt, employees are the most important arm of business, and engaged employees lead to greater innovation and productivity. They also create the positive environment to attract more positively oriented talent. Incorporating thankfulness as a cultural trait, practiced from the top leads to employees demonstrating the same behavior to customers and fellow colleagues. This creates a total ecosystem of happiness and commitment that employees willingly become a part of. 

Sincere and meaningful recognition and appreciation on a consistent and continuous basis is a good start to create such a culture. 

#3 – Practice it with and for creativity

Creativity or innovation are two critical differentiators for successful business impact and outcomes. Encourage employees to come out and share their inputs and feedback on business strategy, processes and operations. This fosters a ‘skin-in-the-game’ involvement that is the building brick of a positive organization culture. 
You will see employees collaborating for team and company success with new thought processes and ideas. Communication will become inclusive and collaborative. Such positivity will snowball into happiness at work. 

#4 – Practice it with coaching and mentorship

In infusing positive workforce psychology, one important aspect to be understood and accepted is the mobility mindset of today’s millennial employees. Loyalty to the company for this segment needs to be inspired, not demanded. 

This can be achieved by providing the feeling that the organization is investing in them and cares for their development and progress. Coaching and mentoring by role models in the organization gives employees the reassurance of being genuinely invested in. This results in loyalty born out of respect, camaraderie, transparency and trust.  

#5 – Practice it for total employee well-being

Often underestimated, health and well-being are huge factors in creating positivity at the workplace. Amidst the high and inherent work stress that exists today, factors that enhance wellness and work-life satisfaction can be huge magnets for a happy environment. Include fitness and exercise as part of employees’ corporate experience – this could include sponsored wellness programs, discounted gym memberships, and even short on-the-job workouts like meditation and yoga. 

Physical and mental well-being creates a reinforcing chain of increased self-awareness and mindfulness, while significantly reducing dysfunctional and negative work behaviors. All of which improves employee satisfaction, the core of positive psychology.

As abstract as it may sound, enhancing positive employee psychology at work is neither complex nor complicated. It can be tremendously successful even with small steps and improvements in people dynamics. Employee happiness is infectious and avalanches from individuals to teams and to the entire organizations. Attitudes change, collaboration flourishes and the results speak loud and clear in terms of employee motivation, loyalty and productivity – as well as customer satisfaction, and organization profitability.
 
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