Thursday, July 5th, 2012
When people work with a positive mindset, performance on nearly every level increases. We know this intuitively – if we’re sick, tired, feeling anxious, threatened or fearful, all our resources get taken up with minimising, alleviating or managing these feelings. We’re not likely to be thinking about ways to improve our performance, efficiency or creativity.

And the science backs this up. In a very primitive sense, negativity means our brain is narrowly focused on protection and survival. Positive emotion, optimistic thinking style, strong relationships and high levels of engagement have all been shown to increase measures of both individual and organisational performance. For example, comparing share market performance from 1988 to 2006, the 100 companies on Fortune’s Best Places to Work list outperformed the US stock market by more than 8%. In a meta-analysis of 225 studies, Lyubomirsky, King and Diener found that happy employees have, on average, 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales and three times more creativity. Gallup found that employees who identified and utilised their highest strengths increased engagement from 9 to 73%.

As a senior manager, business owner, HR professional or team leader, can you afford to overlook the significant benefits of a happy and mentally healthy workforce?

Whilst every employee can look for ways to improve their own positivity and well-being at work, if you are in a leadership role – from a front-line manager right through to the CEO – you have some additional responsibilities and opportunities to influence positivity at work. Here’s my top three:

Positive Emotion
Look for ways to bring positivity to the workplace. Fun is an obvious option, but fun means different things to different people. What about all the other positive emotions – inspiration, pride, appreciation, gratitude, curiosity, compassion or satisfaction. What triggers these emotions for your staff and how can you help create opportunities to experience them for individuals and teams?

Employees become highly motivated when they can see that what they are doing contributes to something important and bigger than themselves. No matter what job an employee does, it contributes in some way to the purpose of the team, department, organisation and beyond. Sometimes staff don’t realise this. Help your employees make this connection and take every opportunity to reinforce its value. The words of Nietzsche, recounted by Viktor Frankl, are relevant here “he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how”.

Gallup asked thousands of employees ‘do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day’ and shockingly only 20 % of respondents answered ‘yes’. Most of us have grown up in a school system that focuses on fixing weaknesses, and we go to work for employers who maintain this approach to development. But when we help employees identify and use what they’re good at – their talents, character strengths, skills and behaviours – they become energised, engaged, happy and high performing staff. You don’t have to give someone a new job, just work with them to change a few aspects of their role so they are increasing the use of their strengths on a regular basis.

Contact Profile

PB Performance Coaching

PB Performance Coaching is a professional coaching and staff development consultancy practice. We help unleash individual and organisational potential, developing happy and high performing people able to achieve individual and organisational goals.

We deliver individual, team, leadership and career development strategies that improve staff positivity, productivity and performance. Outcomes are achieved via a unique combination of services including coaching, training, facilitation and HR consultancy.

PB Performance Coaching specialises in the application of evidence based interventions from the exciting field of positive psychology to enhance learning, facilitate change, promote development and unleash human potential.
Jo Saies
P: 0412 319 394


positive psychology, positive psychology Adelaide, happiness Adelaide, happiness, well-being, workplace well-being, happiness at work, business performance, staff engagement, staff well-being, staff happiness, employee engagement, employee well-being, emp



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