Creating a Positive Workplace Culture

I often hear so many negative statements about the workplace of today; Covid has taken its toll on it that it makes you wonder if one even exists with all the working from home that has (and will continue for many) taken place.

Being disjointed from employees does not lend itself to have connections that make up a positive culture in your department or organization. Despite the ability to be connected virtually, there is nothing like when you are in person. And employees are tired of zoom meetings and the value of them, particularly when they are being held several times a day (yes, this is happening)

I wonder if cattiness, one-upmanship, and jealousy are still a problem since workers are not together; also, if they are back in the organization, are they more appreciative and not worried about their position or what others are doing?

Negative behaviors do still exist, which can spread like a virus, I say; it starts with one person and then spreads across to other workers, bringing morale and engagement down. The biggest is the negativity around how tired people are, not getting what they want in their job or from their leader, or being fear-based around current happenings in the world.

So what can you, as the leader, do to stop the negativity and create a more positive, happier working environment? How can you make better connections so workers want to follow and spread this positivity to their peers?

What if instead of speaking negative thoughts – or complaining – workers started only being positive.  By doing so, this could spread like a good virus, so to speak, that can build up others and create a culture of good vibes that can lead to increased satisfaction and productivity.  Workers would be happy to come to their job and work to make a difference.

This starts with you, the leader, to set the tone and model this behavior. To create positivity that spreads, here are 3 steps that can help:

1. Focus only on the  positive – even though a task or a situation may not be to your liking, look to see a positive outcome that can come from it.  Perhaps you will learn a new skill or adapt to change in an easier manner than you previously have.

Use the power of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), developed by David Cooperrider (1999), which is strength-based approach to leadership and teams. AI tells you to focus on what is going well and the positive actions taken, versus what went wrong, to build on them. People respond so much better to positive feedback so use this to empower your team; it also helps them to think more critically and strategically on any problems faced.

2. Deflect – when you hear a negative thought from someone, don’t give in to the negativity and use empathy to uncover the source of it.  Asking why someone seems unhappy can diffuse a negative situation and can allow for support, or a problem resolution, to occur. Stop presuming and get to the source of the issue to clarify and correct.

3. Spread Positivity  – walking around the workplace with a smile on your face will create a happier environment not only for you, but for those around you.  Happiness comes from within and smiling will lead to this inner emotion – your body will follow and become a positive habit. If you are still in work-from-home, then build individual relationships with your workers – this is something you may not have done when in the office which you can be positive and inspiration to help them be of the same mind.

Choose one of the actions listed above and make it a focus for you this week.  Continue with the others in the following weeks to create a ritual that will come easily.  Rate your current “happy scale” to give you a baseline – you can’t spread positivity if you’re not. With each step, rate your mood before and after you work each of the steps as some may be easier and work off your strengths.

Use AI to keep building so your happiness set-point rises. This will give you ROI on your time and efforts in leading as well as results from you team. Utilize these tools to create a culture employees now, and in the future, want to work.

We specialize in leadership development for new and emerging leaders up to seasoned executives so they are effective in their role. Leadership development is an on-going process – we are here to provide the support you need. Call today to get started!

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