Negativity has the power to kill an entire workforce. It’s one of the most contagious and dangerous things that can happen to your employees. Unfortunately, a negative work environment can be difficult to quell should it start to arise. It’s all too easy for employees to start bringing negativity to work and spreading it. It’s generally up to leaders to make sure that they lead in such a way that it inspires positivity and kills any negativity. Striving to create a positive work environment is laudable.
The Importance of a Positive Work Environment
Positivity is a critical pillar within any organization and should not be underestimated. Ensuring a positive work environment is actually one of the best ways to increase overall performance and engagement throughout your workforce. There are a few critical components when it comes to building a positive work environment. One is to ensure that your company fosters a culture based largely around appreciation and gratitude. The other is ensuring that your employees have plenty of positive interactions with others in the workplace on a daily basis. These should be pillars of your company’s culture.
Unfortunately, positive psychology studies have taught us that the human brain actually tends to default to negativity. This means that it takes some work to ensure a positive environment, as a negative one is actually easier to foster. If nothing is done, unless you get very lucky, you’re much more likely to end up with a negative workforce and work environment than a positive one. Positivity does take some work. And the majority of that work starts with the ways in which your organization’s leaders choose to lead.
Chronic negativity is also detrimental to the health of your employees. Negativity is known to have a number of negative benefits on health. If you want your employees to remain happy, engaged, and productive, their wellbeing is key. And if your company is suffering from a negative work environment and bad culture, then the overall well-being of your employees could also suffer. Consider the effect that this will have on how your workforce performs. What’s more, this cycle is just that, a cycle. This is why negativity that is deeply rooted in a workforce or company culture can be so difficult to break. It takes positive, dedicated leaders to foster a positive work environment.
It’s been shown that companies that foster a culture of positivity actually have fewer employees calling in sick. Positivity literally boosts the health of those working for your company. It also has the power to boost the resilience of a workforce, which is critical. Here are some key ways that your leaders can foster a positive work environment:
Lead with Love, Never Fear
Fear will do nothing but foster negativity and divide your workforce. Typically speaking, negative leaders have a fear-based leading type, which is detrimental for a workforce. It’s critical that leaders lead from a place of love, accountability, and caring. Employees should know that they are cared for and not be driven to work purely by fear. Instead, leading with love and care will allow leaders to motivate their employees to work for the right reasons.
Avoid Complaining and Blaming
Complaining and blaming is one of the easiest ways to foster a negative work environment. Leaders should always avoid complaints, as they simply encourage their employees to then complain, too. Once one employee starts complaining, it will spread like wildfire throughout your workforce. Instead of complaining about a problem, leaders should be focused on finding a solution to that problem. Positive leaders also don’t play the blame game, It’s critical that you do not attack or blame any employees. Instead, channel your energy into solving problems.
Always Turn to Positivity When Correcting Mistakes
Instead of discouraging bad habits or poor work, try encouraging good work and good habits. This puts the focus on positivity rather than negativity. It’s critical that leaders uplift and reward their employees for work done right, rather than only putting them down when it’s done wrong or pointing out mistakes. By encouraging good work, your employees will start to become more intrinsically motivated to do more good work, rather than just trying to avoid getting into trouble.
Connect With Employees Individually
Good, positive leaders connect with their employees individually. They don’t just see them as a workforce, they know them as people, too. Of course, it’s important that your tread the line carefully between leadership and friendship. However, your employees should never feel like they’re just a number within the workforce. Leaders should have a personal connection with each and every person that works under them. Take the time to learn things about your employees, such as what sports team they support or the name of their kids. Little connections like this make a huge difference when it comes to leading and fostering a positive work environment.
Be Demanding but Never Demeaning
Having high expectations of your employees and the work they produce does not mean you have to be demeaning. There’s a misconception that positive, happy leaders care less about results. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can demand excellence for your employees without being demeaning. This makes up a critical part of the difference between being a boss and a leader. A leader inspires their employees to work to the best of their abilities every day.
Leading with positivity is absolutely critical for company culture. A culture that is festering with negativity can be the death of an organization. Positivity is absolutely critical within the workplace. It boosts wellbeing, productivity, engagement, employee satisfaction, and performance. But positivity starts with leadership, so it’s critical that leaders within your company have a positive influence on employees and overall culture. It can take some time and effort to create the ideal positive workspace and culture, but overall, it will be nothing but beneficial for your company and workforce.