At Newsletter Pro (one of Idaho’s Best Places to Work), we live and breathe a set of 9 core values that define our company culture. The first of these values is Accentuate the Positive. This encouragement of workplace positivity can also be described as “Looking on the Bright Side,” “Being Optimistic,” or “Finding the Silver Lining.”
That said, accentuating the positive at Newsletter Pro doesn’t mean entering a state of delusional bliss. It’s not about denying all problems and refusing to acknowledge bad days. Yes, bad days happen. Projects fall through, mistakes are made, and sometimes you just get really frustrated. But when it comes down to it, you can always find a silver lining.
There’s a quote from Walt Disney that describes this outlook perfectly: “I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.”
Accentuating the positive isn’t about ignoring the negatives. It’s about acknowledging life’s trials while still keeping a positive outlook. It’s looking for the good in every situation and encouraging your team to do the same. The best part about promoting workplace positivity is reaping the amazing benefits this state of mind brings to your business.
Positivity Creates Productivity
When discussing how positivity and optimism affect business, Bert Jacobs, founder of the Life is Good Company, told Inc.com,“When I say optimism, I’m not talking about irrational exuberance or ‘blind’ optimism. I’m talking about an approach to decision-making that … chooses to focus on the good because that is the smarter use of resources.”
By creating an attitude of “informed optimism,” you’re able to tackle problems head-on without dwelling on them. Rather than getting lost in the negativity, fear, and doubt surrounding the issue, you’ll be able to focus on the true cause and devote energy to solving the problem.
At this point, Winston Churchill could also weigh in. He once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
When a business makes the transition to a positive outlook and starts seeing “the opportunity in every difficulty,” their productivity grows. The Harvard Business Review confirms that positive workplaces see “dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.”
Positivity is Great for Your Health — And Your Company’s Health Insurance
To start, it’s worth noting positive people tend to be healthier people. Studies from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health connected “psychological well-being” with improved heart health, better cholesterol readings, and lower levels of triglyceride (less fat in the blood).
Encouraging a positive attitude in your business might help decrease the number of sick days employees take. University of Kentucky’s professor of psychology Suzanne Segerstrom, Ph.D., studied the relationship between optimism and health in first-year law students. Segerstrom found optimistic students fought off infections more effectively and felt better faster.
The American Institute of Stress estimated 80 percent of doctor’s visits to be the result of stress. Quebec’s Concordia University also conducted a study on this. They found that optimistic people produce less cortisol — a stress hormone. That means a good dose of positivity could do wonders for your health and the health of your employees.
Workplace Positivity Makes the Workplace Better
This one is a given: People are happier in a positive environment. That’s why in 2015, 20.5 million people visited Disney World, “The happiest place on Earth.”
Promoting workplace positivity opens the door to creating an atmosphere where people want to be. A study by the Association of Accounting Technicians found that workers value a positive atmosphere over monetary gain.
When people are happy, they are more inclined to stay where they are. Considering how replacing an employee can cost around 20 percent of that employee’s salary, it’s in a company’s best interest to want employees to stick around.
4 Fast Steps to Positive Thinking
It’s remarkably easy to start introducing positivity in the workplace. People are capable of thinking and acting more optimistically once they know how. Here are a few ways to incorporate positivity into your daily life:
- Instead of looking for reasons why something won’t work, look for a few ways that it could.
- Whenever you find yourself saying you “have” to do something, re-phrase it so you “get” to do it.
- If you are someone who struggles with catastrophic thinking, make a point to avoid absolutes and exaggerations. As we know from Star Wars, only the Sith deal in absolutes. It’s a waste of energy to say things like, “my plans always go wrong” or “this will never get better.”
- If you find yourself trapped in negative thinking, ask your team to help you focus on what’s possible. If your goals and dreams seem too overwhelming, a little silver lining will help you find alternative opportunities.
Workplace positivity is also born in the habits your company keeps. At Newsletter Pro headquarters, we aim to accentuate the positive by starting every meeting with a “positive focus.” Everyone goes around and shares something positive going on in their lives. It can be as simple as “I’m expecting a package,” or something more extravagant like, “Two days until my Hawaiian vacation!”
Whatever the focus, the point is to think on your own reasons to be positive while hearing positivity coming from all around you. Everyone gets to begin on a positive note, and that puts the meeting in perspective as we buckle down to get work done.
Just like the positive focus helps us remember there’s always something worth smiling about, bringing positivity into your business will help you remember there’s opportunity behind every challenge. And when you start meeting challenges by looking for opportunity, you can accomplish some pretty amazing things.
There are lots of factors in creating workplace positivity, but your efforts will pay off. Read about how our positivity and killer company culture led Newsletter Pro to being named one of Idaho’s Best Places to Work in 2016!