Ahhh I hate those Monday complaining quotes and are so annoying for me.
I mean what’s the point why not to make exciting to see your collages and to have positive working experience. We all want our work to be a positive and engaging experience, so why we don’t contribute for that? Who doesn’t dream of waking up on a Monday excited to go to work?
The concept of Positive Psychology has shown how positive emotions are linked with numerous benefits including improved well being, health, longevity, and a greater quality of life.
Our actions are responsible for 40% or our happiness.
So if our actions have a significant impact in our happiness, how do we contribute in order to create a state of positivity and well-being in the workplace?
Benefits of Positive Psychology in the Workplace
The strategy of positive psychology can be used in many different ways to increase satisfaction within the workforce.
We are spending half of our day on our workplace so why we are not paying more attention to this kind of techniques?
If you are in a role of an employee, manager, or CEO you can put these ideas into practice to foster positivity and improve:
- Conflict Resolution Skills
- Original Thinking
PERMA in the Workplace
The awareness about Positive Psychology is increasing over the past 15 years, pioneered by Professor Martin Seligman (University of Pennsylvania). He developed an evidence based model for the active ingredients of well being known as PERMA, which stands for: Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment.
So how can PERMA can help you to improve your workplaces?
ENCOURAGE POSITIVE EMOTIONS
When we are in a good mood, we set higher goals and persist longer towards them.
But the main point is how we make other people happier?
Results of brain scans shows that when subjects are instructed to count their blessings there is increased activity in the part of the brain associated with happiness. So although maybe is difficult to force feelings of happiness to other people, when we cultivate a ‘grateful mindset’ our happiness is coming along for the ride.
Some organizations have adapted these strategy in innovative ways. For example, by listing appreciations as a main thing at the beginning of staff meetings, so employees can be invited to nominate someone, or something for which they are grateful.
E.g., “My appreciation is for Richard. Last week he stayed back to show me how to complete my spreadsheets and since then I’ve been finishing on time.”
Another example is announcing employee of the month, so there will be monthly gathering focus only on it.
Research shows that the greatest way to influence our happiness is to invest in our relationships with our colleagues, family members and friends.
Evolution has secure our survival is tied to our skills to connect with others. Our brains are literally made to connect with others. These connections have the power to affect how we feel.
According to the body research on happiness, our moods are quite literally contagious.
In a simpler way this means that if our colleague starts celebrating next to us, our brain starts engaging similar behavior.
In a recent survey by Virgin claimed that almost 40 % of the respondents named their colleagues as the top reason they enjoy their work.
Along with it, they claim that those with positive relationships increase their productivity and it helped mitigate stressful and difficult challenges at work.
So my proposal is to go step forward and try to eat lunch in the canteen. Organize after work party with your colleagues and start to get to know them.
If you are manager or team leader you need to be aware of the importance of managing morale because one unhappy person can make for an unhappy office.
It is very important to organize team building activities and if you don’t have budget for it, just bring them to play ping pong, or whatever you think is suitable for your team.
The strategy for building staff engagement is to maximize the extent to which people are using and applying their strengths.
Martin Seligman and other researchers in this field have noted that when we are engaging in work, we are activating our strengths in new and innovative ways, we experience higher levels of happiness and lower levels of depression.
Another study suggests that up to 70% of professionals who actively utilize their strengths on a daily basis reported feeling more engaged and energized by their work.
So next time you can start your meetings with an opportunity to share success stories, doesn’t matter if they are big or small. Give opportunity and encourage other employees to share their successes, achievements and accomplishment with you, as well as sharing your own.
Don’t assume that everyone knows their own strengths, so sometimes you need to take the role and acknowledge about their strengths, which I guarantee will impact for increasing their motivation.
Adam Grant, author and business school professor at Wharton, did innovative experiment in order to evaluate team productivity.
Working with call center staff employed to increase donations for university scholarship funds, he arranged for staff to meet with an actual beneficiary of a scholarship.
The meeting was only five minutes long- just enough to ask some questions and put a face to a name.
The team that went through this experience raise three times more money, compared with the other group.
This show us that when people see how their efforts have a genuine impact their level of productivity is increased.
Leaders need to be supportive, and they can have coaching approach by asking strengths based questions. For example…
- Tell me about a previous achievement of which you are very proud. Doesn’t always have to be work related. Or a time when you really outdid yourself?
- Which are your top 3 strengths which helped you achieve this impressive outcome?
PUSH BEYOND YOUR GOALS
But in order to achieve happiness we cannot rely on goal achievement by ourselves.
The main source of happiness is enjoying each step that brings you towards the finish line.
Research shows that goal achievement boost positivity, but effects do not last very long. The main trick lies in learning to enjoy each aspect of the journey towards your goals.
To apply this, as a manager you need to try to connect your goals with your values and strengths. It will help you if you can structure your goals to be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to your interests, and time-bound).
Our ability to celebrate our own accomplishments, as well as those of our teammates, is another important element that enables happiness in the workplace.
Effective rewards do not have to be anything financial and expensive, sometimes can be connected with simply taking a break, going for a short walk, or enjoying a good lunch.
At Google, employee satisfaction increase for an impressive 37% when a small rewards strategy was put in place, suggesting that financial rewards are not the only tool that can increase the employees’ productivity.