The Happiness Advantage: The Importance of Positivity in the Workplace

ID-100109227 (1)Support is important in the employer-employee relationship and this is especially true in the healthcare field. Clinicians are pressured to see patient after patient in order to meet productivity expectations for their employers, all the while dealing with the emotional states of our patients. Staff then tends to feel overworked and dissatisfied with their role when they feel their work is unacknowledged. Ultimately it is up to us as managers, supervisors, and leaders to keep staff motivated to want to excel in their current roles. How can we do that?

Motivating someone can seem like a difficult task but sometimes the answers can be so simple. I read a book called the Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Anchor. I am usually skeptical of books that refer to just changing your mindset. However this book listed specific behaviors to adopt in your daily work routines that can help yourself and those around you to succeed.

One aspect I particularly liked was that of simple employee acknowledgment. Whether it be in a staff meeting, through mass email, or in front of another employee, provide your employees with encouraging words to bring attention to their good work. One example Anchor explained was to make sure you call an employee out to the group to promote their hard work. In his words, “Even the smallest shots of positivity can give someone a serious competitive edge.” Regardless of how confident the staff feels in their current position, encouragement from superiors, colleagues, or even the staff can change one’s desire to accomplish tasks during the day. A simple compliment can trigger an entire completed to do list merely because they feel good about themselves. I have found this to be one of the most effective in motivating staff to want to do more.

The book also states that studies show that people who are happy at the beginning lead more successful lives. Help to encourage staff to infuse positivity within their surroundings. Promote an environment that encourages multiple breaks or introduce team exercises such as meditation. The book describes several behaviors that promote positivity such as stating three good things that happened that day or committing random acts of kindness. It sounds like an odd request to ask of your employees however it honestly does promote an air of positivity, as well as union, within a team.

Employee satisfaction is often quite overlooked because we are constantly focused on the needs of our patients. But the needs of our patients cannot fully be met without ensuring our staff is mentally capable of providing quality care. So encourage your staff and show them that you appreciate their work. Take every opportunity to recognize them individually and as a team and you will see a quick difference in attitude.

How have you infused positivity in the workplace?



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