- Posted by Jon Harju
- On October 22, 2020
Practicing positivity and optimism has been linked to numerous health benefits, increased productivity, and less stress. Optimistic employees are happier, healthier and more engaged. So it begs the question: how does your team respond to workplace stress? Do they perceive it as helpful or harmful?
What is a positive vs. negative stress mindset?
A positive stress mindset is typically owned by those who recognize that stressful challenges can sharpen their focus, strengthen motivation and offer an opportunity for them to learn and achieve new things.
In contrast, a negative stress mindset views stress as threatening, unpleasant, debilitating and harmful.
A study found that when employees faced a working day that they anticipated being challenging, those with a positive stress mindset demonstrated proactive coping strategies to meet the challenge and were able to boost their performance, ending their day feeling more energized.
However, for those with a negative stress mindset, the increasingly challenging workload, lead them to demonstrate reduced energy and coping behaviours – consistent with the idea that people with a negative stress mindset try to cope with their stressors through avoidance.
How negativity impacts a workplace
A negative attitude doesn’t just lower the mood – it also has a measurable impact on how the rest of the team functions.
Workplace negativity can affect:
- Decreased performance and energy levels
- Unwillingness to work collaboratively
- Dismal outlook and difficulty overcoming obstacles
- Reluctance and lack of incentive to try new things
- Depressive feelings
- Reduced quality and work productivity
- Poor customer engagement
- Lack of trust between team members
Why you want your team to have a positive mindset
Positivity can be contagious, so when positive attitudes show up in a workplace, everyone feels their effort is valued and welcome.
Workplace positivity can affect:
- Increased productivity
- Greater teamwork and collaboration
- Improved morale and sense of camaraderie
- Ability to overcome adversity
- Willingness to think creatively and try new things
- Willingness to share information and ideas
- Lower turnover
- Improved customer service
How to cultivate workplace positivity
Employers can help cultivate an attitude of positivity in the workplace by being respectful, inclusive, and supportive of their employees. Managers can cultivate workplace positivity by:
- Expressing appreciation for a job well done
- Sharing credit
- Celebrating success
- Using positive and constructive messaging as it weighted with optimism.
- Fostering healthy work relationships and have regular check-ins with staff
- Ensuring the team knows the company mission and the ‘why’ behind the work, as it helps spread positivity.
- Not allowing gossip or cliquish behavior to thrive
- Encouraging and empowering people to practice self-care
A positive mindset requires self-care
Having a positive mindset is important for the growth and success of any business. A healthy positive mindset derives from people who can adapt to – perhaps even benefit from – challenging times, but this shouldn’t be a justification for managers to overburden their staff long-term. A chronic excessive workload is associated with negative outcomes for both health and performance.
For a team to achieve positivity and resilience they need their people to engage in self-care. Employees should be encouraged to protect and maintain their health with regular rest and recuperation – after all, their physical and mental health depends on it.