NEW YORK — Happy workers mean higher profits. Customers are inspired to buy more when everyone on the job communicates a positive mental attitude.
Saying’s not doing, of course. Just how can you promote good workplace vibes? Management gurus say it’s a two-step process. First, make a decision to develop and maintain your own healthy emotional outlook. Second, inspire this same mental state among your employees.
MAKE ’EM LAUGH
Engineering your own positive mental attitude is one thing. Spreading positive wealth among your staff members is quite another. And yet promoting workplace happiness is critical to success. That’s because employee negativity, left unaddressed, can dampen your own PMA. Even worse, employee negativity can dampen sales and clip profits.
Your challenge then is to turn negative workers into productive performers who help create profits. “I believe the true definition of leadership is the capacity to influence others by unleashing their power and potential to impact the greater good of the organization,” says Arlene Rosenberg, a professional development coach based in Scottsdale, Ariz.
At one level, unleashing people power means providing employees with the training and materials required to perform their jobs well. But, at a deeper level, it also means creating a positive work environment. “If you cultivate the happiness of the people you work with, you will create an environment where there will be lots of profit,” says Rosenberg. “Happy people bring profit.”
How? Create a workplace where people cooperate as a team, says Rosenberg. For example: Suppose an employee is puzzled about how to solve something. Rather than supply a quick answer, ask the individual to take a walk and brainstorm with other employees. When people become accustomed to helping one another, the result is greater productivity.
On an individual level, empower people to self-correct when they underperform. Was a certain task left unattended? Then challenge the responsible individual to find a solution, suggests Rosenberg.
“Ask the person questions such as, ‘What will you do to make up for what did not get done? Are you willing to stay late tomorrow night or come in early, or devote a day at home to getting your act together?’” People who are empowered to make good on their performance develop a positive self-image and feel happy.
FULL SPEED AHEAD
Thousands of thoughts go through your mind every day. Which ones will you cultivate? The answer depends on your happiness and your workplace performance.
“Your mental attitude is the most important determinant of what you accomplish in life,” says Ian Jacobsen, a management consultant based in Morgan Hill, Calif. “With a negative mental attitude, your glass is always half empty. You worry and suspect the worst. People can’t be trusted, and you set up a self-fulfilling prophesy for problems. You look for excuses for why you did not come through on your promises. Finally, the people you attract will likely share your negative outlook, so you commiserate.”
Cultivate a happy PMA and things are much different. “With a positive attitude, you believe in yourself and your ability to make a difference,” says Jacobsen. “You welcome new challenges that test your limits. Your chances of success are greatly increased.
“The speed bumps in the road of life may slow you down, but they don’t bring you down. You are able to view life as a grand, life-long experiment. You attract other positive-minded people and create a self-fulfilling prophecy for success. You have a joie de vivre. Life is good!”