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Are you feeling the post holiday blues? Great news! 2016 is going to be fantastic; just think positively.

Does thinking positively really make for positive feelings, let alone positive outcomes? Yes! There’s actual research and science that supports its benefits and its link to overall happiness. Positivity and happiness in the workplace means low turnover and increased productivity.  Brain function improves 30% when feeling positive, as opposed to feeling neutral, negative, or stressed. In fact, according to Shawn Achor, an American happiness researcher, author, and speaker known for his advocacy of positive psychology, every single business outcome improves when you are positive.  I’m a huge fan of TED talks and his talk on The Happy Secret to Better Work has over 12 million views. He teaches you how to retrain your brain and then go and create ripples of positivity in your home and workplace.  Here are 16 easy ways that you can start the ripple effect in your office.

16 simple ways to start the ripple effect

  1. Start your day with an attitude of gratitude

For 21 days in a row,  write down 3 things for which you are grateful. Try to make it specific to the day as opposed to the same staples like 1. food 2. shelter 3. health. Those are all great things but try something like 1. heated seats 2. closed a sale at work 3. talked to an old friend

  1. Notice people and greet them.

Say “good morning” or “good afternoon,” and really make eye contact.

  1. Spend time with those who matter to you.

Take someone who reports to you to lunch, for no good reason. It’s like parenting, sometimes you need to just make sure there’s time spent together without an agenda.

  1. Try the sandwich approach.

Every time you are about to “correct, edit or criticize” someone’s work, preface your comment with something positive, make your comment, then end with something uplifting.

“Thanks for your input. I love your idea about cutting costs. Maybe if we word it this way, the customer might see the benefit better.  Keep those ideas coming. Great work!”

  1. Add positive phrases to your emails.
  • Nice job
  • Thank You
  • Great work
  • Good insight
  1. Laugh!

Is everyone comfortable making jokes and are people ever having fun? If not, it’s not so much IF you’ll have turnover but WHEN.

  1. Take it outside

Nice weather outside? Ask your team or colleague to go for a walk instead of a meeting inside. Get the serotonin flowing with a little exercise or fresh air.

  1. Compliment a colleague

Try it in front of their boss, in a meeting, or in an email.

  1. Use the Platinum rule.

Treat others as they want to be treated. Read up on this theory by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Do you have an introvert on your staff? Read Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, or check out her TED talk with nearly 13 million views on The Power of Introverts. Learn what their needs are and how they contribute to your team.

  1. Start meetings with something positive.

At Purple Ink, we start our meeting with  “Celebrations,” either personal or business.

  1. Bring a snack

Let’s face it, food can be fun…try to make it healthy if you can!

  1. Ask don’t tell

Try asking your employees for their opinions before stating yours.

  1. Give meaning to work

Make sure projects have meaning and deadlines are real. Communicate the importance of the work everyone is doing.

  1. Give a title.

I hesitate to say this, because it can be a hollow reward, but if it reflects the job better, gives recognition, and there isn’t a budget for an increase, then do it.  Communicate your intent to your staff member, and indicate that you hope to increase their pay as soon as it is possible.

  1. Protect your team’s work/life balance

Stay late when you need to stay late but not on a daily basis. Your work style sends messages to your staff and can create pressure.  Try to send most emails during work hours. Even if you work at night, some systems have a schedule function for email to go out at a certain time.

  1. Smile!

It’s truly amazing what a simple smile can do for you and others. So heck, I’ll round it out with another TED talk by Ron Gutman, The Hidden Power of Smiling.

Peggy Hogan
Peggy Hogan
Peggy is an HR Consultant at Purple Ink. With a special interest in talent acquisition and retention, Peggy enjoys connecting the right person to the right place. She is motivated to help create positive workspaces by offering creative solutions to problems in the workplace, resulting in reduced turnover, higher employee engagement and increased productivity.

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