Are you looking to make your work environment be more productive? Offering fringe benefits or implementing new processes aren’t always the best solutions. Some organizations have found that promoting positive practices among their workforce — such as treating others with respect, showing compassion when others are in need, and inspiring coworkers to find greater meaning in their work — has profound effects on employee performance and organizational effectiveness.
A study by the University of Michigan found that such practices actually surpassed other traditional efforts, such as employee perks, bonuses, and strategic planning, to improve workplace productivity.
The research focused on how organizations applied the following practices:
- Caring - People care for, are interested in, and maintain responsibility for one another as friends
- Compassionate Support - People provide support for one another including kindness and compassion when others are struggling
- Forgiveness - People avoid blame and forgive mistakes
- Inspiration - People inspire one another at work
- Meaning - The meaningfulness of the work is emphasized, and people are elevated and renewed by the work
- Respect, Integrity, and Gratitude - People treat one another with respect and express appreciation for one another; they trust one another and maintain integrity
Kim Cameron, who led the study and published in The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, cited three reasons why creating a culture of positivity works:
- Amplifying effects: exposure to positive practices produces positive emotions in individuals, which, in turn, lead to elevation in individual performance in organizations
- Buffering effects: Positive practices also buffer the organization from the negative effects of trauma or distress by enhancing resiliency, solidarity, and a sense of efficacy
- Influential effects: Organizations characterized by positive practices foster positive energy among members, and positive energy produces elevated performance
"When organizations institute positive, virtuous practices, they achieve significantly higher levels of organizational effectiveness--including financial performance, customer satisfaction, and productivity," noted Cameron in the study about the research team’s findings. "The more the virtuousness, the higher the performance in profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement."
Some of Zoe’s training programs that help organizations implement and foster positive practices include:
- Developing Emotional Intelligence - 5 Skills That Make a Difference
- Am I Having Any Fun Yet? Finding Meaning in Work
- Creating a Healthy & Respectful Work Environment
- Dealing with Difficult People: Three Keys to Success
- Coaching and Mentoring Skills for Managers & Supervisors
- Mental Floss! Creative Thinking, Communication & Group Invention
- Purple Grass™: Why Can’t Everyone Just Think/Be/Act/Communicate like ME??