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Nix the Negativity: How to Create a Positive Workplace

Business News Daily Editor
Business News Daily Editor

Positivity breeds confident, passionate workers. Learn how to achieve positive thinking in the workplace and turn negative conversations around.

  • The work environment largely impacts employee productivity.
  • Happier employees are 12 times more productive at work. This is according to a study by an economist at Warwick University.
  • Positive work cultures promote collaboration.

The power of positivity is something we hear and speak of quite frequently. But how often do we practice what we preach?

Because negativity can spread like the flu throughout an office, you should focus on ways to restore energy and passion in your workers. Learning to see the sunny side of a situation can save employees from anxiety and burnout.

Don't allow a few letdowns to hurt your company's overall culture and performance. Chris Haroun, founder and CEO of Haroun Education Ventures and a Udemy instructor, outlined three tips for achieving a positive workplace.

Hire positive people

When hiring new talent, you should focus on more than just an applicant's skills, experience and qualifications. Personality is a major factor to consider, and a worker's character should complement the company's values.

"One bad apple can spoil an entire firm's culture and productivity," said Haroun.

He noted that it's important to hire people who will strengthen your company's productivity and culture. You'll want a team player who is willing to tackle any problem that might surface – and can do it with confidence. Rather than backing down in the face of adversity, your employees should push forward and find ways to make it through any situation. Note these attributes from the start to avoid recruiting toxic employees.

Praise in public; criticize in private

Your company culture is crucial to retaining motivated, positive talent. To boost productivity, commend your workers for their performance and acknowledge their success among their colleagues.

Employees will want to impress their company, and healthy competition is often necessary in the workplace. This will increase their confidence and encourage workers to support one another while working hard on their own tasks.

However, if there is an issue with an employee's work, take them aside individually to discuss it.

"There is nothing more demeaning and destructive to a corporate culture and productivity than being criticized in front of your peers," said Haroun.

Don't gossip about a mistake a worker made or condemn them in front of their peers, he added. All that will do is embarrass or anger them, which will hurt their performance even more. You are their leader; focus on building them up rather than tearing them down.

Turn negatives into positives

There is good in every situation – don't forget to look for it. Even in the most seemingly impossible scenarios, you can still turn bad days better by focusing on the bright side of the situation.

For instance, if someone quits or is fired, tell yourself that a more suitable worker can be hired to provide the company with a unique insight that was lacking.

"Perception often becomes reality when it comes to workplace challenges," said Haroun. "Rather than seeing a negative situation as a weakness, see it as an opportunity to turn the weakness into a strength."

Should you find yourself feeling anxious or pessimistic, look for one positive outcome of the situation at hand, Haroun added. "If you disagree, then think about how many incredibly successful entrepreneurs have a negative attitude," he said. "I can't think of any."

Additional ways on how to create a positive workplace

Changes in the physical environment

It is essential to have a proper workspace for your employees. Ensuring that your employees have the right tools to work and have the right environment to work is critical for their productivity. The workplace should not be cluttered. Have an alternative storage space away from their working area. Provide necessities that they will frequently need.

Offer your employees leave days and breaks while working

Fatigued employees perform poorly in their roles. Constantly have your employees going on leave for them to take a well-deserved rest. Employees will report back rejuvenated. Have your employees take short breaks during the day whenever possible.

Benefits of a positive work environment

A positive work environment encourages happier workers. Happier employees exceed expectations and stay longer with a company. They will work toward finding solutions in the company.

Happier employees are known to be better leaders.  Alexander Kjerulf, founder of Woohoo Inc, said, "Happiness is the ultimate productivity booster." Happy employees are good at managing time and have better leadership skills. U.S. companies were estimated to have lost $450 to $550 billion annually resulting from poor productivity. This is an indication that the vast majority of employees do not enjoy their work.

Positive work cultures promote collaborations

In a positive work environment, employees enjoy teamwork. Employees are comfortable getting to know each other, sharing ideas, opinions and tips. Collaboration plays an important role in staff productivity. There is improved communication among team members. Employees are more open to corrections and directions and work towards a common good.

Positive work environments inspire creativity

With most organizations working with hierarchies, employees in the lower end of the spectrum may feel that they have few or no opportunities to express themselves. A positive work environment encourages individuals of all managerial levels to become invested in the task and projects they are working on. Employees can speak up on what ideas they think are best in solving a problem or making a service or product better. Employees are confident in expressing creative ideas which may be detrimental to the company’s success.

Stress reduction

Employees who work in positive work environments have lower stress levels and are less likely to call in sick. Stress jeopardizes the health of your employees, hence taking their focus away from their responsibility.  This will very costly to the organization as it will incur expenses in terms of medical bills while paying extra salaries to sit in for sick employees. It is crucial where possible that an organization ensures minimal stress of employees.

Promotes shared values

A positive work environment inspires shared values in an organization. Employees are able to find fulfillment in their careers, leading to increased productivity.


A positive work environment gives room for managers to recognize and appreciate their teams. Team members are also able to appreciate each other. Recognition has been known to reduce employee turnover significantly.

Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock
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