The word “work” has such a negative connotation to it, which when you think about it really is horrible since we spend a lot of our time doing it. Someone has to be the light, the change that others are seeking, so why not make that person you and promote workplace positivity.
1- You First: Think Positively About Work From Start to Finish
The best way to get others around you to feel good about being at work is to genuinely enjoy your time while you’re there. The confidence and positivity you exude is contagious and you will notice the effects very quickly. Instead of waking up in the morning mad or annoyed that you have to stop your precious slumber, think about all the things you have to be excited about for that day. Even if it’s small like, “I’m going to that famous cookie place down the street for lunch that I’ve been meaning to try” or “I’m going to try a new tactic at work today and see what results I get.” You’ll walk in with a smile and an overall more gracious attitude that can end up rubbing off on others.
2- Bring Treats for Everyone
I started off doing this because I wanted two donuts one day and felt guilty about eating them so I thought, “What if I bring for everyone?” What was first a tactic at feeding in to my greedy indulgences, turned out to be a positive experience—every time! Sharing something with co-workers helps put everyone’s guard down, especially if there are new members in your team or if you are dealing with some stressful changes internally. If you don’t see the point in this you may think, “Why would I want to spend money on these people?” You’re with them for about 80% of your day, that’s why. What ends up happening a lot of the time is that if one person brings in goodies to share, other people are inclined to do the same, making for a much more comfortable environment and also, more treats!
3- Subtlety Banish Negative Speaking
Sometimes it may be difficult to keep a positive flow going if there is that one colleague who always has something bad to say. We all know that one person who isn’t necessarily bad but they just have an overall negative outlook on things, are not happy in their current position, or are not able to deal with the stressful aspects of a job without shutting down. Calling them out on it will only anger them, so the best thing to do is to change their flow of conversation. If they are complaining about something, counteract their statement with something positive about the situation and then shut the conversation down. After a while, they will get the hint that nobody wants to dwell on the bad.
4- Discourage Workplace Bullying
Even if you can’t stand someone at work, joining in on juvenile gossip or bad mouthing behind closed doors should not be something you do. Think about it this way, if the person could hear you, would you want them to know you’ve participated in horrible conversations about them? Ultimately, even if you have a legitimate reason to dislike someone, participating in gossip just encourages the all-against-one bullying mentality. If you’re caught in the middle of some co-worker bad talk in front of you, you can simply just say “Hey that’s not very nice, chill out.” It will have others thinking twice about the things they say out loud, especially at work.
5- Offer Compliments and Words of Encouragement During Stressful Times
Possibly the best way to encourage positivity is to share your light directly. After a bad meeting or a stressful day, everyone may feel like crap and feel discouraged—here’s where you come in. Recently, an intern at my office experienced their first ‘hell day’ and I happened to catch them on their way out. I let them know that I also felt a little lousy about the day but tomorrow is a fresh start and we will be able to try new tactics in order to get the best results, which can be exciting. I then told them that they had been doing a great job while working on a particular project. It was a 30 second conversation, but the intern left smiling and came in the next morning beaming and very excited to start their day. This will make anyone feel better about themselves and their situation, but especially will help new employees or staff that have been in the company for a longer time. Bonus: their reaction made me feel really good and in turn I felt encouraged as well!
These things may seem very small but they make a huge impact on how someone may view their workplace. One constantly positive source can completely flip office morale if they are consistent and passing along good vibes all around. We are not robots, we’re human, and even while we are hard at work, we need some good ol’ HR approved lovin’ at our jobs!