How to turn Negativity into Positivity

Create a positive work culture!

Negativity is one of the main roadblocks to personal and organizational change. Negativity can work as a virus “infecting” everybody. Today we are going to see how you can conquer negativity by encouraging and sustaining a positive culture that promotes positive attitudes and feelings. Organizations that encourage a culture of positivity, flourish. 

Setting the standard for a positive culture should be a major focus for leaders in any organization. Here are a few strategies for creating and maintaining a positive work culture. They are based on common threads running throughout published research, scholarly articles, and my own experience in organizations.

Strategy # 1: Communication

Encourage a culture of open communication. While leaders today are more aware of the importance of communication, knowing what and how to communicate tends to be less clear. Both the style and content of communication has a strong impact on a company’s culture. When timely and clear it can help to nip problems before they grow and to keep important aspects of the organizational culture at the forefront of employees’ minds.

Therefore, establish an environment that supports and nurtures two-way and up-and-down communication. It’s important that employees can see and understand “the big picture.”

Positive reinforcement should also be a part of your daily communication. Let your employees know they are appreciated. Too often this is overlooked. Establish reward systems for excellent performance and never forget to thank an employee for a job well done.

Proactive communication strategies are being more highly correlated with a positive corporate culture than any other practice. It also has impact on market performance.

A culture of open communication also includes the opportunity to address issues and concerns, as well as promote open dialogue to work through difficult issues. This will also help promote creative solutions.

Better communication strategies seem to be one clear strategy for creating a more unified and positive corporate culture.

Strategy # 2: Empowerment

When employees have a voice in creating a shared vision, the freedom to create, and no micromanaging they will feel a sense of pride and ownership in their work. This will result in higher levels of morale, self-motivation, and a positive culture.

Furthermore employees will be able to assume more responsibility and/or authority for decision making and free leaders from having to worry about detailed day-to-day operations.

Strategy # 3: Strategic initiatives

Although setting the strategic direction of the organization is mostly reserved for top management, employees appreciate when management makes an effort to enlist their thoughts regarding specific strategic changes and plans. This enlists support.

Your strategic direction has to include the hiring process. Look for positive attitudes while hiring. Negative people can quickly sour an entire workplace. Look for a friendly smile and an upbeat disposition.

If you already have negative employees on staff, take them aside to discuss their attitudes and make it clear that you are creating a positive work culture and negativity will not be tolerated.

A positive culture is just talk unless it’s tied to best practices that tie strategic plans to employee behavior, rewards, and recognition. A flexible work schedule, and engaging people in what they do best, should be part of the strategic plan. When performance planning and evaluations have a positive focus, it also helps the overall environment.

Strategy # 4: Positive Leadership

Your role as a leader in making a positive culture is vital. A positive culture stems from the top down. You can't be a bully that screams and criticizes constantly and expect to create a positive environment. You need instead to practice four positive emotions. These emotions have been shown to increase energy, fuel productivity, decrease stress, promote connection, and increase well-being in the workplace. The 4 positive emotions are: 

  • Compassion

  • Empathy

  • Forgiveness

  • Appreciation

Cultivating positive emotions is especially important during times of stress and times of change.  Explore within yourself how you can change the boundaries of your mind. You can widen the possibilities of what you can do. You can expand what you experience. Positivity is the way to go!

It is important for senior management to communicate well and be invested in supporting and spreading a positive culture. Yet, leadership skills and responsibilities must also permeate down throughout the organization.

Establish an open-door policy and encourage interaction. Be honest and open. Ask people's opinions, listen to what they have to say. All of these will help promote positivity in your organization.

Strategy # 5: Values

The importance of ethics and codes of conduct which are clearly identified and communicated, as well as exemplified by the leaders’ behaviors, is one of the biggest elements in a positive culture. It can’t be overemphasized that leaders need to “walk their talk.”

A strong positive culture is a result of clarity in terms of what an organization values as well as clarity in terms of how those values are communicated. Having a detailed code of conduct and ethics reporting system that holds people accountable for all their actions can encourage people to strive for success. Positively reinforcing the company values through the organization will send a strong positive message.

Remember. . .

A positive workplace culture leads to increased productivity, better employee morale and the ability to keep skilled workers. Negative attitudes in the workplace, particularly when they are displayed by the leadership, can have a dramatic impact on the entire organization. Taking the steps to ensure that a positive culture is present in the workplace will go a long way towards keeping your organization running smoothly and keeping an engaged positive workforce.

Positivity can calm negativity like a reset button. Try positivity out! Go among your people today and show heartfelt, specific appreciation. Listen with compassion. Practice empathy. Be ready to forgive and move on. You will feel better, while those around you will feel more connected, energized, ready to tackle change!