Positivity Leads to Productivity - How You Can Impact it: Session Recap from CHART 99

March 11, 2020 | 1085 Views

Positivity Leads to Productivity - How You Can Impact it: Session Recap from CHART 99

Lael Garner-Weadock

Director of Training and Development | Marcus Hotels & Resorts

Session Recap of The Positivity Principle: Teach Your Team to Succeed Through Happiness
Presented by: Kelly McCutcheon, Vice President of Training, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Inc.

In addition to the obvious benefits of increasing happiness at work, team positivity can directly benefit performance and productivity, which can result in real changes to the bottom line.

Shawn Achor, a leading researcher at Harvard University, found that the brain performs significantly better when it is in a positive state versus when it is in a negative, stressed, or neutral state. “When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive. This discovery has been repeatedly supported by research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the world.” says Achor, Founder of GoodThink, Inc. and author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work.

So how do you create the positivity that leads to increased performance? Influencing your team’s behavior can be thought of as a mathematical expression:

Behavior = Personality x Environment

Each person’s personality is relatively constant, but environment is flexible. If you change the environment, you will get a different behavior.

Consider the experience you have when walking into a restaurant where half of the tables are dirty, compared to a restaurant where all the tables are clean, and how that might impact your behavior. Think about that for your team- if you can change the environment to be more positive, you enable them to be more positive and therefore more productive.

Achor found that if managers increased their praise and recognition of just one employee, once a day, for 21 business days in a row, productivity levels increased by 31% versus a control group. Listen to his thoughts on a podcast here: https://hbr.org/2010/11/why-a-happy-brain-performs-bet

So how do we promote positivity? The brain is a muscle that can be strengthened, just like any other, but it takes work. Try closing your eyes and thinking about the color red for 15 seconds, then open your eyes. Notice more red in your life? You should, because you just strengthened your brain to notice everything red. You can apply the same trick to looking at the positive. Strong leaders create positive emotions in themselves and their teams by focusing on the positive. 

Here are some suggestions for creating a positive environment:

  1. Gratitude List – Start each work day by writing down 3 things you’re grateful for, or start a meeting with 3 things you’re grateful for. This will change the way in which your brain processes the challenges your team is about to deal with. 
  2. Huddles – Rename “pre-shift meetings” to “huddles” and add time for giving recognition for work done on the last shift. This will create a feeling of togetherness.
  3. Gratitude Wall – Create this in the team member area with post-it notes nearby. Encourage everyone to write why they are grateful for a teammate and post it.
  4. Daily Email – Take a moment to start your day sending an email to someone in your circle of influence that has made an impact on you.
  5. Compliment Circle – Form a circle with your team and tell the person to the right of you what you admire about them, they in turn do the same for the person to their right, and so on.
  6. Gratitude Jar – Write down what you are grateful for and put it in a jar. On your birthday or at the end of each month, read them.
  7. Exercise – People who work out once a week, or even just 10 minutes a day, are happier than people who never work up a sweat, the Journal of Happiness Studies reports. Any and all movement is great for the mood! https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/02/well/move/even-a-little-exercise-might-make-us-happier.html

It is clear that creating positivity at work is good for your employees and your company. When we build things into our day that make us more positive, our teams are happier and more productive!


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