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16 Jan 2023
by Jane Hulme

Five ways to promote a positive mindset in the workplace

A little positivity can go a long way, especially in these tough times

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It can be hard to look on the bright side of life when going back to work in the new year. A freezing cold January paired with rising energy bills, double digit inflation and the pre-Christmas pay day receding ever-further into the distance, it’s all too easy to see a glass half empty and sink into a completely negative mindset to match.

But a positive outlook can benefit individuals and businesses alike. Research has shown that the happiest employees take less sick leave, are six times more energised and twice as productive as their least happy colleagues.

Here are five ways employers can promote a positive mindset for their employees:

1. Recognise and reward

A little appreciation can go a long way, and employers without a staff recognition scheme could be missing a trick. Employees who are recognised for a task well done are likely to feel energised and motivated, increasing job satisfaction.

Reward schemes celebrating successes can create a culture of appreciation, be a draw to prospective employees and act as an anchor to others who might be considering moving on.

And happier employees are likely to influence one another’s behaviours, creating a generally more cheerful work environment.

2. Positive moves

Physical exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, which help the body avoid pain and increase feelings of pleasure. Lack of endorphins can cause anxiety, depression and sleep issues. So getting moving is great for boosting your mood. Encourage employees to take regular breaks and get up and move. Instigate walking meetings, mindfulness breaks or offer onsite fitness classes during lunch hours.

Health and wellness challenges are also a fun way to promote a little competition and team building, such as the eight glasses of water a day challenge.

Finally, it’s not healthy for people to stay in one fixed position – sitting or standing – for too long, so offering adjustable sit-stand desks allows employees to easily switch between the two while working.   

3. Detox the digital

So many of us live on our phones these days — checking social media, catching up on emails, monitoring the news. It’s hard to get away from all the woes of the world when you’re permanently plugged in.

Hybrid working has blurred the lines between ‘working from home’ and ‘living at work’, so it can be hard for employees to switch off. If you have an employee who is working consistently outside ‘normal’ hours, consider talking to them about how you can help them work more flexibly, manage their workload and work/life balance more effectively.

4. Develop a sense of community

One of the positive takeaways from the pandemic was the sense of community spirit many people discovered, a feeling of accomplishment and a new purpose from helping their neighbours in times of adversity.

Company charity partnerships are a great way of getting everyone involved, bringing a business and its local community together for a positive purpose. Alternatively, encouraging payroll giving provides an opportunity for employees to do some good in the world.

5. Lead by example

Show those around you the power of a positive mindset. Make an effort to use positive language when you talk to people, smile more, make eye contact and remember to say ‘thank you’. In the same way that your reward scheme could help build employees’ trust and appreciation, a little kindness in the workplace goes a long way to keeping people happy in their jobs.

These are uncertain times and for many people life is tough right now. But with a few tweaks to our daily life most of us can improve our health and wellbeing and face the future with a more positive outlook — which is good for employees and good for employers, too.

In partnership with Unum Ltd

Putting people at the heart of employee benefits

Contact us today