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Should Your Company Invest in Positivity?

When I began to ask if Signature Performance, the company I serve, should invest in a positivity program I had my doubts. However, today’s workforce is changing, and, in some ways, the blind eye can only see hyper-focused efforts to make people happy as nonsense.

Many organizations brag about great cultures and build them on the backs of ping pong tables, unlimited time off, and espresso machines in the cafe-like breakrooms. All neat additions but, these efforts alone produce an entitlement mentality that shouts me, me, me, which is cultural kryptonite and negatively impacts long-term performance.

Does investing in strengths-based positivity improve resiliency levels that lead to higher levels of sustained grit and better performance? Our internal data along with mainstream research is saying yes, yes, yes instead of me, me, me.

That’s a good thing.

What is a positivity program and positive psychology? It is a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behavior with a focus on strengths instead of weakness, building the good in life instead of repairing the bad, and taking the lives of average people up to “great” instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to “normal” (Peterson, 2008).

Basically, a positivity program helps apply positive principles within an entire organization offering a common mindset, values, knowledge, language, and expectations. In general, a positivity program supports the ideas of thinking about topics like strengths, optimism, resiliency/grit, happiness, well-being, gratitude, empathy, self-actualization, confidence, hope, and performance.

A positivity program promotes greater resiliency levels which lead to higher performance and a more empowered employee experience.

Grit is “sticktoitiveness;” it’s the realization that greater performance levels come from running a marathon, not a sprint. It’s owning a diligent attitude; the pressing conviction that keeps you going when it’d be easier to quit. Grit is what makes you try again and understand that failure is part of a larger process of learning.

What I have found to be true is that by understanding the power of positivity it has increased my ability to persevere through massive seasons of change. What is true for one is true for the entire organization you serve.

If you want to begin a positivity program leading to greater levels of grit in your workplace you must be prepared to invest. It takes time, money and effort. While there is not one assessment that holds the key to success - begin with seeing what’s right in others. This is a great way to kick-start a movement. Here are a few ways I suggest creating a positivity program through strengths at work.

  • Invest in your team’s strengths using the CliftonStrengths assessment. It frames in what will become a common language within the culture focusing on what’s right in others. This leads to greater levels of comradery, positivity, and accomplishment.

  • Train on the fundamentals of leading a strengths-based culture dedicated to fixating on what’s right in others. This needs to be constant and long term as we never stop the learning process.

  • Remember your "why" by connecting your strengths-based positivity program with your company’s vision, mission, and values.

  • Manage organizational distractions. We all have things at work that pull us away from living our strengths. Discover what most commonly distracts you and remind yourself of the greater reward. Positivity and a strengths-based culture lead to grittier more sustained performance.

  • Invest in one on one and team coaching. You can’t achieve great results without the power of internal and external strengths-based coaching. Coaching levels-up your commitment to performance and results.

  • Generate your own early rewards. Celebrate, be positive and enjoy the new outlook on business and life.

Yes, your company should invest in a strengths-based positivity program. Positivity is smart business. When done effectively it provides a strong return on investment through cultivating a grittier and more actively engaged workforce. It also, improves the employee experience generating momentum. As John Maxwell so accurately states, "momentum will solve 85% of your problems."

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