We have all heard of the power of positive thinking. I would like to say a few words on the power of positive action, and how it can contribute to the development of a nurturing and supportive work environment.
A positive and supportive environment is one in which a culture of kindness and compassion is developed and maintained over time with a view to improving communication, collaboration and productivity.
The introduction of ‘political correctness’ to the office changed the work environment for the better. Now, increasing emphasis is being placed on the creation of a workplace culture that gives support to common behaviours that have positive effects on individuals and organisations and discourages behaviour that has negative effects. Both management and staff win when we can promote relationships that are welcoming, supportive and productive.
To begin, we should all be aware of the negatives we communicate with others. There are two types of negatives:
Gripping which can also be termed “bitching” – is communicating negatively outside of the approved channels and we need to eliminate this.
Objecting is expressing negatives through approved channels – this is often necessary and should not be discouraged.
If we share our negative thoughts and opinions with those who cannot affect the cause of our complaint then this is considered griping…bad!
If our negative communication is with those who can affect the cause of our complaint, this is objecting…good!
A Win-Win situation
Management benefits from a programme that reduces discord and improves performance. Staff members value an agenda that is centred on improving relationships, the fair and respectful treatment of the individual and cultivating an improved work environment.
New scientific research has shown that, contrary to popular opinion, venting is damaging to both the receivers and the person venting. Where negative behaviour persists, companies have recruitment and turnover issues – these companies mainly have difficulty building teams. Conversely, when an organisation becomes positive and supportive it creates a solid foundation from which loyal teams evolve naturally. Employees with higher morale have a greater capacity to generate more revenue.
Management must also play its part by creating a ‘no surprise policy’ around termination. Job insecurity is potentially very damaging to the work environment, hence, management must strive to ensure that terminations never come as too much of a shock.
Brendan Stack is the father of the positive and supportive work environment and has introduced such programmes into certain American organisations. This very simple and enlightened thinking blew me away and I really feel this behaviour model could revolutionise the workplace.
If you feel that your workplace could be most positive and supportive, I encourage you to raise the issue with your manager and point to the benefits to all. Also, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like any advice on the matter.