Subscribe to Employer Newsletter

You and your team deserve to enjoy work. The workplace should be a positive influence on people and their lives.

Yet for too many, it's just not the case. In one study, 48% of employees frequently feel a lot of stress in their work. This adversely affects their well-being. Boutique consultancy Root found that 68% of workers feel that their managers are more focused on their own success instead of inspiring their employees.

The workplace has become lopsided--too much negativity and not enough optimism.

I've written about workplace optimism here and here and here. In short, though, it is a mood in the environment that gives people hope that good things can come from their work. Furthermore, people have meaningful relationships and work that fulfill basic needs.

So what, then, can a leader do to cultivate such a vibe? Let's take a look at some actionable ways to find some balance in the lopsided workplace.

1. Repair the Relationship with Employees

For too long hierarchy has characterized the leader-employee role. This has prevented many leaders from learning about their employees' aspirations, strengths, interests, or family life.

Family life is important here. Work influences a person's family life. Most do not "turn off" work when they go home for the day. The stressors of the day linger, work emails beckon, and project deadlines loom. A powerful way to repair the relationship between you and your employee is to pay attention and do something about how the workplace affects your team's family life.

2. Help Employees Find Purpose

Entrepreneur Aaron Hurst wrote in Purpose Economy that "[purpose] is fundamentally fueled by our pursuit of the fulfillment of [connection and self expression.]"

A powerful way to repair the relationship between you and your employee is to pay attention and do something about how the workplace affects your team's family life.

While most of us are familiar with understanding the organization's purpose, it's not enough. Optimistic workplaces encourage employees to uncover their own purpose.

The savvy leader harnesses this enthusiasm, the passion, to help people grow into who they are. While the Industrial Age leader may see this as "fluffy," today's leader recognizes that self-expression can be good for business.

Gallup has found that self-expression is a positive outcome when engagement, productivity and personal well-being are part of a person's work experience. Gallup goes on to explain "focusing on that means working towards a more prosperous world--and perhaps a safer one."

Helping employees find purpose in their work and personal life is key to workplace optimism. The place to start with this is ensuring you spend time learning about your employees' aspirations and goals, taking you back to the first item listed here.

3. Focus on Developing Your Employees

While this may seem obvious, it's not done enough. Sending people off to training is hardly the only solution. How do you integrate what was learned into the employee's development plan? What on-the-job assignments are you lining up for your employee to deepen her knowledge, strengths, and abilities? And just as important, develop your employees by leveraging her strengths—work that energizes. Training is rarely the only solution to developing your employees.

About the Author: Shawn Murphy is owner and principal consultant at Achieved Strategies. Co-founder of SwitchandShift.com. Shawn works with managers to help them create workplace optimism to help make the workplace a source of fulfillment and joy. This means helping managers learn to help employees find purpose and meaning in work to add value to the organization, employees, and ultimately to customers. Connect with Shawn on LinkedIn and on Twitter @shawmu.

The three items listed above are great starts to cultivating an environment marked by optimism. It takes persistence and a passion for people to thrive in their life, both at work and home. This shift in perspective is key to promoting workplace optimism. 

Subscribe to Employer Newsletter

Disclaimer

We are an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of @WORK Personnel Services Southern California to assure equal employment opportunity to all applicants and employees without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, veteran status, or any other protected status in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Depending on client requirements and specific job duties, applicants may be subject to a pre-employment background check and/or drug screen through our employment screening partner www.atbackgrounds.com. @Backgrounds is the preferred employment screening provider for the @Work Group.

  

At Backgrounds employment screening partner website

Contact @Work Socal

@Work Personnel Temecula
 27720 Jefferson Ave. Ste. 130
 Temecula, CA 92590
 Tel: 951-297-3591 
 Fax: 951-297-3591 
email

@Work Personnel Palm Desert
 73350 El Paseo, Ste. 205

 Palm Desert, CA 92260
 Phone: 760-346-3945
 Fax: 760-346-2455 
 email

@Work Personnel Carlsbad
 5375 Avenida Encinas, Ste. F

 Carlsbad, CA 92008
 Phone: 442-287-0300
 Fax: 442-287-0300
 email

@Work Personnel Riverside
 Specialized On-site branch

 Phone: 951-297-3591 ext. 110
 email

@Work Personnel La Palma 
Serving Orange County and Los Angeles
12 Centerpointe Drive, Ste. 204
La Palma, CA 90623
Phone: 714-676-3998
Fax: 714-676-3944
Website   |  email

View Nationwide Locations