Positive psychology focuses on character strengths and behaviors that allow individuals to build a life of meaning and purpose. According to Psychology Today, the primary purpose of positive psychology is “identifying and building mental assets, as opposed to addressing weaknesses and problems.”
By embracing evidence-based practices that draw on positive psychology at work, employers can help their employees thrive. This can not only help employees find fulfillment in their personal lives, but research continues to show that employees with a positive mindset also tend to be more creative and productive at work.
Here are some ideas to introduce positive psychology into your workplace.
Practice PechaKucha. This visual storytelling format encourages participants to show 20 slides and talk about them for 20 seconds each. At work, setting aside time at weekly touchbases for an employee to present images that are personal to them can help people feel more connected to one another. Employees who are strongly bonded to their co-workers tend to be more engaged at work and experience less work-related stress.
Build a culture of encouragement. Employees want to feel that the work they are doing is valued and recognized. Research shows that employees who aren’t recognized are three times as likely to say they plan to quit in the next year. Setting aside time during one-on-one or team meetings to focus on the good work people are doing can go a long way toward putting everyone in a productive mindset. If something about an employee’s performance needs to change, make sure to provide constructive criticism as a way to keep the interaction positive.
Encourage time off. Employees can’t be at their best if they never take time to rest and recharge. Normalize time off by making sure leaders set a good example and make sure your employees are using their vacation and sick days. Doing so will give them a chance to rest up or focus on things they’re passionate about outside of work.
Taking small steps to introduce workplace culture changes based on positive psychology principles will help employees feel happier. The goal isn’t that everyone will be 100% happy every day of every week but that by feeling more supported at work they’ll be more resilient and able to bounce back on days they do encounter stress and anxiety.
There’s no one-size approach to positivity – it’s more of a spectrum. Challenge employees to take stock of their current happiness level and work toward being a happier version of themselves, whatever that might look like for them. Share this 30 Days of Happiness calendar to help them get started with easy, daily ways to boost positivity!
Learn more about positive psychology and ways you can bring it to your workplace in this Blue Cross® Virtual Well-Being webinar. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and general interest webinars here, where you’ll find past sessions and resources.