Work is a good thing yet it’s not always a positive thing. It’s not always gratifying or enriching because people spend a majority of their waking life in organizations that don’t create wellness. A positive workplace provides a constructive environment that fulfills our needs for autonomy, connection, and impact, while ensuring the means to food and shelter. Workplaces that enable positivity give employees access to the essential elements of well-being: positive emotion, positive relationships, purpose and meaning, positive accomplishment, and positive health. These elements, taken together, create individual and collective flourishing. When the conditions for well-being are present in the workplace, everybody—employer, employees, external stakeholders, and the wider society—benefits.
Expert organizational psychologists S. Chris Edmonds and Lisa Zigarmi have seen how positive organizations empower the people who work within them, while providing meaningful contributions to society. In #POSITIVITY at WORK tweet, they define and describe a positive workplace, and then go on to demonstrate how to engender positive emotions, relationships, accomplishment, and health at work. For example, since people show up at work with their hearts as well as their heads, leaders need to be as concerned with affect as well as results. Positive emotion reflects perceptions of safety, satisfaction, and achievement and produces future well-being and positive consequences. Expressing positive emotion is critical for human growth and development, and equally critical for organizational success. Or, to take another example, positive health, which means much more than just the absence of illness. Our physical conditions have a huge impact on our presence, skill application, and nimbleness at work. The more positive our physical health, the greater our connection to our work, peers, leaders, company, and customers.
Enabling positivity at work is not simple. Healthy work cultures happen...