Want to increase employee productivity? Be a more positive manager.

employee productivity Citing a study from the University of Michigan, Seppala claims that the best way to improve employee performance has nothing to do with perks and benefits, as one might imagine, but it’s actually “positive and virtuous practices” that help employees excel in a number of domains.

So what ARE positive and virtuous practices?

They might include:
  • Caring for, being interested in, and maintaining responsibility for colleagues as friends
  • Providing support for one another, including offering kindness and compassion when others are struggling
  • Avoiding blame and forgive mistakes
  • Inspiring one another at work
  • Emphasizing the meaningfulness of the work
  • Treating one another with respect, gratitude, trust & integrity
Such practices increase positive emotions, buffer against negatives events, and attract and bolster employees. Summarizing the findings, Kim Cameron – the study’s lead researcher – explains that: “When organizations institute positive, virtuous practices they achieve significantly higher levels of organizational effectiveness — including financial performance, customer satisfaction, and productivity … The more the virtuousness, the higher the performance in profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement.”

 How can you implement positive and virtuous practices at your organization?

There are four recommendations for organizations to add positive practices to their company:
  1. Leadership – Support from the top
  2. Culture – Implement changes designed to be positive and virtuous
  3. Small Steps – Spend time each day doing things like gratitude journals or other positive habits
  4. Retreats and Workshops – Strategic focus on positive practices and leadership

The happiness advantage

Ultimately, employees simply want to be happy. And being happy is what provides the real advantage to your work place. A recent study at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive. As the research team put it, “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.” It’s this positive cycle that can take any business to new heights. While more research still needs to be completed on the practices to get us there, and how these can be tailored to every organization, the foundations are there for you to start building today.]]>

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