To thrive in the modern business world it’s critical that employees are enabled to play to their strengths in a volatile and fast-moving marketplace. The ability to adapt, engage, communicate and collaborate are crucial in terms of sustainable employability and contribution to the workplace effort.
For good employers this means providing an environment where career progression is not about moving up the career ladder but about providing a challenging and enriching experience for each employee, that enables them to build skills and increase their value.
Positivity has a direct relationship with productivity and the success of employees and teams; the benefits for staff and organisation are manifold:
- 3 times more creativity
- 31% higher productivity
- 23% fewer fatigue symptoms
- 37% greater sales
- 40% more likely to achieve promotion
- 10 times more engagement
At 10Eighty we believe that taking an employee-centred, strengths-based approach and building positivity in the workplace will help build a more proactive and satisfied workforce. It also bolsters the well-being of employees – think positive and positive things happen. We help team leaders and their team members to understand not only the strengths each individual brings to the team, but also how well the team applies well-researched team habits productively to translate these strengths into results.
Positive psychology is about making the most of what you have. Strengths are what energise us, we enjoy using them and learn quickly when we can put them into action. A 2011 study showed that people who felt they were using their strengths have more positive emotion, greater vitality and self-esteem, compared with people who did not feel they used theirs (Wood, et al, 2011).
When we use a skill in which we excel, we are likely to be more positive, and of course some skills serve us regardless of our goals. Professor Martin Seligman, of University of Pennsylvania, has listed the 24 cross-cultural character strengths that most contribute to flourishing, which involves identifying an individual’s signature strengths. If you encourage people to share their strengths profiles and help them identify their top strengths at work the organisation will be able to leverage those strengths for positive attitudes and greater engagement.
Strengths and managing performance
Employees who are able to use their strengths at work are likely to be confident, engaged and productive. In terms of team working an effective team benefits from a blend of talents and strengths. Bear in mind that talented people want to working for an enterprise whose mission they believe in, with a value system aligned to their own.
Another aid to encouraging an environment where positive thinking thrives is to provide regular feedback, this is crucial in managing team performance. Try to tell people what they’re doing well, rather than focus on negative feedback. Feedback raises awareness of strengths and highlights areas for development, if effective it motivates people to improve and it shows their contribution is recognised and valued. Rather than a backward looking evaluation of past performance think in terms of an evidence-based performance and development discussion.
It pays a good employer to foster a positive environment by encouraging feedback and good communication between all team members using recognition in team meetings or group settings as, ultimately, the feedback enhances individual and organisational performance. More and more organisations are realising the benefit of recruiting people who truly engaged and using their personal strengths in a role which they find fulfilling as opposed to simply having the right competencies for the job.
Employees are most inspired to achieve peak performance when they work for an organisation in which excellence is expected – the best way to motivate them to perform at their best is to proclaim a commitment to peak performance in your organisation, sector and industry.