“Use your signature strengths and virtues in the service of something much larger than you are.” ~ Martin Seligman
Have you heard of Positive Psychology? Let us explain… This is the branch of psychology that uses understanding and effective intervention to aid in the achievement of a satisfactory life, rather than treating mental illness. In essence, Positive Psychology is the notion that happier employees are more productive, more innovative, and creates a more attractive working environment. Leaders and executives that adopt this method of thinking and implement business practices reap the benefits of happier employees.
So, how exactly do you use Positive Psychology to become a better leader? We’ll tell you! Here are a few strategies.
As you probably already know, employees are motivated by a variety of factors unique to each personality, but what they all have in common is the need for recognition and praise. By making the commitment to express gratitude in the workplace, you seek out and focus on positive behaviour, and in the process, encourage others to do the same. Whether you do it publicly or privately, showing gratitude and appreciation, many experts say, provides high job satisfaction.
Appreciating, embracing and encouraging creativity can have a great impact on innovation, business processes and communication. “Tell people you want their ideas then give them some amount of time and space to think creatively,” Psychology Today recommends. “Offering up as little as thirty minutes of work time a week for exploratory thought could send the message that creativity is valued, no matter when, where, or how ideas are conceived.” Employees who feel their voices are being heard are also usually more engaged and actively contribute to their team and the organisation’s overall goals.
Recent generations of workers are much more mobile than their predecessors, which means that fostering corporate loyalty is often an important part of Positive Psychology. An employee who’s development and advancement is taken seriously is a lot more likely to have a deeper sense of camaraderie and loyalty towards the organisation. “Increasingly, management experts view mentoring not just as a one-on-one relationship but as a component of social networking, where protégés, also known as mentees, gain valuable knowledge by interacting with many experienced people,” the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School reported. “It’s a relationship where one can let one’s guard down, a place where one can get honest feedback, and a place, ideally, where one can get psychological and social support in handling stressful situations,” said Katherine Klein, a Wharton management professor.
In order for employees to welcome and commit to positive psychology, its application within an organisation must be transparent. Leaders must also understand the implementation of positive psychology will not necessarily combat any commitment challenges that exist. However, by implementing these strategies employees might become more optimistic and open to new concepts or management practices.
Are you using Positive Psychology as part of your employee retention strategy? What other strategies are working for you? Contribute to the conversation in the comments section below. And contact us if you need more ideas on how to implement these strategies in your organisation.