How positive practices can improve employee engagement, wellbeing and work performance.
On July 5th, AME hosted a ‘Positive Practices’ workshop with Marcia Ryan, from Wellbeing Works, who specialises in helping individuals, teams and organisations bring out the best in people for individual wellbeing and business excellence. Her programs draw upon research from the field of positive psychology and provide practical techniques to immediately implement at work, to become more optimistic, resilient and form positive connections with colleagues. These skills build happier, healthier and higher performing individuals which leads to increased work engagement and performance improvements.
Why people came to the workshop:
To have the right mindset for success – To bring more positivity into my workplace rather than be consumed by the negatives
To manage work stress– To better manage my reaction to stressors at work that impacts my health and leads to poor interactions with others
To improve communication skills when interacting with work colleagues
To cope with change – For self and support the team who are going through change together
To improve team culture - identify positive ways to influence others as a leader
For personal growth and development
Four key insights from the workshop
1. We are hard wired to notice the bad.
Rick Hanson, says the the brain is like ‘Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones’. We naturally focus on the negatives and this can get us stuck and overwhelmed. A more balanced outlook is to also focus on what is working well. We need to work hard to challenge our negativity bias and get a better balance of positive and negative emotions. This will boost our mood, which helps us think better, put in extra effort and bring greater energy to our workgroup. We can all learn to be more optimistic, to feel more competent to overcome challenges and move forward to perform better. The group shared simple ways to boost positivity:
Share one thing that went well today at work
Genuinely ask how someone’s day was and … listen
Thank someone for a good job done
Share good news and good feelings
Give credit and acknowledgement to others
2. We need the right mindset to be resilient, agile and achieve continuous improvement.
This is what Carol Dweck calls, a growth mindset - A belief that failure is part of growth and we can learn and grow from challenges, work hard, and persist to reach higher levels of achievement. This is a focus on getting good rather than looking good and it is developable.
3. I know my weaknesses but I don’t know my strengths.
To maximise performance, we need to play to our strengths as well as manage our weaknesses. The group discovered their individual character strengths – things they are good at and enjoy doing that motivate and engage them at work. Gallup research shows teams who enable people to use their strengths have: 8.9% greater productivity, 12.5% greater profitability and six times higher engagement. We discovered the key strengths in the group were Leadership, Bravery, Wise decision making, Teamwork and Fairness which were all being used at work to analyse well, communicate well, improve customer service and achieve results for the business. Do you know your strengths and do you have an opportunity to use them at work? If not, there is untapped potential waiting to be unlocked within you.
4. We are social beings and we desire to belong, feel connected, valued and respected by others at work.
Feeling connected to the group makes our work satisfying, yet busy work days and focus on outputs can make it challenging to connect with others at work. We learnt how to build high-quality connections in micro moments at work, to energise us and better connect with colleagues, enhancing collaborative team behaviour. Some takeaway actions were:
- I will fulfil all requests in a timely manner, and share responsibility with others.
- I will listen and ask more, rather than telling
- I will share information with colleagues
- I will encourage team social connections – team ping pong, footy tipping, sharing lunch at an outdoor picnic table, stopping to say hi.
- Boost their positivity rather than be consumed by the negatives
- Better manage work stressors, uncertainty and change
- Improve communication skills
- Improve team culture and become a positive influence on others
- Provide skills for personal growth and development