Glass half empty or half full? Is that smile right-side up or upside down? Pollyanna or Negative Nellie? While easy to categorize, in truth most of us lie somewhere in the middle. Some days you roll out of bed ready to conquer the day and others it seems like it would be easier to stay in bed. If pressed to elaborate, most of us would prefer to have more of the good days than the bad, but often it’s those bad days and what we do with them that put our true character to the test.
When negative things happen, do you choose to wallow in the murk of negativity or work to rise above it, searching for the brighter lining? Most likely, the answer depends on the day, the people you’re interacting with and the environment you’re in. If you’re surrounded by supportive people who provide encouragement and support, bouncing back after a disappointment can happen quickly. On the opposite side, if you feel a need to defend and deflect, a disappointment has the potential to hang around much longer.
Product of the Environment
This is also true in the workplace. Employees who work in a culture where they are encouraged to share ideas and feel supported by their co-workers and employer are more likely to go the extra mile and pitch in when needed. As a result, they are better able to see the positive, even in the difficult moments. On the other hand, a negative work culture creates employees who are anxious about job security and suspicious of leadership and its decisions. The result being an environment where employees exist in survival mode, looking out only for themselves. This heads-down mindset soon translates into in-house silos and communication breakdowns that worsen over time.
If this negative attitude spreads, you’ll soon have a business known for high employee turnover, plummeting productivity and diminished communication. Not only is this depressing to be a part of but it’s also cost prohibitive if left unchecked. Instead, wouldn’t it make more sense to build an environment where people want to stay, especially since engaged employees are more likely to remain in their job (saving hiring costs) and produce higher productivity (growing profits over time)?
Check the Atmosphere
A quick glance around the office can often tell you if your business is a positive or negative place to work. If you’re experiencing swift turnover, apathetic employee engagement, and communication blockages, it’s time to reassess. This is an environment where employees looking for job growth, security and trusted co-workers cannot survive for long, creating a revolving door of employees who will share their disenchantment with others.
Far from being an all or nothing endeavor, becoming an employer of choice is often about making small steps that allow the company to evolve, improve and focus on doing each thing a little bit better over time. Start by talking to your employees and listening to what they have to say about the workplace, both good and bad, and ask what encourages them to stay. Becoming a positive employer is one of the best ways to cultivate a workplace of employees who are productive, engaged and supportive of the each other.
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and temporary employment placement services.