Relying on well-being to boost the workplace: that’s the (not so crazy) goal of positive psychology. The idea? Encouraging personal development, cultivating optimism, strenghtening team cohesion and investing in a caring and unifying corporate culture.
Don’t worry, Be happy : the principles of positive psychology
If work was traditionally synonymous with effort, competition and merit, positive psychology has come to shake things up. At the root of this practice is a simple question: “What makes people happy?”. Born in the early 2000s, it studies the mechanisms, conditions and practices that contribute to the fulfillment and performance of people, groups and institutions (from a collective and individual point of view).
Positive psychology relies on the observation and study of people who are doing well: what strategies do they put in place to face adversity with serenity? how do they deal with everyday worries? what triggers do they activate to feel happy, permanently? It does not pretend to hide the negative emotions (sadness, frustration, anger), but aims to demonstrate that we have so much to gain by cultivating, above all, positive emotions.
When applied to the professional field, this approach is based on positive reinforcement. It involves developing people’ s skills, implementing a benevolent and stimulating work environment, and encouraging team coherence, in order to maximize happiness and allow everyone to reach their full potential. As a result, the commitment of employees to the company would increase. As well as the retention of employees internally.
The virtues of a benevolent corporate culture
Positive psychology is a valuable management tool that highlights the fruitful impacts of well-being at work and that leads to multiple metamorphoses in managerial practices.
Fulfilled and motivated employees
The feeling of well-being increases energy and willpower tenfold, directs the mind towards actions and solutions, and maximizes creativity. Focusing on fulfillment at work is therefore a key path to motivation, involvement and efficiency for workers.
In addition to contributing to the well-being of its employees, cultivating positive emotions at work is good for the company’s health. The commitment and dynamism generated by well-being contribute to increased results. These benefits are expressed in terms of work quality and profitability, but also in terms of innovation, creativity, flexibility and the ability to bounce back. These are the threads that weave the success of a company. Icing on the cake: employees who feel fulfilled are happy to go to work and tend to stay longer in their jobs. The company therefore experiences a limited rate of absenteeism and turnover.
Happiness at the office
Positive psychology in the workplace provides employees with the necessary fuel for their stability and efficiency. The approach is based on more transparent processes, participative management, uses concrete tools, and focuses on both the present and the future. The starting point is dialogue and consideration of everyone’s interests.
The bright side of life
Genetics and extrinsic events are some of the influencing factors that condition our fulfillment. But positive psychology has also revealed the major role of our own perceptions. In other words, happiness is mainly a way of seeing things. Focusing on the positive and on solutions, transforming failures into opportunities, difficulties into challenges, are guarantees of a high level of well-being.
The Positive Psychology Tools at work
- Empathy: express your feelings and needs, listen to and welcome those of others. Empathy and non-violent communication strengthen team cohesion and recognition.
- The right to make mistakes: mistakes represent opportunities for exchange and feedback between workers. They are often the source of innovation and creativity. The right to make mistakes encourages boldness and initiative and increases workers’ confidence.
- Focus on skills and talents: positive psychology encourages the development and sharing of workers’ talents. In addition to improving their skills, this approach brings them recognition and appreciation.
- Individuals habits and tools: on a personal level, simple and accessible tools can foster a sense of well-being and confidence. Try focusing on your strengths, practicing relaxation or meditation and cultivating authentic interactions with your colleagues.
- Wellness incentives: for an optimal work-life balance, offering a membership in a gym or healthy lunches are excellent investments.
Positive psychology at work is therefore a profitable investment for the employees and for the company. Focusing on well-being by promoting individual talents, synergies and professional fulfillment means having happy workers and a flourishing company!