Can You Profit From The Positive?

Can You Profit From The Positive?

BY Michelle McQuaid

Can you imagine being asked what’s going right at work, rather than raked over coals for all the things that “might” go wrong? How about being given frequent praise and recognition by your boss? Or turning up to a meeting that starts with so much sizzle you’re instantly engaged and energized to be part of the discussion?

Sound like a pipe dream?

While the idea of profiting by investing in positive actions at work appeals to most of us, the reality is many organizations seem more focused on looking for our mistakes, giving negative feedback and filling our diaries with pointless meetings.

Yet employees report they could be eighty-five per cent more productive if managers made small changes like improving wellbeing, motivation, recognition and reward. In Australia alone economists estimate these shifts could be worth $305 billion in productivity gains.

So why aren’t more organizations willing to profit from the positive?

Why Positive Approaches Work

As executive coaches for Fortune 500 organizations, Margaret Greenberg and Senia Maymin have spent years researching, applying and reviewing the outcomes of using positive approaches in workplaces.

Not only have they found it is indeed possible to improve productivity, collaboration and profitability, they’ve also discovered most of these approaches don’t need to cost organizations a cent.

For example, the simple act of managers providing frequent recognition and encouragement has been found to significantly improve project performance, with an increase of forty-two per cent in productivity.

In businesses where employees have the opportunity to do what they do best every day – to use their strengths – organizations are experiencing an increase in productivity, customer loyalty, and employee retention.

And when Sony Pictures Entertainment trained employees at all levels in ways to renew their energy by cultivating specific positive habits or rituals such as disconnecting from email during certain periods of the day to focus on an important project or task, taking a daily mid-afternoon walk, and going to the company gym during work hours, 88 per cent of the employees who participated in the training believe it has made them more productive and focused, and 84 per cent believe they are better able to manage the demands of their jobs. Although you cannot attribute company performance solely to this training, Sony’s leaders believe it has contributed to their continued strong performance despite difficult economic conditions.

In their new book “Profit From The Positive: Proven Leadership Strategies To Boost Productivity and Transform Your Business” Greenberg & Maymin, detail more than than two-dozen evidence-based tools being used by organizations like Google, Zappos and Amazon to boost individual, team, and business performance.

In this episode of Chelle McQuaid TV, I interview Margaret Greenberg so we can discover first hand why these approaches are so effective and what are the no-cost, no-permission things you can try in your own organization to profit from the positive.

How Can You Profit From The Positive?

Three approaches Greenberg & Maymin recommend you start with are:

  1. Study What’s Going Right – Make sure you spend as much time figuring out what’s working well and what’s going right as you do on talking about all the problems in your team or on your projects. This helps you to capitalize on the strengths of your team and to drive exceptional performances.
  2. Give FRE – Measure how much Frequent Recognition and Encouragement (FRE) you’re giving others at work by taking this free survey. Then try giving praise to the back – by recognizing someone’s efforts to other people so they can play the good news back to the employee.
  3. Start Meetings With Sizzle – 91 cent of employees admit to daydreaming during meetings. Try grabbing their attention by starting your meetings on a positive note – for example asking “What’s working well?” to bring out your team’s best thinking.

For more practical, tested ideas be sure to visit the website and grab a copy of the book.

What are the cost-free ways you want to try profiting from the positive at work?

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