Charles Benayon

Founder & CEO of Aspiria


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Positively Productive

think-positiveAs we begin a new year, there is a sense of hope instilled in all of us. There are countless opportunities ahead, and a fresh beginning can inspire us in all aspects of our life. A lot of people make resolutions, and after a tumultuous year, I have as well: to be positive.

Positivity is a state of mind. It encompasses all elements of our life. So how can we be more positive, not only in our personal lives but at work as well? More specifically, as managers, how can we encourage this attitude amongst our employees when things get tough at work? Studies show that positive employees are more productive and exhibit more signs of motivation. So if you are looking to boost morale in your workplace this year, here’s a list of ways you can incorporate more positivity into your organization:

Be Social

In the workplace, we are often so busy working on projects and tasks that we forget to interact and be friendly with our employees and co-workers. The need to socialize started as an evolutionary method of survival. Not much has changed today; a study by UCLA researchers outlines the health benefits of social interaction, stating that social contact with others has a greater impact on overall health than cholesterol levels do.

So how can you create more of a social community in your workplace? While I am not suggesting creating a “party” atmosphere amongst your workforce, a simple “hello” to employees from higher-ranking staff each day, organized social events within the company, and encouraging employees to socialize and get to know one another are actions, among others, that can significantly boost morale in the workplace, and therefore increase job satisfaction and productivity.

Change your schedule

Most office employees work between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. While this may be the overall average workday, it doesn’t always work for each employee. For example, a single mother may need to drop her children off at daycare by 6 a.m. and pick them up by 4 p.m. at the latest. The daily struggle to find the time to manage both her job and parental duties could create a large amount of stress.

While it’s not always possible, try to work around your employee’s personal schedules. Maybe they would prefer to come in earlier and leave earlier or start later and leave later As long as you are satisfied with the work being done, making these changes can increase employee’s job satisfaction while reducing stress levels. Additionally, according to an article in the Journal of Applied Psychology, workers who can produce their own schedules are more efficient and less likely to call in sick than employees who work a strict schedule.

Allow employees to control their space

A 2013 Workplace Study by design and architectural firm Gensler found that employees who had control over their own workspace were not only more satisfied in their roles, they had higher motivation and productivity rates.

For example, their study reported that tech firms had a higher happiness rate in an open-concept office space. Facebook, in particular, has found success this way by allowing their employees to customize their workplace layout based on the project at hand. By allowing employees creative control of their workspace, studies show an increase in organizational productivity.

While a major change in workspaces may not be possible for all employers, talk to your employees about their workspace needs and evaluate how you can make this work for them. If they require focus and attention to detail, a walled cubicle may make sense. If they need to interact with employees more frequently, an open-concept plan would be more efficient.

At the end of the day, we spend a majority of our lives at work. If we want to make sure our employees continue to perform well, have high levels of job satisfaction and are motivated, it’s our responsibility to create a positive and enjoyable workplace environment year round.

What other ways can you think of to improve the positivity of your workforce?


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The Power of Positive Thinking

positive-attitude

We all know it’s hard to stay positive. There are hundreds of things that can “bring us down” and turn our daily outlook towards the negative.  As an owner of an EAP service company, I know just how important staying positive can be and not only for myself, but for my employees and most importantly for my clients.

Whether you are dealing with employees, students, vendors or clients, by focusing on the positive one can bring about positive results. This theory is based upon the idea that people and their thoughts are both made from pure energy, and the belief that ‘like energy attracts like energy’.  I have personally put this idea into action by believing that my clients can ‘hear’ my smile over the phone and so I always make a point of smiling (even if it is in my mind only) when I am speaking to them on the phone.

When dealing with people in business, it’s best to always take the high road and put the power of positive thinking behind your actions. Here are 4 ways to help you stay positive in business:

  1. Be Prepared.  Preparation can help you stay positive in your business because it allows you to anticipate what could happen and prepare for that possible outcome. And when you stay positive, good things tend to happen.
  2. Persevere. You’re not going to get it the first day, but you plant a seed and you water it and you continue to grow that idea.
  3. Have a Plan. Remember that there is a difference between a wish and an intention.  A wish is often a hope to fix something that isn’t working in your life.  An intention implies a plan to get you where you want to be.  A plan helps you stay positive about your future.
  4. Cut yourself some Slack.  80% of the things we worry about do not occur and for the other 20%, well, there are just some situations that are just out of our control. Period.

 

Above all, never forget that you are the person in charge and you ultimately are the person setting the course for your business and your life.  You don’t need to let the negative thoughts or opinions sway your course.

How About You?
Do you apply the principles of positive thinking in your business? If so, how has this helped you in your business? I look forward to hearing your feedback in the comments below.