How Positivity Trumps Pressure at Work

How Positivity Trumps Pressure at Work

February 24, 2016
Business Skills

Many companies believe a high-pressure culture drives financial success. But a growing body of research demonstrates that not only are high-pressure environments harmful to productivity, but that a positive work environment will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line. As an RD in a leadership role, (or aspiring) this is something you’ll definitely want to pay attention to. Creating a positive culture for your retail team could provide benefits you’ve never considered.

Here are some real life examples of a variety of hidden costs incurred at high-pressure workplaces:

  • Health care expenditures at high-pressure companies are close to 50 percent greater than at other organizations.
  • The American Psychological Association estimates that 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress on the job.
  • Research by Anna Nyberg from the Karolinska Institute showed a link between poor leadership and heart disease in employees. Bad bosses can literally be bad for the heart!
  • Stressful environments over time will likely lead to disengagement. For example, research by Gallup found that disengaged workers had 37 percent higher absenteeism.

Wellbeing at work clearly comes from having a positive work culture. So how can you as a retail RD create this within your team?

According to Emma Sepala the Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, here are four things you can do to nurture positivity in your team.

1. Foster social connections. Studies confirm that positive social connections at work produce highly desirable results; i.e.: people get sick less often, learn faster, and perform better on the job. 

2. Show empathy. As a boss, you have a huge impact on how your employees feel. Jane Dutton from the University of Michigan suggests that leaders who demonstrate compassion toward employees foster individual and collective resilience in challenging times. As an RD trained to council individuals, being empathetic most likely comes easy to you; use your innate skills to your advantage. 

3. Go out of your way to help. Ever had a manager or mentor helped you when she didn’t have to? Chances are you have remained loyal to that person. This leads to greater trust and more productive employees.

4. Encourage an open dialogue. Trusting that your boss has your best interests at heart improves employee performance. Rather than creating a culture of fear, feeling safe in the workplace helps encourage the spirit of experimentation, which is critical for innovation and good work. 

Check in with yourself, are you working to foster a positive environment within your team? No matter how big or small your team is, it’s clear that a positive culture will achieve significantly higher levels of effectiveness; from financial performance to customer satisfaction and employee engagement.

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