5 Methods to Boost Workplace Optimism and Productivity

An optimistic and positive outlook is essential for workplace productivity. However, employee morale can be difficult to define and is strongly susceptible to external influences – from individuals feeling overworked, stressed, or undervalued on a personal level, to insufficient support structures or conflict within teams.

A productivity culture must be developed and fostered through positive leadership and by developing greater resilience and agility amongst employees.

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There is no singular way of measuring optimism and positivity, but it is clear to see when employee morale is low, as staff become visibly unhappy and unproductive. The company culture can also feel toxic, and communication becomes increasingly difficult, meaning that teamwork suffers and ultimately in the long run staff retention becomes poor.

Good employee morale, on the other hand, brings a positive state of mind, enabling your people to work to the best of their abilities. Employees are content and confident, and demonstrably more motivated. Business productivity and efficiency becomes higher and, all in all, everyone is happier and more satisfied.

So, given how important it is, how do you improve morale in the workplace and sustain it at a consistently high level? Here are five methods that help to improve optimism and productivity in the workplace.

1) Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance

At its best, work should be a very satisfying and fulfilling activity, but a lack of balance between work and life commitments can ultimately lead to burnout. Overworking can create a negative and unsustainable workplace culture, where long hours at the desk come to be expected, regardless of the levels of productivity. 

Change in such situations needs to come from leaders. Simple steps like ensuring lunch breaks are taken away from the desk and finishing work at a consistent time and at a sensible hour, can help to show a more balanced set of priorities. To accommodate life commitments, encourage flexible working and work-from-home arrangements too.

2) Organise Opportunities for Team Development 

Good interpersonal team relationships are a great way of improving morale in the workplace. Team development activities - like problem-solving challenges and team exercises - can promote mutual trust and rapport among employees outside of their established working relationships. Collaboration on non-work activities helps to enhance relationships without the stress of their day-to-day responsibilities. 

3) Have An 'Open Door' Policy

While an understanding of management roles is needed, and a clear chain of accountability and leadership is essential for efficiency within teams, it is also important that staff don't see their team and business leaders as unapproachable. By maintaining an open-door communication policy between employees and line managers, you can show that your leaders are always ready to listen and respond to employee concerns. It also allows you to catch problems early and avoids escalation that can create conflict.

4) Give Recognition

Everyone likes to feel valued in their role, so make sure that employees get the recognition that they deserve. Acknowledging a job well done gives individuals a welcome boost of positivity and nurtures ongoing good performance. It also shows that managers are actively engaged with individual employees' activities, rather than only looking for results on balance sheets.

5) Offer Incentives

Incentives help to make recognition more concrete and tangible for your people. If an employee has done excellent work that has gone beyond the call of duty, it makes sense to give something back in return – over and above the individual's standard remuneration. These could include vouchers, bonuses, corporate away days, extra holiday, or something completely outside the box. Whatever the incentive, just make sure it’s something that’s rewarding for that individual or team. 

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GRA has over 30 years of expertise in team development training and experiential learning. We know how to boost morale in the workplace and have many interventions available to help organisations improve optimism and boost productivity. To find out more, please call one of our training specialists today on 01962 779911.

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