It might surprise you to know that companies with happy employees outperform the competition by at least 20 percent.
Among those in the sales industry, the happiness factor is even greater—happy salespeople produce about 37 percent more sales than employees who are not particularly happy in their job. In fact, having happy employees is good for everyone—the employer, the employee, as well as clients and customers who deal with the employees. This fact is borne out by the fact that employees who report being happy at work take 10 times fewer sick days than unhappy employees.
Perhaps the most surprising fact is that more than a third of all employees surveyed said they would happily give up $5,000 a year in salary to be happier at work.
So, while it is clear that happy employees feel more invested in the performance of their company, and have a greater desire to see their company succeed, it can sometimes be difficult to maintain a positive attitude in the workplace.
Changing Attitudes of American Workers
Over the past few decades, the attitude of the average American worker toward the company they work for has changed dramatically. Today’s worker is more likely to believe that companies are not loyal to their employees, therefore they have no incentive to be loyal to the company they work for. A typical American worker is also more likely to believe work is just work, that no one is looking out for them at work, and that “I can’t wait until Friday gets here.” Unfortunately, this type of attitude can deeply affect the organization as a whole, particularly the success of the organization.
Defining a Positive Attitude
What—exactly—defines a positive attitude? Essentially, a positive attitude is your mental focus on the world—the way you look at and respond to events, messages, and circumstances—both positive and negative. A positive attitude makes solving problems easier, and, is appreciated by others in the workplace. Today’s business world can be extremely competitive, as well as complex, and employees with a positive outlook are more likely to work to higher standards of productivity, safety, and quality. Employees who work with or near another employee with a positive attitude report being more energized and upbeat themselves. What employers need to remember is that while the mechanics of a job can be taught, attitude is the quality they need to be looking for.
Having a Positive Attitude at Work
While you probably have to have a job, you do have a choice as to whether you will be positive at work or miserable, marking the hours until quitting time on Friday. Although it can be difficult to remain positive when you work with people who are…less than positive, it can be done. Consider the following:
- Find things to be thankful for in your workplace. In the beginning, this may feel awkward and can be difficult if you work in a very negative environment. However it will soon begin to feel more natural, and it will be easier for you to find the positive aspects of your job.
- Be generous in your praise of others. Many of us believe if we are praising others, then we are not getting the praise we deserve. You may be surprised to find that when you look for the good things others do—and tell them about it—your turn will naturally follow.
- Get past trying to control every situation. Negativity and complaining typically come from those who are trying to control people and situations which are beyond their control. Learn to control only those things you can actually make decisions on, and to let go of worrying about the rest.
When you decide to choose to have a positive attitude while at work, you may find yourself moving from being a complainer to a real leader. You may also find that your new, improved attitude soon leads to improvements in morale and productivity.