Professional baseball player Wade Boggs once noted, "A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst, and it sparks extraordinary results." A positive attitude is not only important in a person's personal life, but at the workplace, as well. When a company turns positivity into policy and intentionally fosters a positive environment, both the company and the employees will reap significant benefits.
A positive workplace doesn't happen by accident and companies often make a deliberate effort to create a positive work environment. This will be evident in the company's mission statement and its policies. Having made the Fortune 2012 list "The 100 Best Companies to Work For," the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is an example of such a company. After one year of service, workers are eligible for a transfer to another hotel -- including properties in Tahiti and 35 other countries. You can bet that working in an environment that offers the opportunity to live in Bora Bora significantly boosts employee morale.
You're stuck at home with a sick husband and child, and simply can't make it in to the office. After changing your little one's sheets for the third time, do you really want to deal with your boss hassling you about missing an important meeting? A workplace in which employees are offered kindness and understanding fosters general positivity, as workers become willing to "go the extra mile" for their flexible and compassionate company. Workers also tend to show respect toward each other in such an environment.
Organizations with a positive vibe encourage open communication. In such an environment, you needn't worry that respectfully disagreeing with your supervisor about the direction your presentation should take will lead to hard feelings. A workplace that values respect will encourage such communication. When a supervisor must give difficult feedback, those who promote a positive workplace will strive to communicate the bad news in a caring manner, focusing on performance and not an employee's character. For instance, a supervisor in a positive workplace might say "Let's work on increasing sales," rather than "You've been slacking this week on your sales."
Supportive organizations expect the best of employees, focusing on what each individual brings to the table. When supervisors esteems an employee, she is able to see herself through that positive lens. This contributes to an atmosphere of trust, points out Barbara Mintzer, author and corporate coach. When an employee senses that a supervisor sees the very best in her and expects her to live up to that vision, an increased sense of responsibility and pride in the company can be the result.
Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.