Employees want more than money from a job. Seeing smiling faces, hearing words of encouragement and feeling well-liked by peers creates a positive work environment. According to a study conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln entitled “Positive Organizational Behavior in the Workplace: The Impact of Hope, Optimism and Resilience,” a kind and friendly workplace is beneficial to mental health and work ethic.
The study, which focused on 1,264 subjects, wanted to find the “impact that the selected positive psychological resource capacities of hope, optimism, and resilience have on desired work-related employee outcomes.” Presence of these uplifting factors contributed to stronger work-related performance.
Mind Tools, an organization dedicated to the training of millions of business professionals, finds looking for what is right in a business is just as important as noting what is less desirable.
Praise is especially vital in businesses that are strapped for cash, especially when promotions and raises are sparse. Consistently good feedback can provide a “loop” of goodwill. Studies have shown people experience bursts of dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, when hearing something pleasing.
Despite the mutual benefits of approbation, some are hesitant to provide compliments due to embarrassment or difficulty communicating positively. Overcoming this difficulty is crucial, as managers like compliments when done well and for the proper reason, otherwise it can backlash, says Lynn Taylor, workplace expert and author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant.”
“It can be productive to make your boss look good. It can earn you some ‘good points,’ a bit of trust, and maybe give you a leg up for when the next big project comes up that everyone wants,” said Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs. She finds workers should make the boss look good as long as it is mutually beneficial, otherwise it can come off as disingenuous.
It’s also ill-advised to pay compliments on unwise business decisions or constantly shower the manager with praise.
Jacquelyn Smith, a Business Insider writer, provides numerous ways to make management look good without sacrificing face. Keeping up strong quality of work is one way, as it shows the boss has good leadership in choosing good employees while the worker looks competent. Giving credit where credit is due also applies to supervisors. Employees should not be afraid to give praise to managers when the boss had a hand in success.
Not everyone enjoys a positive workplace. Negative work environments can take a toll on a person’s mental health, sometimes necessitating professional help. Those in need of mental health treatment can contact Sovereign Health Group for assistance by calling 866-754-3385 at any time.
Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group writer