4 Strategies for Creating a Positive Workplace

Something is going on in America's workforce and it's pretty concerning.

In 2013, The Conference Board surveyed 5,000 U.S. workers to assess how satisfied they were with their jobs. Employees from a diverse set of positions and industries participated.

The results? Only 47.7 percent of survey respondents indicated satisfaction with their respective jobs. Long story short, the research indicates that more than half of Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs. What a sad state of affairs, particularly since many people spend half of their waking hours at work. Think about it..."J-O-B" seems to be the buzzkill. Our culture touts Over the Hump Wednesday, Thank God it's Friday and Miserable Monday.

There are real and quantifiable reasons why positively influencing others in and around our places of work is essential. Great leaders understand that satisfied, inspired employees and colleagues are more productive. They are great ambassadors for their organizations and are willing to go the extra mile.

So how can you do your part in building a more satisfied workforce in your own organization? Here's the answer: be your best self. We can't change our co-workers, employees, clients and customers. However, we can influence them in a positive way through example. Here are four tips on how to do so:

Right Mindset

First, we can choose to have the right mindset: that of a Victor rather than a Victim. When we are in a victim mentality, we create a vibe of dissatisfaction. Victims react, they blame others, they stew and have a negative attitude. In contrast, when we operate in Victor mode, we radiate a positive vibe in our places of work. Victors respond, they persist and take responsibility for their results.

Ever watch Winnie the Pooh? There's that little donkey character Eeyore who's always the victim. His energy brings the likes of Piglet and others down. What's my point here? The mindset we as leaders bring to our places of work has a huge impact on others. When we walk into the room with Victor mentalities, we raise up others and the energy will literally shift.


The next area in which we can influence others is through our Attitude. In my book, the definition of attitude is a combination of our thoughts, words and actions.

When we show up in our places of work with a bad attitude, how can we expect great results? However, when we commit to embodying a great attitude, our entire work environment can change. Research on attitude indicates a bevy of benefits:

•Greater career success

•Higher earning power

•Improved immune system

•Reduced health risks

•Lower stress

•Inner happiness and contentment

With a simple shift in attitude, we can have a seismic shift in results.


The third way we can be our best selves is through beefing up our self-awareness.

A few years ago, I read a Harvard Business Review article regarding a survey of 75 members of Stanford's Graduate Business School Advisory Board. They were asked to weigh in on the most important skill leaders needed to develop. Almost unanimously, their answer was self-awareness. Plato said it best: "Know Thyself." How can we understand and lead others if we don't take time to understand ourselves?

When was the last time you went inward and took an assessment like Myers Briggs, the DISC, KOLBE or the like? Have you participated in personal development activities that enlighten you on why you do what you do?

Invest in yourself so that you can better invest in those you influence.


Finally, we as leaders must take responsibility for setting goals. High performance begins with high expectations and there is nothing worse than being in a job or assigned a responsibility without clear expectations. We can take our co-workers, employees, clients and customers to new levels by helping them to set personal goals that align with our respective business goals.

When the clock struck midnight this past New Year's Eve, I made a decision that 2015 was going to be my best year yet. If you want to join me in this resolve, it's not too late. As leaders, we can all do our part in boosting the level of workplace satisfaction by simply committing to being our best selves.

Mindset, Attitude, Self-Awareness and Goal Setting. Let's unleash our inner awesome sauce and help those we work with be their best. Each of us can absolutely influence outcomes!

Kathleen J. DuBois is president of Progressity, Inc., a consulting firm providing counsel in the areas of leadership development, strategic roadmapping and nonprofit fundraising. Visit progressity.com for more information.

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