Happiness creates space for creativity, productivity, and innovation at work. Creating happier work environments is a goal that leaders should spend more time trying to craft, now more than ever.
One way that Leaders can elevate the happiness quotient in their teams is by being more positive and more mindful about delivering praise. This cultivates trust, which in turn creates happier and more creative employees.
Think of this in terms of the graphic shown here.
Positive leadership is the first stepping stone. Your team’s heightened creativity, productivity and innovation are the ultimate goal and reward.
So, what are some ways leaders can demonstrate greater positivity at a time when many people are working remotely and dealing with the physical distance inherent in the pandemic?
To offer an answer that would be helpful to today’s context, we would first need to understand what people may be experiencing today vs. during the pre-Covid era.
Consider the concept of “Languishing.”
As the Covid pandemic continues to evolve, one New York Times article suggest that “languishing” – a “sense of stagnation and emptiness” might be “the dominant emotion of 2021.”
With depression at one end of the psychological spectrum, and flourishing at the other, “languishing” finds itself in the very middle – it is “the absence of well-being,” a state that “dulls…motivation, disrupts your ability to focus, and triples the odds that you’ll cut back on work.”
As a leader here are a couple of things you can do to help lessen the effects of languishing that some people are experiencing in our current context:
- Embed gratitude and recognition practices. Emphasize the wins (no matter how small) in your touch-base sessions and stand-ups. Be intentional and specific when recognizing, celebrating, and being grateful for those wins. Practice this at the team level, but also encourage your team to do this individually at a regular cadence (like at the start or end of each day).
- When having one on one touch base sessions with your individual team members, focus on their strengths. Try as best as you can to align those strengths with the tasks, services and value your team is providing as a whole. A greater focus on their “superpowers” will help to redirect your employees’ energy in a more positive direction.
- Carve out time regularly for time to socialize with your team. Avoid talking about work in those moments – have fun and reconnect. Your team will appreciate an open approach to discussion – try leading with what struggles you’ve faced and how you’re dealing with things.
These tips will help to cultivate trust with your team and a much-needed sense of connection. Leading with positivity, we can help each other navigate feelings of languishing, and together move across the spectrum to a place of flourishing.