Can you Contribute to a Positive Culture?

Do you matter? Can you influence or change the organization where you work? How are you contributing to your team? Your colleagues and clients? Your suppliers? Can your smile make a difference or your positive attitude?

I suspect many people have learned that they don’t matter outside their families and there’s not much they can change. I observe a certain powerlessness, that leads many to disengage. “Let’s mind our own business.”

Managers without power

I was once working with a group of bright middle managers who didn’t think they mattered. They told me that higher management would torpedo their initiatives, so their hands were tied. Working with them on a positive culture was a waste of my time, they claimed. They were just puppets on a string, so they wanted me to outplay their bosses.

Many people feel discouraged, skeptical, cynical. That’s often for good reasons, I understand. Looking at the news, the world seems a hostile place. Many good developments go too slow. It can be hard to survive the toxic politics of your organization and you might distrust leaders. It may be difficult to see how you contribute to the larger whole.

And so, only 32% of US employees are engaged at work (Gallup data, January 2016). Worldwide, only 13% feel engaged…If 32% of the work population is actively engaged at work, 68% are not!

Many people dread going to work on Monday because their “industrial age-hierarchy” makes them suffer or barely survive. This negativity leads to disengagement and a 30% lack of productivity (Buckingham, 2005) while happy employees are 31% more productive and 300% more creative (Lyubomirsky, 2008).

Combining Gallup with Buckingham, we see that 68% of the work population is producing 31% less than what they are capable of. That means a huge missed opportunity!

Imagine the potential that is left unused! Not just in monetary terms, but also the loss of inspiration, innovation, energy, happiness, connection, and health that this situation causes. People who think that they don’t matter, won’t even try to work on positive change.

Disengage at work

This passive, power-less attitude and its paralyzing effects seem pervasive. This mindset is passed on, reinforced and deeply embedded. It is the reason why we disengage at work. “Let’s not invest too much in a workplace where we can’t make a difference.”

We were raised to fit in and wait for permission from whoever was in charge. We were raised to work hard to make a living in a competitive world. Even though younger generations seem more autonomous, proactive, and trusting, this old mindset is still dominant.

We spend so much time at work. You have to make do with these co-workers, with that team you lead, with this particular bureaucracy, or that hostile workplace culture. What can you do? Well, way more than you think…

Positive culture

This Academy is for leaders, consultants, and employees who want to make a positive difference. Let’s beat those Gallup scores and engage ourselves and our organizations. Research proves that both people and performance will thrive in a positive culture.

  • Does your organization need to become more innovative, competitive, agile, and better at change? Are your employees disengaged? As a leader, you can be the change you want to see on the team and develop a positive culture.
  • Do you hate going to work on Monday? As an employee, you can influence your boss, co-workers, and clients by positive interaction. Or find a better place to work.
  • Do your clients wear you out? As a consultant, or coach you walk the talk so they can copy you toward a positive organization.
  • Afraid of joining the workforce after college? As a student, you can help our workplaces become ready for the future by bringing your personal positive power to your first job.

The world and your workplace need you, too!

Choose your positivity level

Change always starts within ourselves: by seeing it differently and next, doing something different.
We shouldn’t blame disengagement completely to the boss, the old-fashioned workplace or your dull job. It is tempting to blame outside factors and others, but research won’t have it. Everyone can take ownership of their (work) life when they realize: 50% of your happiness is inherited. Half of how happy you are is passed down through your gene pool. But your life events and circumstances add up to only 10% of the variance in your happiness level. Even major events such as the death of a loved one and winning the lottery only account for 10% of your happiness!

That lousy project and that numbing organization don’t have to bring you down. Apart from your 50% genetic default and the 10% of what life throws at you, you control 40% of your personal happiness. Imagine what you can achieve with that 40% by adopting a positive mindset and applying positive leadership to yourself and others.

Small actions, big positive impact

This group of middle managers urged me to look for Interaction Interventions that you can do anyway, regardless of your position, without needing permission or resources. That was the start of my Positive Culture Book and this Academy. You can start to develop a more positive organization by changing your interactions. All great movements start small. You’ll learn how to use Interaction Interventions in the Academy. You can do it, too!

Micro-moves are small interactions and actions that can enhance sustainable change without disrupting the system. They are inviting people to collaborate and discover what to change. These micro-moves can create enthusiasm and momentum for change. The term micro-moves is coined by Karen Golden-Biddle who is researching change. Her advice is to not focus on the change-resistant people but on enticing the others to become resources for growth and change. That is positive leadership.

It’s vital that we all retrieve our Personal Positive Power, leaders and employees alike. There’s no need to suffer at work. Moreover, if we thrive, we engage and we’ll be more productive, more innovative, more agile, and more fun. A positive organizational culture is crucial for both people and organizations. And we all contribute to our current culture at work, in whatever role or position. So, we also have the power to contribute to a more positive culture at work… Want to give it a try?

Want to learn how you could contribute to a more positive organization? You might want to enroll in the Academy!

You can check the next Class and the Curriculum here.

Or Subscribe to the mailing list today so I can keep you posted.

© Marcella Bremer, 2017. All rights reserved.

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