How to Avoid Toxic Positivity in the Workplace

Aug 04 2023 | Insights

It’s clear that the pandemic has forced employees around the globe to reevaluate their relationship with work and the workplace in recent years. Not only did we see an accelerated shift to working remotely, dramatic changes in how we work have also raised greater concern for employee wellbeing. Eliminating an ‘always on’ culture that might be cultivated through working from home has become a business priority for many with a positive ethos and work-life balance now standing as a priority for both businesses and employees.

An important part of defining how ‘positive’ work is is attitude. Research shows a positive orientation in attitude has been shown to significantly predict performance. With happiness and positivity at the forefront of a business, there’s greater potential for better teamwork.

Why? A positive environment encourages collaboration. We often see the ‘multiplier effect’ too whereby one positive and inspiring employee can have highly contagious effects for the rest of the team.

On the other hand, many of us can attest to negative attitudes – whether it be our own or others’ – impacting motivation, productivity and collaboration. Similarly, working in toxic positivity, which is the belief that people should maintain a positive mindset no matter how dire or difficult a situation is, can be equally detrimental to your workforce. And this has been accelerated by this prioritization towards an always positive culture at work.

Listening to employee feedback, promoting transparency and investing in professional development opportunities like digital coaching is vital in promoting a happy workplace and reaping the benefits of one – but avoiding toxic positivity is key too.

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