Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

The Relationship Between Positivity and Productivity (And How to Make It Work for You)

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Guest post by Annabelle Smyth

Many companies still hold tight to the old way of doing things.

They put you in high-pressure situations and hope that you get all your work done out of fear. Fear that you will miss out on that promotion, fear that you will be subject to disciplinary action and even fear that you will lose your job.


This is the way it’s been done for years, but it’s not the best way. Research has shown that this negative way of running things has many hidden costs. For example, a study conducted by the American Psychological Association said that as many as 550 million workdays are lost every year due to stress on the job. Running a positive workplace is becoming the standard and has shown it leads to increased productivity.

Positivity Leads to Productivity

More and more, people are taking their emotional and mental health more seriously, and rightly so.

Being emotionally and mentally healthy is extremely important and should be a top priority.  A study conducted by the Association of Accounting Technicians found that people prefer a positive workplace environment to an increased salary and other employee benefits. If this is what employees prefer, it’s important for employers to listen and adapt.

If employees are not happy with the workplace, productivity will go down. A study conducted by the Social Market Foundation supports the belief that employees that are happier will be more productive. Changing your workplace feel to focus on positivity may be the key to unlocking your employees’ potential.

Productivity Lead to Employee Satisfaction

In turn, productivity will then lead to increased employee satisfaction. If employees are under constant pressure to perform perfectly, when the fail, they will feel negative about their performance. This will inevitably lead to poor employee satisfaction. As you can see, creating a positive workplace is tremendously important, and influences all aspects of your company. Throw the old-school ideas about running a business and take advantage of data about the modern workplace and employee.

How to Increase Positivity  

Building a positive workplace can be a tall order, especially if you must change many aspects and policies of your company. However, investing time into transforming your workplace will be beneficial and increase your company’s overall productivity over time. Here are some tips on how to create a more positive environment.

  • Create Trust. Let your employees know that you trust them. When trusted with responsibilities, employees generally feel more of an obligation to get work done quickly and effectively.
  • Encourage Creativity. Let your employees experiment with different ways of doing thing. And if they fail, don’t be hard on them. Failure is going to occur. Help them understand it’s not the failure that matters, but rather, how they deal with it.
  • Be Understanding. People are going to make mistakes, that’s just a part of work. Don’t lead with fear. Lead with mutual respect and accountability.
  • Direct Communication. Be available to your employees. Have an open-door policy and encourage people to come to you with concerns. Instill a feeling of caring and concern with all employees.

Positivity leads to productivity. Understanding this relationship could save a failing business or further an already successful one. Making changes to the workplace can be daunting and messy, but creating a positive work environment will only help increase employee satisfaction and productivity.

Annabelle Smyth is a freelance writer who covers everything from HR to technology and team building. Her most recent work involves partnership marketing with CMOE where she has had the opportunity to learn about the relationship between leadership and successful businesses.

The Product Management Perspective: One of the key attributes of successful product managers is positivity. The work and day-to-day grind of creating great products can wear on a team. When the product manager creates a productive environment, the resulting product meets or exceeds customer needs.

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