Fruit baskets are useless! 5 ways to increase positivity at work.

Fruit baskets and massages, whilst well meaning, simply wallpaper over the cracks of a negative working environment.


We all know workplace positivity is a vital aspect of running a company. Yet we think that paying for gimmicks like a bowling night or painting a wall in bright colours will suddenly make everything wonderful.

It won’t.

Fruit won’t overcome intimidation, uncertainty or a constant ‘glass half empty’ attitude.

The only long lasting and cost effective strategy to increase workplace positivity is to work on each and every individual. To teach them how to decrease and resist their own negative tendencies – only then will you achieve lasting change.

So how do you get individuals to change, to be more positive? You teach them the following concepts.

Choose your attitude: Too often we let negative people choose our attitude for us. Why give someone else the power to determine how you think, feel and act? It is stupid when you think of it like that. Next time you start to get frustrated or angry… stop…breathe and ask, ‘is this the way I want to feel?’ By choosing your response you can then choose how long to stay in that emotion, and who gets to see that emotion. Not every colleague needs to see your anger, only those who deserve it. It stops you from letting an incident early in your day ruin yours and everyone’s whole day. Aside from learning to choose our attitude we must learn how our attitude and behaviour affects other people. Click here for additional information on choosing your attitude.

Celebrate: Too many businesses either forget or are scared to celebrate success. Often this is because the boss thinks people will then slacken off or rest on their laurels. This is garbage and often the excuse of lazy bosses masquerading as busy bosses. When was the last time you genuinely celebrated an achievement that wasn’t a birthday? It doesn’t have to cost a fortune as sometimes simply calling everyone together and saying well done, great job is enough.

Language: Simple things like saying thanks, hello, well done or are you ok can make a huge difference. In your next meeting, take time to sit back and listen to the language used, including the tone of the words. Are they appropriate to the situation, are they unnecessarily aggressive? Are people who might have something to say remaining quiet? Think of all the good ideas and creativity you aren’t hearing because of this. You need to assess the problems, then determine standards such as what type of language/tone you will or won’t tolerate anymore.

Gratitude: Instead of constantly highlighting the negatives, it is important to learn to see the positives that occur everyday. There is a process that teaches you to retrain your brain and make noticing the positives far easier. You’d be surprised how many there are when you begin to notice. Retraining your brain can turn what you think is a bad day into a not so bad day, or even a pretty good day. More info here at The Thankful Plan and here Kokoda.

Build relationships: Now you don’t have to be best buddies with everyone you work with, however understanding a bit more about who they are and what they do can increase empathy and tolerance. When this occurs you lose a lot of the petty infighting and rumors that run riot, creating unnecessary workplace tension. Redesigning your meetings and what you talk about in them is often the best place to start.

Apart from simply looking forward to going to work, the benefits of a positive workplace are numerous, including:

  • Greater job satisfactionimages-42
  • Greater productivity
  • Stronger loyalty
  • Stronger commitment
  • Lower absenteeism and attrition
  • Increased creativity

The mantra of ‘for things to change, first I must change’ has to be adopted by every member of your staff, especially your leaders.

Click here on the importance of actions over intentions.

If you would like to learn how to achieve this, please contact us here or fill in form below. We would be happy to drop by and discuss how we help workplaces and teams remove the burden of negativity… then flourish.

About the author:

Nathan Burke started his career as a schoolteacher before the demands of elite level football with St Kilda F.C. took over. Following a successful corporate career he founded Nathan Burke Consulting – a Melbourne based firm that offers High Performance Training and Coaching solutions to corporates, schools and sports teams.