Workplaces in need of positive focus

By Rob O'Brien

Australian businesses and organisations need to do more to create positive environments and promote happiness in their workforces, according to a leading happiness and wellbeing expert.

Professor Tim Sharp, founder of The Happiness Institute, said that organisations needed to help people find more meaning and purpose in what they do, which would ultimately improve productivity.
“The happiest, most satisfied and engaged workers see something beyond daily tasks. There’s a meaning and purpose to what we do beyond to-do lists, beyond a job description,” he told Government News.

Professor Sharp said that businesses tended to develop cultures that focused on trying to address weaknesses, as opposed to developing employee strengths and positivity in the workplace.

“Too many people and organisations spend too much of their time trying to fix weaknesses, rather than build on their strength and attributes,” he said.

“What we know about the best teams and the best managers is that they’re much better at asking ‘what’s right about you and help can we help you use that more?’”

“Strength-based organisations where they do that are far more successful and productive and achieve more on every single measure,” he added.

Professor Sharp, who develops training programs for the private and public sector, said that Australian workplaces needed to develop a more positive culture.

“It’s about changing the focus from what’s wrong to what’s right," he said. 

“It’s about finding a way to do jobs with positivity and that will vary from individual and team to team, but still there are always ways to do it a bit more positively and what we know from research is that positivity breeds positivity.

“By creating positivity, it’s motivating and energising.”


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