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How to bring positive psychology into the workplace

By | Lydia Smith |

Employees trudge through the door just before 9am and settle at their desks in a grey, airless office. The pay is average, there’s not a lot of room for career development and flexible working is frowned upon. Nobody is particularly happy at the company, so there is a pretty high turnover of staff.

It’s not a great situation for any worker but fortunately, fewer businesses are being run in this way. In recent years, there has been greater focus on improving the psyche of employees and making them happier and healthier. And to do so, leaders are looking to positive psychology.

Essentially, the driving force behind workplace positive psychology is the notion that satisfied employees are more productive, creative and create a better working environment.

“Positive psychology can be defined as a scientific approach focusing on the positive and optimal aspects of human life such as wellbeing, happiness and thriving,” says Rob Baker, positive business psychologist and founder of Tailored Thinking, a positive psychology, wellbeing and HR consultancy.

READ MORE: How to help workers with seasonal affective disorder during the pandemic

Positive psychology began as a new domain of psychology in the late 1990s, led by researchers Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Seligman, in particular, began to study and explore what happens when people focus on creating positive outcomes. And positive psychology as a field was born.

“Positive psychology as a discipline applies to all areas of life, and there are many subfields looking at how to create and foster happiness, wellbeing and thriving in different aspects of our lives and society such as education, coaching, work and therapy,” Baker explains.

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