Misery loves company, and for some companies — where bad moods fester like a corporate curse — the feeling appears mutual.
In this, our aggravating third year in the economic doldrums, career counselors say all too many businesses are fixating on their bottom line, while their worker morale bottoms out.
Which is ruinous, says career coach Christiane Turnheim, because these companies can lose clients, sales and hours’ worth of productivity — and eventually, the employees themselves.
“The jobs people really like are the ones where they get positive feedback, either from customers, co-workers or management,” she says. “Very often, co-workers may not work up to their potential because they feel that nobody notices, recognizes or appreciates them.”
If you find yourself, a relentless optimist, trapped in an office where the social thermostat seems snagged on “frigid,” be realistic about how much warmth you can bring into the workplace.
“You can’t change your boss, and you can’t change the culture in your organization,” explains Barbara Glanz, author of “180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm.” “All you can change are your interactions in your own sphere.”
That said, a few mere minutes of personable chitchat between colleagues, she says, can leave a mood-boosting energy that lasts all day.
“Create a human-level connection,” Glanz advises. “Look people in the eye, listen to what they say, remember their name, connect with them.”
Start on a good note
If your water-cooler dialog consistently fails to escape the gravity of dreary shoptalk, institutionalize some small talk. “Start every single meeting you go to with three minutes of good news — anything that’s going well in people’s community, in their family,” Glanz suggests. “It changes the atmosphere and makes people more productive. People stop coming late because they don’t want to miss the first three minutes.”
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