Some employees truly love their jobs. They come to work every day with a smile on their face and a genuine willingness to do whatever it takes to get their job done. But not every employee demonstrates this model attitude towards work. Some employees view their job as just a necessary evil, and this attitude reflects in the work they do.
Most of us have heard the phrase, “attitude is everything,” and while it might be a little cliché, it’s absolutely true. Employees with a negative attitude about their jobs are less likely to succeed in the workplace, and they drag their businesses down with them. A consistent bad mood can even lower your life expectancy.
Don’t worry if you’re not one of the lucky few who finds it easy to stay positive at work. It is always possible to change your mindset at work, even if you don’t love the work that you do. In fact, changing your attitude might help you like it a little more.
Why is Attitude Everything?
A positive attitude benefits both employee and employer. It leads to greater happiness, fulfillment, and productivity. Employers should promote and encourage positive outlooks in the workforce, but ultimately, it’s employees who have to bring positive attitudes to work with them. That starts with an appreciation for what positivity can do, and the understanding that the only person who can change your attitude is you.
The benefits of a positive attitude aren’t just seen in the office – it can add years to your life as well. A Mayo Clinic study showed that people with positive attitudes had lower death rates over a 30-year period.
How to Have a Positive Attitude
Switching your frame of mind to become more positive is possible, but it does take some practice. We know there are tons of benefits to having a positive attitude at work, but how can employees and employers put those thoughts into actions?
Here are some things that Mayo Clinic recommends we do to have a better attitude, both in the office and in our personal lives:
1. End on a Positive Note
Avoid going to bed with a negative attitude by telling yourself three positive things that happened that day. They don’t have to be huge accomplishments – just three big or small things that happened that made your day better. This will help build the skill of finding the good in every situation.
2. Avoid Negative Self-Talk
It’s easy to get down on yourself when you have a day that isn’t your best. When this happens, it’s crucial to catch your negative thinking before it gets out of control. To put this rule into practice, start by following this simple rule: don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say out loud to another person.
3. Focus on the Positive at Work
Even if you don’t like your job overall, there is likely some aspect of it that you enjoy. Focus on the aspects that are fulling, and ask your employer to expand on those tasks if possible. Every job has some tedious tasks, but if you can fill the majority of your day with projects that bring you joy, you’ll have a better attitude at work.
4. Celebrate Accomplishments in the Office
Don’t be too hard on yourself, especially in the office. To help you stay positive, make sure you celebrate your accomplishments at work. These accomplishments don’t have to be major milestones, such as getting a promotion. They can be little things like reaching a monthly sales goal or getting a good review from your boss.
5. Surround Yourself with Positivity
It’s can be more difficult to have a positive attitude when you surround yourself with negative people. Make friends with coworkers in your office who have the same positive attitude that you aspire to have. It’s easier to stay positive when you have a support system.
In addition to coworkers, decorate your desk or workspace with things that inspire you and make you happy. Whether it’s photos, quotes, candles or plants, a space that cheers you up will help you keep a happy attitude all day long.
6. Let Go of What You Can’t Control
This one is certainly easier said than done, but if you can learn to let the little things in the office go, you’ll have a much better attitude. If a project didn’t turn out the way you hoped, focus on how you can make it better in the future. There are probably many things that are outside of your control, so learn to let them go rather than dwell.
There’s a reason that attitude is the foundation of our Seven Workplace Skills in our Bring Your ‘A’ Game curriculum. A worker with a bad attitude likely won’t have ambition, good attendance, appreciation for coworkers or any of the other skills necessary for success. Click here to learn more about these skills and how we define work ethic.