Positive psychology is a branch of psychology whose intellectual father was Martin Seligman. He modified the traditional psychological approach focused in the pathologies of “sick” people, and he started to study scientifically the behaviors of “healthy” humans that lead to happiness. When transferring the positive approach to work, we realise that positive organizational psychology is a branch of corporate psychology that also prioritizes the positive prism when observing the reasons for business success.

 The 3 main objectives of this area of knowledge are:

  • To plan and favor the optimal functioning of companies
  • To Promote psychosocial wellness
  • Improve the quality of work life and life and work balance

We will know why some organizations are more successful if we scientifically answer two main questions:

  1. What collective and individual features, do the best workers have?
  2. What are the individual or team behaviors that help our organization to have people more engaged and with higher results?

A positive psychology, according to researchers, is a combination of health and resilience. By answering both questions, we will already develop a strategic and HR plan that, if successfully implemented, will help create a positive business environment for the organization. We need the organization to provide optimal working conditions and an ad hoc environment to work more efficiently.

In a positive psychology organization, we will identify three elements that interact with each other and feed each other.

  • Resources and healthy organizational practices.
  • Mentally strong employees and work groups: positive emotions, efficacy beliefs, resilience and work engagement.
  • Healthy organizational results: commitment, performance, good results and relationships with the organizational environment and corporate social responsibility

By implementing positive practices, we will improve the performance and retention of talent; it is free to work in a company that cares about its employees.

Now the key question is. How can we identify if our company is having successful behaviors under the prism of positive pshychology? There are 5 key points for a leader if he wants to implement it successfully.

Promote positive emotions transversally throughout your team: Cultivating an optimistic but responsible vision, without forgetting the possible risks and threats. The leader must also implement initiatives that will promote the creation of a suitable work environment. Including wellness programs is key to keep the team highly motivated, committed and productive. Measures that improve the work environment and the integration of employees also increase their well-being and that of their families. Improving also family and work balance will strengthen the emotional bond with co-workers and consequently the work commitment.

Sponsor skills development and job security, to include activities to promote skills development is also valued by employees. Promote teamwork: it is essential for every organization, but not everyone knows how to do it. And in every sector and company culture plays a crucial role. Therefore, it is important not to implement fixed patterns. It is preferable to analyse and see how to improve it. Employees must positively perceive both their job and the company’s results.

Improve communication. Provide feedback and social support: employees need this feedback from a superior. From our experience, it is practiced rarely in many cases. If it is done in a consisten bases, it contributes to the alignment of the employees with the organization, with the organizational well-being and the feeling of belonging and social support. Always balance positive and negative feedback. For this, it is essential the leader to be trained in communication skills, and specially how to give feedback.

Evaluate the perception of the company’s employees and stakeholders: Leaders must track the reputation of the company in employees’ minds. An external reputation will help us to attract the best and more talented people. Leaders must also get an idea of ​​how to improve certain aspects and contribute to a better perception from the teams.

Transformational leadership: This means to seek that each employee reaches his or her full potential. And in parallel that the team as a group meets its objectives. On the one hand this requires stimulating creativity, encouraging participation, giving example of a positive attitude, and know how to motivate and when to offer rewards. On the other hand this needs to wipe limitative beliefs of the collaborators and to expand their potential.

In light of the above we can see how leaders can put into practice positive psychology only by being mindful about some attitudes. They are the ones that have to abstract themselves from their day to day work and dedicate a few hours a week to considering how they can improve the situation of his or her team.