Positivity in the Workplace

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood
A beautiful day for a neighbor
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?

One of the traits that made Mr. Rogers so iconic was his likeability. He was positive in all aspects of life. Like bees to honey, positive people attract people. We all like to be around happy people, as humans we are social creatures and we don’t like to be around the “Eeyore’s” for long.  I always felt so bad for Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh. Eeyore is cute and loveable yet his “ho-hum” attitude left him often alone with his gloomy outlook on life.

Regardless of your title or position, it is everyone’s role to make our workplace a little more positive. Successful organizations have positivity coming from the top down. By working together to cultivate and maintaining a positive work culture, great things will happen.

Recently, I was told of an experience where a new long-time employee was telling a new recruit that they won’t like the community they were relocating to and then proceeded to outline all the reasons why the long-time employee didn’t like the community. Can you imagine what this new employee was thinking? I am sure they were questioning what kind of community and culture they were coming too. They might even be wondering if all team members shared the same negative outlook. We all know them the “Eeyore’s” of the office. The people who always see the glass as half full.

It everyone’s job to represent the company and community to the best of your ability. Everyone is an ambassador. A positive attitude in the workplace can be infections and over time you can influence your workers. Positivity will assist you in your relationship-building skills both professionally and personally.

As a leader, manager, supervisor, or even coworker – it takes everyone working together to create a positive work culture.

1.            Lead by Example.

Take the time to smile and say hello. A smile is the quickest way to brighten a room. Motivational speaker Jim Mathis discussed the power of likeability and how it flows faster downward than upward. Mathis uses the example of Mr. Rogers and how he was the same person on and off the screen. Being likable is an important skill everyone can develop regardless of position.

2.            Spread Gratitude.

Positivity is contagious. Be kind and remember to give words of affirmation to others.

3.            Find the Why

Why is that person at work? If they are unhappy, can it be fixed?

A strong “why” is what motivates you, it is the reason you push forward with enthusiasm and determination.

To find the “why” you need to have the work culture of trust where employees feel comfortable with their managers. Employees need to know and feel that they matter and that others care.

4.            Redefine Success

This is celebrating the successes, regardless of how big or small, they are. Success doesn’t mean you have to have the “wow” factor. It could be completing a task error-free.  Someone who struggles with time management or anxiety could be celebrating that they arrived to work early. 

Knowing your people, as a leader you may need to help the “Eeyore” recognize their skills and talents. Some workers might have the viewpoint that they are just doing their job. One manager told me of an experience where a staff member had the talent of organization, yet didn’t see that trait as a skill. We all have success each day, we need to know that we are enough as we are.

 A positive attitude will lead to positive outcomes. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too. When we work with the Eeyore’s remember to be kind, help them find the successes no matter the size, and find out the WHY.

By: Cheryl Viola, MBA, Executive Director


Etheridge, B. (2016, April 27). The importance of knowing “Why?”. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/importance-knowing-why-brian-etheridge/

Ikwuakor, A. (2016, December 11). Why knowing your “Why” Is your greatest tool for success. Retrieved from https://addicted2success.com/life/why-knowing-your-why-is-your-greatest-tool-for-success/