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The #1 fix for negativity

complainers engagement gossip gratitude healthcare negativity positivity productivity senior living staffing Sep 22, 2020

“I feel like there is a culture of complaining developing at my community. Just complaining to complain! How can I help people transition to a more problem-solving mindset?”

This question was submitted in our private Fearless in the Face of Crisis Facebook Group where leaders from all over the country come to share ideas, gain accountability and get expert input on all sorts of leadership topics.

It makes sense that leaders are struggling with negativity right now. The environment we are forced to live and work in with COVID-19 at the forefront is far from normal, far from comfortable. The fears, anxieties, and stressors that come with it make for the perfect environment to breed negativity.

How you deal with negativity as an organization, as a leader, has become especially important. Your actions can stop the cycle of negativity before it becomes a defining hallmark of your culture, or what you are known for as an employer and a place that cares for elders.

Customer service. The resident experience. Visitor impressions. Workplace morale. Every single day, employees are taking countless actions that are helping to support your organization. Or—insert dramatic music—working against it.

You can have the most exquisite building and top-notch offerings, but NONE of it matters if your team members are complaining, unfriendly, or rarely willing to go above and beyond.

What you focus on becomes your focus.

Intentionally fostering a positive outlook for all staff can help get you closer to the outcomes you desire. Simply emphasizing a positive attitude is incredibly powerful, even though it sounds rather basic.

Now, that doesn’t mean you should ignore how people feel, or shut them down when they are using their voice. Urge them to be positive instead. There is a difference between the emotional turmoil and toll this pandemic is having on people and those who partake in gossip, bullying, and negativity, as if it were a pastime.  

Address people’s real needs and legitimate fears. For those who seem to be struggling, connect them with your Employee Assistance Program, a LCSW, or psychologist to help them out.

The fact that you care enough to look after your team members' well-being during these uncertain times will send a very positive message to all, one of support and concern.

If you are interested in creating a positive work environment, then I have something for you! It’s called the Positivity Pact and it’s a super simple way to help improve work life, personal life, and fulfillment on all fronts. 

The Positivity Pact Challenge:

Want to shake the negativity out and focus on the positive in your organization? This activity was inspired by “A Complaint Free World” and makes the perfect challenge for your teams. The object at hand? Have a daily attitude of gratitude and focus on the positive.

Sounds hokey? It sort of is. But it works.

Here are the details, so you can replicate the program in your organization:

In this challenge, you are given a bracelet to wear on either wrist. We use the rubbery ones that come in countless colors and that you can imprint with any logo. When you catch yourself complaining, gossiping, or criticizing (yes, we ALL do it at one time or another!) move the bracelet to the other arm and begin again.

The goal is to not move your bracelet at all!

Some tips:

  1. If you are having an internal debate trying to decide if it is a complaint, gossip, or criticism, it probably is! Move your bracelet. Like cheating on a diet, you are only hurting yourself if you break the rules.
  2. Thoughts are okay; it’s only when you speakthe negative ideas that you must move your bracelet. You’ll find that you have a dramatic decrease in negative thoughts when your words are more positive.
  3. If someone is wearing a bracelet and you hear them being negative, you may point out their need to switch the bracelet to the other arm, butyou must move your bracelet first!
  4. Stay with it! It takes months for people to go a few weeks without moving their bracelet.

You will be amazed at the difference this simple challenge can make in you, your team, and ultimately your residents!

The Results:

The positive impact that results from this challenge not only impacts people at work, but also at home.

Focusing on positive interactions between team members and with residents can have a powerful impact on personal and organizational goals. Part of the Positivity Pact is signing a commitment form that states the rules and your intent. If you’d like to take on this challenge in your organization, you can download the form by clicking here. It’s free and there’s nothing to lose except complaints and gossip!

A few ways we can help you achieve positively incredible outcomes!

  • Want to attract the best people and keep them working hard for you, for the long term? Drive’s ebook is filled with proven ways to help you in your recruitment and retention efforts! Click here to check out Ultimate Recruitment: 65 Ways for Attracting, Onboarding & Keeping the Best.
  • Our online, on-demand course, Fearless in the Face of Crisis, is changing lives in senior living. We’re helping tired, overwhelmed, and unfulfilled leaders to love their jobs again and start making the difference they always dreamed of. You should really be a part of this movement! Click here to learn more about Fearless!
  • Drive’s Culture Assessment is the only way to truly know your culture so you can finally focus on what matters and get the outcomes you want. Click here if you are ready to take control of your staffing, occupancy and engagement. Warning, this is only for those organizations who are ready to edge out their competition through exceptional culture! 

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