When working as an employee retention speaker and as an employee retention trainer, I often hear that people would like to have a “more positive” environment. What more positive means varies widely between people. Usually, as I talk with a person I find that they themselves are inherently negative. I bring up some ideas in regards to employee retention strategies that might push the envelope and I find them immediately thinking negatively and telling me why my idea won’t work.
You have to be positive yourself if you want others to act that way. It is easier to be negative than positive for whatever reason. Being proactive is easier said than done. Behaving positively does not happen just by accident. Like anything, in order to “get good” at being positive you have to practice, just like practice playing the piano or any other activity. Here are some of the things I suggest as an employee retention trainer to groups I work with to practice.
# 1: Read something positive for 10 minutes at the beginning of the day. It gets you in the right frame of mind so you behave positively during the day. Just the sheer act of focusing on the positive at the beginning of the day gets you headed in the right direction. I started doing this 10 years ago and it was one of the best things I ever did.
#2: When someone brings up an idea, before you say anything negative about the idea, say at least one thing positive about the idea. Our initial reaction is to look at reasons why things will not work and this breaks us of that reaction.
#3: Purge the words “we have always done it that way” from your vocabulary. Doing things the way you always used to do things will not get you anywhere in this changing world; especially when it comes to your employee retention strategies.
Will these things turn you positive overnight? No way. It is going to take you a long time to begin behaving positively all the time but you have to start somewhere. Magnify this by an entire organization of inherently negative people and you can see why it is a huge task to become a “positive organization.” However, if you can do it, it is a major positive in your employee retention strategies.