Monday, March 28, 2005

Accentuate the positive

Accentuate the positive

. . . Rath pointed to a new Gallup study, which found that when managers focused on employees' strengths, 61 percent of the employees were engaged in the work and only 1 percent were actively disengaged: complaining about their jobs, sniping at their co-workers and bad-mouthing the company. When managers focused on employees' weaknesses, only 45 percent of the employees were engaged and 22 percent were actively disengaged.

Gallup research suggests a happy, productive workforce is dependent on a "magic ratio" of positive to negative interactions.

Forget the principles you learned in junior high science class. In this case, one positive does not cancel out a negative. The magic ratio Rath talks about calls for three positive interactions for every one negative.

That explains why an unpleasant exchange with a surly co-worker can ruin a perfectly good mood. But, as Rath's charts show, that surly co-worker is more than just a drain on a workforce's collective psyche, he's a drain on productivity, too.

A recent Gallup survey showed that employees . . .

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