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  • Writer's pictureDr. Neal Nybo

Workplace Positivity isn't toxic

I got scared when I started reading headlines about toxic positivity. After all, I had just published a workbook called Workplace Positivity. Had I missed something? Had positivity become negativity when I wasn't watching? Thankfully, once I started reading,

I learned two things about Toxic Positivity.

  • Toxic positivity is the excessive and ineffective overgeneralization of a happy, optimistic state across all situations.

  • Workplace Positivity is definitely not toxic.

Being a part of a company that strives towards having a healthy, positive work environment can make the difference between having employees who love their jobs and employees who are ready to move on.

Three characteristics of workplace wellness are easiest to develop. describes ten characteristics of workplace wellness.

I think three of them are low-hanging fruit supervisors can begin to develop without complicated surveys or strategies.

1. Open and honest communication

Everyone communicates in a cards-on-the-table manner, solving difficulties in a positive way. They don’t play nasty revenge games when given difficult feedback. Instead, they view feedback as an opportunity for growth.

2. Cooperation, support, and empowerment

Can-do, go-the-extra-mile, and win-win attitudes are evident signs of workplace wellness. Employees have a sense of camaraderie, cooperation, and empowerment. Healthy competition exists without vengeful, spiteful backstabbing.

3. Positive reinforcement

People need acknowledgment, appreciation, and gratitude to be motivated. Genuine compliments, rewards, bonuses, raises, promotions, and certificates of achievement are oil in the machinery. The company thanks employees regularly in these ways.

Creating an environment of cooperation, support, and empowerment requires mutual trust. It requires being personal while being appropriate, encouraging, and consistent. And, especially, be genuine. People see right through disingenuous attempts to be friendly.

Of course, we want our peers and co-workers to be effective, enthusiastic, and motivated. Those are the happiest kinds of people. We want the same thing for ourselves. Remember, regardless of our responsibilities or titles, ultimately, we work with other human beings!


How to get started with positivity in your organization

A couple years ago, my writing partner, Nicole Phillips, and I turned our passions and interests in kindness toward companies and organizations. We combed through hundreds of suggestions and best practices we have received and developed during our speaking and coaching careers. We settled on 30 micro-actions of kindness any of us can do. These are actions so small they will fit into any busy manager or supervisor’s schedule. Some are self-reflective, some have instant impact on others and some are just fun. We collected them along with stories and data to support them. Then, we created personal worksheets for each micro-action. We took all of that and put it into an oversized guide and workbook called Workplace Positivity.

Workplace Positivity

Every story, insight and action we share with your team will multiply until you are sharing and overflowing with your own.

Now it’s your turn.

In the comments, tell me your #1 takeaway from this post and how you plan to use it in your workplace?

Want more? Click here for a free excerpt from Workplace Positivity with three micro-actions.

Workplace Positivity will be published in early March 2021.

For a free excerpt or to learn more about the work I am doing, go to

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