Why Every Company Needs Some Good News
Among the habits that emerged during the pandemic, doomscrolling is likely not one workplace leaders paid much attention. New routines for video meetings, how to collaborate in remote teams and tactics to combat employee stress and well-being took much of their focus.
But with the relentless two-year grind of the COVID-19 pandemic, political and societal unrest and now war in Europe, some workers have taken to spending an excessive amount of their online time reading, watching and consuming a seemingly endless feed of bad news.
The workplace implications are clear. Constant exposure to negative news can have a damaging effect on mental health, lead to a dip in performance, increased stress and several other problems. Companies can provide an important counterbalance to the negativity and help improve the lives of employees by opening up their communication channels and being intentional about sharing positive news.
Creating a Space for Positive News
According to research from MIT, employees who received good news from company leadership experienced an 18 percent increase in optimism. This means leaders who regularly communicate positive news with their employees can help uplift their team's spirit and provide a range of wellness benefits such as decreased anxiety and enhanced employee morale.
It's not just about leadership messages. Setting up a positive news channel is a great way to motivate employees to share good news with their peers. The digital workplace offers numerous avenues for communication, but employees may still feel uncomfortable or confused about where they can share positive news — or even if they should at all.
Saurabh Wani, marketing specialist at Milwaukee, Wisc.-based scheduling software company ZoomShift, said creating a dedicated positive news channel removes that confusion. What's more, grouping these communications in one place makes it easier for anyone to find uplifting news when looking for a dose of positivity.
A dedicated good news channel can also foster deep connections between coworkers. Making praise and celebration a common occurrence throughout the company can encourage others to share their wins, find common interests and provide opportunities for friendship outside of work.
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4 Ways to Spread Positive News in the Workplace
There are several ways leaders can help make this happen, said Pam Holmberg, vice president of people at ThoughtSpot, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based data analytics software company. Her suggestions to share positive news in the workplace include:
1. Monthly Meetings
Most organizations today have regular all-hands-on-deck team meetings, where leaders share business updates with their teams. These forums also offer a great opportunity to open a two-way communication channel where employees share important milestones with their peers as well. Allotting time in the meeting for positive news, shout-outs and accomplishments is a great way to bolster team spirit, build culture and drive engagement.
2. Guest Speakers
Inviting customers or partners to share stories about the positive impact the company had on them can also show employees their work matters. Doing it in a live setting allows for further real-time feedback that can drive positivity and pave the way to an important dialogue that wouldn't happen otherwise.
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“These guest speaker moments provide our team with authentic praise from our partners that cannot be replicated and are widely well received,” said Holmberg.
3. Employee Spotlights
One of the best types of communication in an organization is peer success. It can increase motivation, build culture and strengthen engagement. Organizations can use their collaboration tools, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, to share employee success stories and set up an internal newsletter that can shine a spotlight on employee accomplishments. Acknowledging individual and team contributions to business success is a great way to fuel initiative and enthusiasm.
4. Giving Back
Launching a charity program can have a positive impact on employee experience by allowing everyone to connect and give back to their respective community. In a remote setting, this can take on various forms and can reach an unexpected number of causes and communities.
For instance, organizations can implement a program offering paid time off to volunteer or reserve time at each all-hands-on-deck meetings for employees to bring awareness to a particular cause. Encouraging dialogue and involvement in the community strengthens relationships among employees, even in remote locations, and encourages alignment of a positive vision throughout the organization.
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Timing Positive Communication
When sharing positive news, timing can be just as critical as the news itself. Incorrect timing can lead to a lack of engagement, said Carlos Carvalho, CEO at Aphex, a London-based company that specializes in technology for construction planning.
“Understand the timing before sharing the news,” he said. Carvalho recommended organizations implement a good news channel in one of three communication venues:
- Newsletters: Companies can allocate a dedicated section of their newsletters. This can include a spotlight on employees and some of the work they do in their respective communities.
- Company Messaging Platforms: A dedicated channel on a collaboration platform like Slack for positive announcements can be a great way for employees to celebrate the good things happening in the company and with their peers. It also provides a historical log of what the company has done throughout the quarter or year.
- Intranet: Intranet platforms can be particularly useful to post announcements and positive news. They can also offer informal channels of communication to strengthen culture within the company.
Carvalho said finding the right channel to share positive news is key. It's not a one-size-fits-all situation, he said, and leaders need to understand their workforce and communication strategy to find what will work best for their organization.