Employees who suppress positive attitudes at work drain themselves of energy and end up with more negative feelings regarding their job and organization, according to a recent study by researchers from Rice University, Purdue University and the University of Toronto.
Some professionals – like journalists, doctors and law enforcement officers – are obligated to retain a neutral demeanor in order to do their jobs. However, the study showed that in a customer service position, participants who were asked to suppress their positive emotions had poorer employee performance and experienced higher workplace stress.
Employers in industries like medicine or law enforcement where a straight face is required may be able to counteract these negative feelings through employee wellness programs. Studies have shown that regular exercise combats stress, so a workplace gym or gym membership could help professionals in these fields. An article on the Atlanta Business Chronicle website says fostering open communication, honesty and encouragement are key things bosses can do to help workers. It also suggests implementing a company sports league to build morale and support systems.
Individuals who do not work in fields that require a poker face may want to keep in mind that a positive attitude can be contagious. The study showed that customers who interacted with happy employees rated the organization better in the end.
Whatever the job description, studies have shown stress to be detrimental to health and productivity. Employee wellness programs are available to combat stress and help support a company’s bottom line.