Why Psychology is the Key to Growing Your Business

01/06/2016 05:07 pm ET Updated Jan 06, 2017

Gaining an advantage
Much in the same way that sports men and women are seeking the services of sports psychologists to develop ways to achieve peak performance, so now are businesses turning to psychology to look for ways to gain an advantage over their competitors and maximise the potential of their employees. Leaders are learning how to apply psychological skills to grow their businesses and for their employees to be able to perform optimally.

Now not all businesses will be down on their luck, some may be doing just fine, however, who wouldn't want to learn how you could go from good to great? Positive psychology is the scientific research into how people thrive, succeed and perform at their best and it continues to deliver evidence-based interventions that can enable employees and businesses to flourish.

Growing your business
As the world economy tentatively comes out of the global economic downturn, businesses may be looking to grow themselves, but may not have the financial resources to easily do this. Learning skills and activities from the field of positive psychology can enable businesses to get more out of the existing resources available to them and see their employees begin to flourish. Often these activities are straight-forward and easy for businesses to implement.

Ways in which positive psychology approaches have been shown to grow businesses:
  • Increased employee engagement
  • Greater employee productivity
  • Better suitability of employees recruited
  • Improved health and wellbeing
  • Higher job satisfaction
  • Lower employee stress and anxiety levels
  • Reduced turnover of employees

If you were able to achieve just one of the above, what would be the positive impact on the growth of your business?

Benefits to your employees
We spend a large proportion of our adult lives at work. If your employees don't enjoy that experience it can have a negative impact on their wellbeing and personal relationships, as well as being detrimental to your business. Disengaged, unhappy and unmotivated employees may not just be impacting on their own performance, but it could be contagious and spread to their colleagues. This can quickly lead to a downward spiral in productivity and commitment from employees, with the end result being a negative impact on your business. Whether from a 'top down' or 'bottom up' approach, positive psychology enables employees to make the small changes that often facilitate profoundly positive outcomes.

Practical applications
The practical positive psychology applications can help employees to:
  • Learn about their strengths and how they can apply them effectively
  • Increase their happiness and wellbeing levels
  • Develop ways to reduce stress and anxiety
  • Improve health
  • Set and accomplish goals and objectives
  • Cope in a frequently changing environment and heavy workloads

How positive psychology is beneficial
Evidence-based research from the field of positive psychology and practical ways in which to implement them, promotes business performance improvement. When employees are able to apply their strengths more often, then they are working on things that they are good at and come naturally to them. This, in turn, leads to employees enjoying tasks more and being more enagaged in them, which has the knock on effects of increasing productivity and job satisfaction.

Reseach suggests that it is more common that happier people become successful rather than vice versa. How would happier and more successful employees then impact on the growth of your business?

In an age, where employees and businesses are having to cope with increasing workloads, it is vital that businesses give employees the tools to improve their resilience. For example, workloads may increase because the number of resources remains the same or the volume of work remains the same, but there has been a reduction in the number of resources, typically employees, to carry out this work. By boosting resilience, it helps employees to bounceback from adversity, cope better with stress and anxiety and also maintains their health and wellbeing.

Now is the time for positive psychology in the workplace
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, taking a leaf from the world of sport, by embracing the positive impact that psychology has in the workplace, may be the best opportunity for you to grow your business, get the best performance out of your employees and gain that competitive advantage over your rivals.