Inbox: Positive practices

Optimism, compassion, hope and gratitude are not typically what come to mind for managers in thinking about strategies for organisational success. But recent studies show that these and other “positive practices” not only enhance workplace wellbeing, but can also help the bottom line.
Waikato Management School’s professor Ted Zorn (pictured) is offering postgraduate paper that focuses on these issues, and says it makes sense that if people are more fulfilled in their work, they’ll be more engaged and committed to the organisation.
“Two recent international surveys show significant effects of these sorts of positive practices on whole range of organisational effectiveness measures, including staff retention, customer satisfaction and financial performance,” says Zorn, who’s an international authority on management communication.
In the paper, he won’t just focus on how to get people to work harder. He says he plans to dig deep into what people are really looking for – what they consider meaningful work and what role that plays in life satisfaction.
“You can’t start with the premise that you’re looking for ways to manipulate people,” he says. “Authenticity is one of the key things people are looking for in meaningful work – an organisation that they believe is sincerely trying to achieve good things for its people and customers.”
Professor Zorn’s paper “Meaningful work and workplace wellbeing” is one of suite of five part-time university papers with practical focus, aimed at graduates who are already in the workforce.
Each is taught through two-hour weekly lecture, scheduled for late afternoon or early evening to suit working people.
The papers are being offered throughout the year by the Waikato Management School’s Department of Management Communication. M
• For more information contact Professor Zorn on [email protected]

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