The 1952 musical Singin’ in the Rain forever changed the notion that the weather dictates our mood. Our attitudes come from within and can’t be blamed on mother nature. Imagine if everyone in your company was singing in the rain. More positive people and fewer negative attitudes equals a better forecast. In fact, we know that when hope and optimism abound, employee performance improves, as does job satisfaction, happiness with work and organizational commitment (the attachment an employee has to their organization): all of which translates into greater employee health, happiness, and retention.[i]

Having an upbeat attitude comes hand in hand with being creative and collaborating to find solutions that address the challenges we face. Yes, an upbeat attitude contributes to resilience. It makes sense, right? Do we really think the person who takes a “doom and gloom” approach to bad weather is going to come out of the storm in good shape?

There is no shortage of potentially stress-inducing events during the workday. However, how we are prepared to meet these stressors will impact our health. Organizations that present challenges in optimistic ways and lead with a “can do” attitude are not only enhancing the likelihood of a successful outcome, but also helping protect their workforce from the elevated blood pressure and weakened immune system that comes with stress.[ii] Expressing positive emotions such as happiness and hope translates to a longer life.[iii]

The benefits of an organization that takes an upbeat, positive, and optimistic approach extends to supporting employees creating healthy lifestyle habits. There’s no shortage of encouragement and helping each other overcome obstacles. Positive attitudes allow more problem-solving and makes it easier to weather setbacks.

Here are some of my quick methods for staying or getting positive during the workday:

  • Listening to some fun, upbeat music on the way to and from the bathroom.
  • Signing the fun and upbeat music (but in my head [googly face emoji])
  • Dancing to the fun and upbeat music (again, only in my head… unless I am sure no one is looking (laughing emoji).
  • Juggling (actually juggling…not just in my head).
  • Practicing gratitude (in my head and in my words).

How do you “sing” in the rain?  Let us know in the comments below.

All that being said, everyone has a bad day, and we all experience losses.  Be understanding and don’t force positivity on your team and co-workers inappropriately, lest they throw a bucket of water on your head and ask you to start Singin’ in the Rain.

Excerpted from A Cure for the Common Company, Chapter 1, published by Wiley, January 2023

[i] Youssef, CM., Luthans F. Positive Organizational Behavior in the Workplace: The Impact of Hope, Optimism, and Resilience. Journal of Management 2007 Vol 33(5):774-800.

[ii] Fredrickson, B.L., and Levenson, R.W. 1998. Positive emotions speed recovery from cardiovascular sequalae of negative emotions. Cognition and Emotion 12:191-220.

[iii] B.L. Fredrickson, The Value of Positive Emotions: The emerging science of positive psychology is coming to understand why it’s good to feel good. American Scientist 2003; Vol 91(4):330-335.