Why Your Workplace Mindset Matters

Looking for an edge in your upcoming phone interview? Maybe you should dress up, even though your interviewer won’t actually see you.

It might seem like it wouldn’t matter, but having your favorite suit or dress on can enhance your confidence and the way you think. Studies in Social Psychological and Personality Science found that formal clothing improves abstract thinking, enabling people to see the big picture more easily. That can come in handy when you’re asked to illustrate the value you’d bring to a company.

Even a small change to your attitude can increase performance. You can take that idea further to reap even more benefits in your career. Don’t underestimate how much your workplace mindset matters.

Research on Workplace Mindset

It’s difficult to overemphasize the importance of and link between job-related attitudes and performance. According to literature in the British Journal of Economics, Finance and Management Sciences, they “are the fundamental research issues in industrial psychology. The relationship between these factors are essential in every organisation for maintaining efficiency of a business enterprise.”

Those researchers conducted a statistical study that examined job attitudes of workers in health care organizations. The focus was on four variables that researchers believed influenced workplace mindset and behavior: leadership, job satisfaction, job commitment, and job involvement. Even though these dimensions are different, the study found that they were all closely related and influenced each other. The study concluded that “there is a significant and positive relationship between job attitude and job performance in the health sector.”

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Another study looked at how employee attitudes affect organizational performance. Using employee opinion survey responses from thousands of employees in 193 branches of a U.S. bank, researchers in Labour Economics were looking for how human resource management practices could produce strong outcomes for employees and businesses. Unsurprisingly, they found a powerful link between workplace mindset and sales.

Whenever attitudes become more positive, employees will more likely be selling more financial products and earning more income for the bank. This relationship will exist for any improvements in employee attitudes, regardless of the cause.

Illustration of business woman superhero fighting a large fist that represents negative mindset.

The Impact of a Negative Work Mindset

One way to observe how your workplace mindset matters is to consider what happens when your mindset is less than optimal.

Think of a time when you’ve attended a meeting or completed a work project when in a negative mood. Did it impact how hard you worked? Did you care about the task at hand at least a little bit less than normal? If so, that describes how a negative work mindset can begin as a negative attitude but, in the end, have a specific result on your job performance.

A good example of this in action is workplace gossip. One study found that job-related gossip took place in just over 50 percent of employees surveyed, and of that group, 33 percent had cynical behavior against their employer and colleagues. According to a report of the study, that means gossip alone influenced productivity in a sixth of all workers. How does gossip negatively affect productivity, though? “Previous studies have found that employees with a higher level of cynicism are more likely to doubt a manager’s strategies and to suspect the intention underlying the strategies, and this is where gossip could be seen to be damaging productivity,” the report explained.

Factors that lead you to a negative attitude or work mindset have consequences. That’s why something like workplace gossip is one thing you should be careful of when in the workplace. It’s easy for something like that to lead you to a negative work mindset, impacting your performance.

If you approach work with a positive mindset, the reverse can happen. Even in negative workplace environments filled with gossip and other barriers to success, you can overcome those dynamics to optimize your performance and reach your goals.

Triumphant business woman superhero flexes her arms in a confident stance.

The Power of a Positive Work Mindset

How a positive work mindset can impact your work is almost self-evident. As you reframe the way you see challenges, failures, and opportunities, you’ll be better able to enhance your performance. The people around you will notice, too.

For instance, imagine if you took a more positive approach to workplace gossip that all-too-often undermines workers’ focus and performance. What if you made the effort to avoid that type of gossip? Also, for the gossip that you can’t easily avoid, what if you remained neutral or took the opportunity to support someone when they were trying to vent or express their frustration?

Those are just a couple of simple strategies for neutralizing the potentially negative impact that the mere presence of gossip often leads to. You can do this for other areas of your career, too. For instance, imagine what could happen to your performance and career trajectory if you changed the way you reacted to failures and challenges. Maybe if you saw them as opportunities for growth, you could become a stronger worker and leader.

Another way to improve your work mindset and reach your career goals is to keep learning. After all, it’s difficult to keep growing without expanding your skills and knowledge. The right educational opportunity can give you the proper context for applying new concepts, which can impact your mindset and the tools you have to succeed.

Earning an online MBA could be the fastest and most effective way to hone your skills and boost your career opportunities and salary potential. In a fully online learning environment, you can complete your MBA in as little as one year with Aurora University Online. The curriculum includes marketing, organizational behavior, leadership, finance, and accounting. No GMAT or GRE scores are required.

If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you can earn an online bachelor’s in business administration to help you reach your career goals. Our program is designed for busy, working adults who have life experience in business. Graduates hold management positions in fields such as manufacturing, financial services, health care, and government enterprises.

Both programs feature instruction from faculty members who have real-world experience.