Book Club: Tackling quiet quitting with positive leadership

New book Positive Leadership by Dr Merethe Dronnen reveals leaders can utilise positive psychology to increase work engagement while also turning a profit

Everyone is talking about Quiet Quitting – a growing rebellion against the hustle culture of going above and beyond the job a person is hired for.

The rise of quiet quitting, hot on the heels of the Great Resignation, comes as companies struggle to engage and retain their employees in the post-pandemic era – an era where priorities have changed, employee burnout is rife, and a war on talent continues to rage.

Gallup figures based on research from 142 countries and 180 million employees have shown that only 20% of employees globally are actively engaged in their job, meaning motivated, dedicated, involved and enthusiastic about their work.

This is a problem, because successful leaders know that organisations can only achieve increased performance through their employees.

To tackle this, businesses need to find a way to engage and motivate employees, but without dropping the ball on profitability – a renewed priority for businesses as we head into what is a likely recession.

“We need a new breed of leaders with the knowledge of how to meet the employees of today and the future,” declares Dr. Merethe Dronnen, whose newly released leadership book Positive Leadership: Using Positive Psychology for a Better Workplace Culture demonstrates how leaders can use research from positive psychology to tackle the issue.

Positive Leadership – using positive psychology to engage employees

As Associate Professor at the School of Business and Leadership, Arctic University of Norway, CEO of Positive Change International, and a renowned speaker on leadership, positive psychology, and motivation, Dr Dronnen argues that the “new era and paradigm shift of desired qualities in leadership have just begun” and that research-based positive psychology is the answer.

Positive psychology is the research-based knowledge of what we humans do when we function optimally, are extra motivated, perform, thrive and achieve results.

In her new book, she shows how progressive leaders are implementing research-based interventions to cater to the demands of employees today and in the future. And offers practical techniques to help reader leaders do the same.

She uses examples from successful companies such as Microsoft, Google, IBM and Disney, who have all implemented various measures in their organisation that are taken from research-based positive psychology.

While Google has spotlighted psychological safety and recognition in executive leadership, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella tripled company revenue from 2014-2018 by emphasising the implementation of a growth-promoting and innovative work culture.

She delivers research and insight into how leaders’ own attitudes, mind-sets and authenticity are influencing their employees’ level of performance, emotions, and creativity. And she proves through research how disengaged employees cost companies financially and how satisfied employees are linked to higher productivity, favourite health effects, reduced absenteeism, decreased turnover, and better customer metrics.

Packed with practical interventions and techniques from the latest research and science in positive, behavioural, and organisational psychology, leadership, and motivation, the book teaches leaders how to use psychology to understand their own contributions to their leadership style as well as to understand how their employees are being motivated to increase their engagement and productivity.

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