Positive HR: What is it?

By Melanie Weir | 16 November 2018


What is Positive HR?

Positive Human Resources (HR) is about applying positive tools and practice, reinforced by the science of Positive Psychology, in the workplace. The fundamental goal of Positive HR is to enhance flourishing lives, business and communities by implementing positive tools and interventions throughout the entire employee lifecycle. 

HR practitioners' practices and interventions have a significant impact on the lives of millions of people worldwide.  As individuals spend a large amount of their time invested in work, the practices of a workplace impact them considerably. That impact has a spiral affect, with people taking emotion, experience, skills, and practices home from their work. These in turn influence families, friends, and communities. 

With worldwide engagement figures surprisingly low, Positive HR suggests looking at workplace practices differently. Moving from a traditional focus on what might go wrong in an employment relationship, to highlighting what will go well [1]. 


What is the impact of Positive HR?

Delivering happiness and wellbeing in the workplace has been proven to impact the bottom line.

It's important to remember that happiness, a positive mental and emotional state, is a prerequisite for improved results. It is a game changer!

Happy people;

  • are more productive
  • are more creative
  • collaborate better
  • are less likely to leave
  • are more resilient
  • are more engaged

Return on investment calculators [2] indicate that even a one percent increase in productivity is a worthwhile gain. 




How can you implement Positive HR?

Boosting employee happiness doesn’t always require a financial investment. At least one study shows that the simple act of sending and receiving emails can increase employees’ feeling of social connection and have a big impact on their performance. 

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States analysed the email traffic and financial success of 2,600 IBM employees, and found that those workers with strong electronic communication links with their manager and colleagues earned more money for IBM than those who were more distant – an average of 948 US dollars for every email contact. The results come as no surprise; “If we create a flourishing environment, we actually get flourishing people and output.” [3]

Positive HR posits that it is time for HR to be bold with positive practice, to focus on the optimal and outstanding behaviour of many, and to take what is proven by science to inform small and intentional steps to revolutionise the workplace and engagement levels worldwide.



[1] Gallup State of the Global Workplace Report 2017 Executive Summary. www.gallup.com/workplace/238079/state-global-workplace-2017.aspx

[2] https://info.deliveringhappiness.com/lp-roi-calculator

[3] http://suelangley.com/happiness-and-the-bottom-line


Learn More Here

Positive HR Toolkit

The Positive HR Toolkit gives leaders and HR professionals the solutions to implementing positive people practices in the workplace.  Built on research from Positive Psychology and neuroscience, the solutions provide simple and easy to use tools for every stage of the employee lifecycle. Learn More Here

About the Author: Melanie Weir

Melanie Weir

With over 15 years experience in SME and corporate environments, working with a broad range of cliental in health, education, construction, agriculture, information services and retail, Melanie has real zest for providing professional, innovative and simple tools that bring out the best in people and teams; tools that really take a positive approach to HR. Melanie has a Bachelor in Business Studies majoring in Human Resource Management and Marketing , a Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing and has completed further post graduate education in organisational psychology and public relations.

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