Positivity in the workplace

In order to keep the peace at Mind Body Align, employees can place a sign at their desk when they're busy so that they can remain undisturbed. 

MANSFIELD — There are parts to every job that may be tedious or have someone questioning “why am I here?” but if those thoughts are an ongoing occurrence, that person may need to ask themselves if that negativity they’re bringing into the office will affect their co-workers. 

CEO of Mind Body Align Annamarie Fernyak has created a system where all of her employees can voice their concerns and be able to disagree in order to have a successful work environment. 

For Fernyak, negativity means an environment where people aren’t willing to be authentic and honest about how they feel or work through their issues.  

MBA core values

The list of Core Values at Mind Body Align. 

“If you want to have a really good team, you have to have an environment where people can be honest and forthright and just feel safe disagreeing with you,” Fernyak said. 

Another factor that could lead to a negative workplace is leadership, according to Fernyak. 

“If the leader allows negativity to go unchecked, then other members of the team will start to find themselves feeling negative and being negative as well, and then you’ll find the whole community is negative,” she said.  

Director of Operations at Mind Body Align Jennifer Blue chimed in, stating that negativity—for her—is when people aren’t able to work to the best of their abilities.

“It can impede people from being their best and growing as people from within their company,” Blue said.  

Physiologist, Clinical Specialist Blake Wagner, PhD, said one of the leading training requests received at New Directions Counseling Center in their Employee Assistance Program is how to overcome negativity in the workplace. 

“Negative attitudes typically undermine teamwork and contribute to misunderstandings and communication breakdown,” Wagner explained. “Moreover negative attitudes are contagious, and left unchecked will erode morale, diminish productivity and result in excessive turnover. Fortunately organizational interventions can successfully promote a healthy climate and restore trust.” 

Both Fernyak and Blue have been in situations at their previous jobs in which they had to deal with negativity and said communication is always the key, though it also depends on the willingness of the person to change the negative environment they’re in. 

One thing Blue loves about their workplace set up by Fernyak is that there’s no culture threat and that everyone is comfortable in their position. 

“We know we’re going to make mistakes,” Blue said. “We are forging new ground, so we know there’s going to be things that we can do differently or better next time around, but we have the room to figure it out.” 

Fernyak said the biggest issues she’s noticed in a negative workplace is lack of communication, lack of leadership and a lack of organized systems that help to facilitate communication. In order to sustain a healthy, communicative environment in their office, Fernyak gets her team together every six months to “set agreements.”

“There is an understanding that we are accepting each other for our strengths and our weaknesses,” Fernyak said. “There is not the expectation that somebody is going to live under my rules and do things my way.” 

Fernyak offered her list of nine core values for anyone to use in their workplace environment. They are as follows:  

  1. Be impeccable with your mind. 

  2. Always do your best. 

  3. Keep things simple and authentic. 

  4. Dance at the edge of your comfort zone. 

  5. Build open and honest relationships. 

  6. Live vibrantly. 

  7. Nourish, embrace and inspire. 

  8. Foster curiosity 

  9. Be flexible and enjoy the journey. 

With egos thrown out of the window, Fernyak knows she has a team of well-minded people who know they’re not “too good” for the job. A rotten apple such as negativity has no room in their community fridge. 

“You can become addicted to an emotion,” Fernyak said. “In order to change that is to decrease the amount of time you’re being negative and increase the amount of time you’re being something else.”

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Thrive Reporter

Tierra Thomas is the Thrive Reporter. She was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. When she's not writing news, she's writing fiction or taking photos.