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The Course

How to Build a Thriving Workplace: A Leader’s Guide
Beth Cabrera, PhD

Recent studies reveal that employee well-being is associated with higher productivity, higher retention rates, and lower health-care costs. Multiple studies show a clear link between businesses that attend to employee well-being and a profitable bottom line.

In fact, the profit of companies with the strongest focus on employee experience is about four times higher than the average. And yes, you read that correctly—not customer experience, but employee experience. Because if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers—and your shareholders will do well, too.

In 12 half-hour lectures, How to Build a Thriving Workplace: A Leader’s Guide will show you how to identify and implement relatively simple and inexpensive changes to improve your employees’ work environment and positively impact your bottom line. Professor Beth Cabrera provides a step-by-step guide to transform your workplace into a thriving environment. In the process, not only will your bottom line improve, but so will the lives of your employees—and your own life, as well.

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Lecture Summaries:

1.  Workplace Well-Being: The New Frontier

What’s the next competitive frontier in business? It’s the relationship between employee experience and company success. Learn about the exciting new research showing a clear link between employee well-being and your company’s bottom line.

2.  Mindfulness at Work: The Power of Presence

While most of us believe multi-tasking increases our productivity, scientific studies reveal the opposite. Explore why mindfulness has proven to be a better path to emotional well-being and optimal work performance. Discover how to develop and implement the practice of mindfulness in your life.

3.  Positive Outlook, Positive Performance

Can starting your day off with a few smiles really make a difference in your work performance? Yes! Discover how positive emotions can impact our brain structure and chemistry, resulting in significant psychological, cognitive, social, and health benefits that can improve work performance.

4.  Fostering Employee Optimism and Hope

Optimism and hope are two powerful ingredients in the recipe for a thriving workplace, and studies have confirmed their correlation to the bottom line. Explore the important differences between these two concepts and the specific ways in which employees can learn to shift from pessimistic or hopeless attitudes to more optimistic and hopeful ones.

5.  The Advantage of Workplace Relationships

Our brains are wired for social interaction, and research has confirmed that our relationships with others significantly impact both our ability to thrive and our work performance. Find out how to foster high-quality social connections among employees and how those connections can have a positive impact.

6.  Encouraging Generosity and Compassion

Scientists now believe nature rewarded not only the fittest, but also the kindest. Explore how to foster generosity and compassion in the workplace, and the many ways in which these qualities lead to stronger relationships and greater productivity. Also, explore the benefits of self-compassion.

7.  Creating an Inspiring Learning Environment

We all want to learn and grow throughout our careers, yet some people are more open to learning new concepts and skills than others. Find out how leadership can create an environment of psychological safety, curiosity, and creativity, which will inspire all employees to learn, grow, and thrive.

8.  Engaging Your Workforce: The Power of Flow

We’re familiar with the concept of athletes and artists experiencing “flow” or being “in the zone.” They report performing almost effortlessly while time goes by unnoticed when they are fully engaged in their work. Discover how creating more opportunities for flow at work and adopting a strengths-based leadership approach can benefit both your employees and your organization.

9.  The Need for Meaning: Making Work Matter

Many people look to their work for a sense of fulfillment and meaning. But meaning doesn’t come from the specific task performed; it is derived from an individual’s understanding of the task’s purpose. Explore the many ways to help employees understand how their work and the company’s collective activities serve colleagues, customers, and community.

10.  Promoting Workplace Resilience

The modern workplace can be a stressful environment. But whether that stress is harmful or helpful depends on an individual’s mindset—a mindset that can be changed. Examine specific strategies that can help develop resilience. A more resilient workforce can lead to increased performance and decreased employee turnover.

11.  Strategies for Employee Health

The research is clear that a few well-planned front-end investments in employee health can prevent significant costs later on. Explore the many ways in which workplace environment and culture can promote better health through exercise, eating habits, sleep, rest, and relaxation.

12.  Autonomy: Empowering Employees to Succeed
Autonomy—the feeling of being in control and having the ability to accomplish your goals—is one of the most powerful components of well-being, and companies where employees have greater autonomy significantly outperform competitors. Learn the best ways to give up a bit of control, even though it’s difficult for most of us. It will be well worth the effort.