Most people appreciate that whilst you should look carefully at your business to see whether you need to take any corrective action, you will only be successful if you have a positive and enthusiastic outlook.

This is not always easy to do when a lot of information that we get from the media is more often than not based on a negative viewpoint, presumably because they think it makes better news.

This was brought sharply into focus for me when WorkWear Express released the results of a survey Happiness in the Workplace in November 2015.

They interviewed 1,020 people and drew the conclusion that “worryingly, just under 39% of Brits admitted that they feel miserable at work”. It occurred to me that just because they found 397 people who said they were miserable at work, it would be difficult to draw the conclusion that it automatically followed that 12,090,000 workers in the country (39% of our 31m workforce) are unhappy.

More importantly, as a business owner, I do not know what I can do with that information. I have always preferred to take an optimistic view, which does not mean that I have to wear the proverbial rose-tinted spectacles.

The way that I would apply the messages given in the Unhappiness Survey to my business, is as follows:

  1. The majority (61%) of our people are happy at work.
  2. What can I do now to make this 61% even happier in the workplace?
  3. The people that are unhappy are in the minority – but it is a sizeable one!
  4. Why are they not taking the same view as the majority?
  5. How can I take action to improve the outlook for the minority, so that they “cross the line” and have a better experience of work?

My business tip in this – look at the LARGER of the numbers in any statistics (61% happy versus 39% unhappy) before you take any action in your business.