The PERMA-Lead Model - Creating a Positive Work Environment for Employee Well-being and Success

The PERMA-Lead Model - Creating a Positive Work Environment for Employee Well-being and Success
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Organizations that place value on their organizational culture can have an impact on whether they can even continue to exist stronger after crises. Specifically, the four aspects of positive meaning, positive climate, positive communication, and positive relationships can make all the difference [1].

Positive leadership is needed to support these aspects. There is no single definition of positive leadership, but leaders can use the PERMA model[2] and the PERMA Lead Model [3] derived from it for guidance.

Positive emotions can be fostered by a pleasant work environment created by positive leaders. Employees should feel comfortable, satisfied, and enjoy their work.

Engagement of employees can be promoted by positive leaders by assigning them tasks and areas of responsibility that correspond to their individual strengths. The key to success lies in recognizing and building on these strengths together.

Relationships between employees are strengthened by creating a work environment in which they can treat each other with respect and support each other in their jobs.

Meaning is experienced by employees when positive leaders succeed in communicating why their work is important.

Accomplishment are celebrated by positive leaders with his employees and he/she compliments them on them. He gives his employees positive feedback when they have achieved something.

Typically, employees led by positive leaders show fewer signs of stress and are less likely to develop burnout [4].

Practical recommendations for promoting positive emotions as a leader include [4:1]:

  • Make time for informal conversation (small talk) and talk specifically about pleasant, non-work-related topics.
  • Provide financial resources for the design of the workplace (on-site or home office) and break room to enhance the well-being of employees.
  • Even short celebrations, such as a person's birthday, can be a nice form of recognition, even if they last only ten minutes.
  • It is important to pass on kudos from external people to the employee.
  • It is important to keep positive and negative feedback separate. Positive feedback should not be used as an introduction to say something negative.
  • Think together about ways to make meetings more enjoyable. Offering drinks in meetings that last longer or having a walking meeting more often could be a good start.

In conclusion, prioritizing a positive organizational culture and positive leadership can greatly benefit an organization, especially in times of crisis. By fostering positive meaning, climate, communication, and relationships, leaders can create a work environment that promotes employee well-being, engagement, and success. When leaders strive to create a positive work environment, they can expect to see reduced stress levels, lower rates of burnout, and increased employee satisfaction and productivity.

  1. Cameron, K. S. (2008). Positive Leadership: Strategies for Extraordinary Performance. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. ↩︎

  2. Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Flourish: A New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being - and How to Achieve Them. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing. ↩︎

  3. Ebner, M. (2019). Positive Leadership: Erfolgreich führen mit PERMA-Lead: die fünf Schlüssel zur High Performance. Wien: Facultas. ↩︎

  4. Ebner, M. (2023). Mit Positive Leadership Potenziale entfalten. Wirtschaftspsychologie aktuell 1|2023, 26-31 ↩︎ ↩︎