Employees who see people in a positive light earn more than those who view others negatively
Having office friends can work to one’s advantage. But it’s one thing to forge friendships in the workplace as a way to get ahead in life, and another to build relationships out of a genuine interest in colleagues.
It all comes down to how people see others.
Based on a survey by 1800Contacts, 83% of respondents believe people are inherently good and thus deserve to be treated with kindness.
Across generations, Baby Boomers were found to be most optimistic about their colleagues: nine in 10 are convinced people have an innate goodness in them.
In contrast, one in four members of Generation Z – or those born in 1997 onwards – and nearly one in five Millennials think people are naturally awful to be around.
Positive vs negative views
This difference in outlook may be attributed to the constant exposure of younger workers to negative social media and other online content.
“While every age group’s social media use has gone up in the past 10 years,” said the researchers, “younger people are consistently more plugged in than older demographics.”
“Social networks are a key source of news, so if Gen Zers and Millennials are on these sites more often, they might end up adopting more jaded views over time,” they said, adding how workers tend to have a paradigm shift and view the world more positively over time.
Respondents also believe people have a responsibility to help one another by giving their time and effort toward supporting a cause (80%) or by giving financial support (72%). Workers reported giving:
- Money to charity (82%)
- Money to those in need (78%)
- Time to those in need (71%)
- Time to charity (56%)
The study also found a correlation between workers who have a positive view of people and their income. Those who see the good in others earn US$5,000 more annually than those who believe people are inherently bad.