Add colour to employee engagement

The workforce and the workplace should together be like a box of crayons, with endless possibilities.


We have all heard of people going green with envy, red with anger and white in shock. In fact, most emotions are colour coded. However, these are not mere expressions to be taken lightly. Colours do actually impact people’s moods! So if you have too many employees feeling blue at work, it is time to resort to some colour therapy at the workplace.

The workstations of the employees can have yellow as the dominating colour or a mix of orange and yellow. Yellow makes people feel energetic and is associated with happiness. It is the colour of optimism and hope. Also, yellow is good for the employees’ memory too.

Orange is a good mix of energetic red and happy yellow. Therefore, it is also associated with joy and sunshine. It is a colour of stimulation, enthusiasim and success. It signifies fire and warmth. Employees who feel ‘sunny’, ‘enthusiastic and ‘bright’, will tend to infect their colleagues with the same feeling, which works well for the overall mood of the office.

The room usually used for meetings and presentations can be done up in blue. It is a colour that triggers creativity — ideal for brainstorming and thrashing out options and ideas. Also, it helps people concentrate or focus. Therefore, it is just right for training rooms too. Those who wish their creative side to dominate may consider wearing blue.

Black is the colour associated with confidence. In fact, a mix of black and red works wonders for a person who is to make a presentation. While red is associated with aggressiveness, energy and intensity, most people who have to address a gathering or deliver a speech or have to convince people at a meeting, prefer to wear black.

The canteen at the workplace should not be yellow. If you wish your employees to stay fit and not overeat, refrain from using yellow in the cafeteria or lunch room. It will be a good idea to have red as the dominating colour in the office gym. It will make the users perform better at the treadmill and exercise with a bit of aggression, which will soon reflect in the fitness of their bodies.

Red also keeps one vigilant, and is therefore apt for those who are involved in tasks that require attention to detail—appropriate for the accounts department.

Purple is the colour associated with an individual’s intuition. It helps one pay attention to the gut feel. Decision-makers who are unable to rely on facts and figures to make up their mind, should wear purple or associate more with this colour, as it will provide them some kind of psychic power. Ideal for HR personnel who are struggling to shortlist candidates!

In this day and age, stress is a malady that has affected almost everyone at some point or the other. If there is a room at work where employees go to relax and rest, ensure that the walls or upholstery of that room are green. Green establishes a connect with nature and therefore, tends to have a soothing and calming effect. It is the ideal colour for clinics and infirmaries too. It symbolises renewal, regrowth, prosperity, peace and tranquility.

In short, colours are significant in our personal and professional lives. The same black that instills confidence is also a symbol of darkness, sorrow and mourning. There are also those who believe that exposure to the colour red can help to maintain body heat, temperature and blood circulation. It is said to have a positive effect on anaemic people and those who are mentally depressed. At the same time, its aggressive nature makes it the least preferred colour for those with nervous disorders, as it makes them irritable. It is said that people who love the colour pink are usually mild natured and go out of the way to help others.

It is clear that each colour has a characteristic, and therefore has some significance. While it is not possible to force people to like certain colours or dislike certain others, the use of all colours can definitely be encouraged at the workplace. If nothing, it will brighten up the atmosphere. Each day of the week can be devoted to a particular colour to ensure that all the employees wear them together and stand to gain from the positive effects of all the colours.

Not only does such a practice/activity give employees something to look forward to, it will also indirectly get them to spruce up their wardrobes. It will also be a novel addition to your employee-engagement initiatives. They may do it unwillingly or half-heartedly at first, but soon the colours will grow on them. After all, life cannot be enjoyed in black and white! And don’t the colours of the rainbow require both rain and sun to make them emerge?

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