No one likes to work in a toxic and negative workplace. We have a few tips on how to navigate negativity in the workplace.
No one likes negative emotions and attitudes. Many of us may have come across negativity in the workplace. It could be your complaining colleagues or a boss that always points out your mistakes. Office politics can also lead to hostile work environments. A negative attitude in the workplace can have destructive effects on employee morale, productivity, engagement, and motivation. Negativity can lead to the creation of a toxic environment. It is necessary to combat such emotions in the workplace so that it does not affect the work culture. With the right strategies, you can tackle this issue and foster a workplace that is positive and uplifting. Many tend to ignore this issue, but this would only hit back hard. Here are a few ways you can navigate negativity in the workplace.
- Figure out the root causes of this negativity. If there are, address them. It could be an employee complaining about something that is affecting his work.
- You need to listen and hear them out. Sometimes people repeat the same negative sentiments because they feel no one is listening to them. You need to have open and honest conversations with your employees. Be also careful about how you respond to them. Put forward an unbiased approach and do not take sides. Thank them after they have shared the details with you.
- Tell your employees that having a negative attitude will affect one’s performance. If they are causing problems, let them know that it’s as if they are not doing their job responsibilities.
- Remind your employees it is company policy to respect the rights and feelings of others and one should avoid behaviors that are harmful to oneself and others.
- Ask your employees if they would like your help in solving the problem. If they do ask for help, provide advice on how to address the issue causing the negativity. You may also suggest books or seminars that would help your employees in the long run.
- Some people develop a negative outlook on life because of their past circumstances. He/she may suffer from depression because of the hardships and disappointments he/ she has faced in life. Understand his motivation for being negative and show empathy towards his situation.
- Be careful of the language you use when communicating. Be inclusive when addressing your employees. For example: “We have seen a change in your attitude in the last couple of weeks.” Avoid using “you”, since this directs blame on the person.
- Set up and communicate warnings if necessary. If there are no changes in the employee’s behavior or perhaps the negativity is taking a massive toll on the others, you need to take a further step by establishing warnings. You may document it and have the employee sign it. This way you will hold your employees responsible and accountable for their actions. Make sure to check up regularly to see whether there is a change in the situation.
- If you want your employees to have a positive attitude, set the best example first. If you are constantly criticizing your employees, this would affect the employee’s morale.
- Negativity in the workplace can happen from a lack of career and development opportunities presented at work. Employees can become unhappy if they don’t feel themselves growing, gaining, and developing new skills. So, provide your employees the opportunities to grow and develop. Conduct training programs, give promotions when you feel they deserve them, and commit to employee growth and development. Collect feedback so that you can make these programs beneficial to both the employees and the community.
- Another huge cause of negativity in the workplace is managers controlling and taking decisions on behalf of their employees without their involvement. So, provide autonomy to your employees in making decisions. Let them control their job.
- Recognize your employee’s achievements. Provide rewards and recognition and make your people feel valued.
Navigating negativity in the workplace is complex and challenging. With the above strategies, tackling negativity would become so much easier. Ignoring the issue is not the solution. Keep monitoring the situation, manage the appraisal, and conduct 360-degree feedback processes whenever possible.
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