How to Cure Workplace Negativity

BlogBusiness Evolution Posted: Monday 9th April 2018 by

Negativity breeds contempt. And there is nothing that kills off motivation and productivity in a workplace quicker than bad vibes. It can be tough to uncover the root cause but left unchecked, workplace negativity can bring the whole company down around your ears.

As a responsible HR manager or business owner, it’s your job to intervene and stamp it out. And do it today.

Tackling workplace negativity head-on will immediately lift the spirits of your employees. It will also prevent the situation from worsening, which can lead to unwanted behaviours such as staff losses, claims of discrimination and harassment, or worse still, workplace violence.

Follow our top tips for stamping out workplace negativity for a more aligned workforce.

Form a problem-solving team

Round up a small team of influencers in your business. We’re not necessarily talking about your senior managers, but the staff that have some influence over others. In the team, include one or two of the people that are closest to the source of negativity.

The purpose of the team will be to identify any underlying rumblings of workplace negativity and air them out. If you know exactly where the issues are, there is a better chance of resolving them.

Once issues have been identified, it will be the team’s job to implement an action plan, with each member taking ownership of an action to help bring any negative situation to a swift resolution.

Listen. Listen. Listen.

Sometimes workplace negativity is caused by a situation outside of your control. For example, the company may be downsizing or moving out of the area. In these instances, it’s the employees that are left behind that deal with the fallout. And, more often than not, they need a sounding board.

Implement an open-door policy across your entire management team, including your directors. And, schedule one-on-one blocks of time with each member of staff. If employees know that your senior team is available to them, it provides a platform for airing grievances.

Combat workplace negativity with positivity and optimism

Weave positive energy and motivation into the core of your daily business practices to help eradicate workplace negativity for good. By making positivity a key principle of your business, and acting upon it, your staff will start to lift themselves out of a negative spiral.

Encourage praise and reward for hard work. Actively seek out new initiatives from your entire workforce. Invite entrepreneurial thinking. Tackle challenges together, as a team.

Hire optimists

By no means are we condoning discriminatory recruitment practices. However, with positive vibes at the heart of your business, be on the lookout for people that will bring energy and eternal optimism — but not at the expense of critical thinking. Entrepreneurial employees and creative ‘do-ers’ are the future of positive workplaces.

Cut out the rot

When you’ve followed every procedure, invested time in retraining, set up steering committees and peer-to-peer mentors, and you still have one or two troublesome employees, it’s time to make the hard decision.

No matter what the situation, some people will always find a way to poison a positive culture. They will go out of their way to drop negativity bombs, and to them, life is always unfair. You don’t need these people in your business. If they can’t, or won’t conform to your new policies, it might be time to cut the ties and hold them accountable for their actions.

If your business is struggling with workplace negativity and you need support, Human Results offer dispute resolution services. We know that it’s always better to settle disputes internally wherever possible. However, on occasion, it’s not possible, and you may need external assistance. Call our expert HR team in confidence.

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