Negativity the workplace beast!

Negativity is an unfortunate fact of life! It would be great if everyone was happy and positive all the time, but as we all know, that’s as likely as finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Leave a negative attitude to fester and it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy: a negative attitude leads to a lack of interest, which leads to poor performance, which leads to a lack of purpose, which leads back to a negative attitude. And then the cycle begins again.

Leave it any longer and that negativity may start to infect other members of staff, staff morale and further disrupt your business.

Having one or multiple members of staff with a negative attitude can happen for a variety of reasons, from personal issues, such as mental health, to feeling a lack of purpose in their role. Sometimes a negative attitude might be unavoidable, but it’s what you do to help that can make a real difference.

Try to nip any problem in the bud before it has any chance of spreading further in your team.

  • Decreased Productivity

When productivity is down there a number of ways to tackle the problem, but one of the ways you can stop a negative attitude from ever developing and decreasing productivity is effective induction into the company culture, outlining set goals and presenting a clear idea of their role they are more likely to feel welcomed and happy from the very beginning.

  • The Cause

A negative attitude can manifest in many ways, from being uncooperative, tardiness, constant complaining, rudeness to customers or other members of staff to general moaning and unhappiness. But before trying to cure the symptom you need to find the cause.

You don’t have to wait for annual reviews or an allotted check-in to do this. Just set a meeting for a mutually beneficial time to discuss what could be the issue. A formal meeting may not be a comfortable atmosphere so consider keeping it relaxed.

Be understanding not accusatory and understand that it may be a difficult subject for the person to bring up. Given assurances that you want what it best for them and the business. From there you can begin to formulate a plan to help them get back on track.

  • Discussion

“Difficult”, “problematic” and “not easy to work with” are not ways any employee wants to be thought of. And if it’s out of character, chances are the person is aware of how they’re behaving.

When approaching a staff member to discuss their attitude be sure that it’s in a one-to-one setting. Calling them out in front of other staff members is not appropriate!

  • Resolution

Once you’ve identified the issue causing the negative attitude and discussed it, then you’re ready to find a resolution.

The outcome of these meetings should provide you with a clear idea of what is bothering your employee and together you can find a way to make it a thing of the past.

By going through the process of regular check-ins, focusing on positives and feedback both you and your employee will be able to measure how they are feeling since implementing a meaningful strategy.

If left unchecked the negativity could be doing harm to your company image and culture or even your customer base. With the relationship between businesses and society closer than ever it’s important that your employees are a positive representation of your brand and your values.

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