Tips to Help Minimize Workplace Negativity

Nothing can bring down that moral of a department or team quicker than workplace negativity. It drains the energy from your team and organization by diverting focus from work and performance to gossip. Negativity can be perceived from a person's attitude, outlook, perception of a department member, or the tone of voice used to respond to a workplace decision or event.

As a manager in your organization or a HR Professional, you will tend to have a closer relationship with your employees’ verses others in your company. These professionals are the employees that receive employee complaints, conduct exit interviews with employees, and know the reputation of the origination in the eyes of the community where they conduct business.

The tips in this article will help you learn to identify the signs of negativity before it damages the moral in your department. It will also help assist you in preventing any workplace negativity that may be taking place in your department.

How to Diagnose Workplace Negativity

Workplace studies show that negativity is often the result of the unknown, and a loss of control, community, or confidence can be a contributor to negative behavior in the workplace. The first step is to identify the problem and then find a solution.

When negative situations arise in your department, talking with your team will help you gain perspective on what is the root of the issue. Once you discover the exact issue impacting your department you will be able to identify the employee groups that are impacted by the negative situation at hand.

The negative situation can be the result of many things in your organization. For instance, it could have been a decision that adversely affected your team, a manager that was perceived as ignoring staff questions, or an employee that does not want to contribute to team efforts in the department. Whatever the root cause of the negative issue tends to be, should be identified quickly, and addressed, so it stops making a negative impact on your teams' performance.

The best way to combat workplace negativity is by identifying the problem and finding a solution that works for both you and your team.

  1. Be an Approachable Leader: By creating an environment where your team can trust you, you are becoming an approachable leader. Becoming transparent and communicating a strategic framework that includes a mission, vision, values, and goals, will create a positive environment for your employees to prosper. When you provide direction to your team, they will contribute more, and help you achieve the desired outcomes with projects and team goals.
  2. Offer Recognition to Your Team: To help your teammates feel valued appropriate rewards for great performance. It is remarkable how performance rewards can help create a positive workplace. Two of the most powerful tools a manager or organization can offer are rewards that recognize the hard work and dedication to the team around you.
  3. Allow your Employees to Provide Input: Allow your employees to provide feedback about their job position within your organization. When an employee feels like they can help influence their career path they feel like they have control over where they can go next in their career. One of the reasons identified as workplace negativity can be related to upper management making changes to an employee’s job without their input.
  4. Be Consistent and Offer Fair Treatment: Treating your employees fairly and with consistency will help you cultivate a positive environment in your department. A great way to do this is to avoid favoritism among your employees. By offering the same standard across the board for all teammates, this creates consistency and accountability.
  5. Offer trust and Respect to your Employees: All employees want to be trusted and treated with respect from their fellow co-workers and managers. A great way to be seen as a person in a trusted position is to create trust at the point of hire.  You will have a variety of opportunities to verify the employee’s truthfulness over time through performance and contributions to your team. Don’t make your employees earn your trust, if your employees believe you do not trust them off the bat, negativity will take over your department.
  6. Offer an Inclusive Environment to Your Employees: Creating an inclusive environment helps foster a workplace where your employees can become a team. If everyone feels included, you will have a more productive team overall in the long run. Communicating with your employees is key, because everyone wants to be in the know to help their department prosper. If you want to reduce negativity in the workplace, communicating efficiently and constantly with help with increasing confidence and support in your department.
  7. Provide Your Employees for the Opportunity for Growth: To create a positive environment in the workplace, is to allow your employees the opportunity to grow in their roles within your organization. Offer opportunities for training development, this is a great way to show commitment to your teammates. You can do this by creating growth and development plans for every employee in your department.
  8. Department Rules: When you have a few employees who don’t always follow your department rules, do not punish your whole team. Creating a bunch of new rules because a few individuals made a mistake can be received as a negative experience by other employees. If you treat your employees as adults they usually will live up to your expectations and their own. 

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