Minimizing Negativity in the Workplace

Workplace negativity can affect even the best of companies. Negative behaviors such as complaining, putting others down, highlighting co-worker mistakes and always expecting the worst possible outcome often start with just one or a small group of employees and then spread like wildfire throughout the organization. Negativity in the workplace can be a big barrier to getting things done. It slows productivity and heavily impacts your team’s morale.  How can you help combat constant negativity and work towards a more positive company culture? Here are our top tips to address this common concern:

Identify any Problems
If you have negativity in your workplace, you have to get to the root of the problem.  Figure out where the negative feelings are coming from. In many cases, workplace negativity is a symptom of a bigger issue such as an excessive workload, concerns of job security, lack of challenge or lack of recognition. If there are certain individuals who are responsible for expressing negativity, meet privately to discuss concerns from both sides.

Give up Some Control
Let your employees have input in decisions that affect them and look for ways to give them a sense of control at work. Can you offer a flexible schedule or let your employees choose some of their goals and projects that they work on? You can also give your employees the ability to make some of their own decisions by setting deadlines and benchmarks, but letting them figure out how best to complete the work.

Keep Conflict Healthy
Teach your employees that they can respectfully disagree with one another, but there is a difference between negativity and a healthy, passionate debate. Instead of getting frustrated and shutting down, encourage employees to understand someone else’s position, learn from one another and find new solutions to a disagreement.

Treat Employees Consistently
Inconsistent enforcement of rules can lead to distrust and poor morale. Workplace policies should be enforced for all employees and no one should get special treatment because of their position or connections.

Keep Everyone in the Loop
Sometimes, a lack of communication between the leadership team and front-line employees creates negativity among employees. Share information and be transparent with employees as much as possible. Employees who feel shut out of meetings or uninformed are less likely to be engaged.

It Starts at the Top
If you want workplace negativity to stop, the company leaders must make an extra effort to be positive role models. Changing a negative culture doesn’t happen overnight. Challenge your leaders to make an effort to show up with a positive attitude, not to blame others, listen to all opinions and show gratitude often.

Hire Positive People
Look to hire positive employees. During the interview process, give candidates specific examples of negative situations and see how they answer. Ask how they handle conflict and difficult situations to get a better feel of their potential for positivity.

Celebrate Accomplishments
Look for opportunities to celebrate wins such as workplace anniversaries or reaching an important goal or milestone. This improves morale by making an employee feel good and shows their peers that these wins are being recognized and praised.

Practice Kindness
Look for little ways that you can incorporate kindness into the work day. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or an expensive gift but small tokens of appreciation can bring a smile to your employees. Whether it’s once a week or everyday, try to do put a little more kindness into the workplace. Some ideas to get started include: sending a handwritten thank-you note, providing a surprise snack for the team or writing a positive message on the board in your meeting room.

 

To learn how learn how Oasis can help your business create a positive work environment or assist with any other aspect of Human Resources, contact Oasis Outsourcing at 866-AT-OASIS (866-286-2747) or visit us online at www.oasisadvantage.com.

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