Probably you must have heard this a million times; Employees don’t leave companies, they leave bad bosses and colleagues, and a toxic environment. Now it’s the time to invest some thought in this. Nothing affects employee morale more than persistent workplace negativity. It saps the energy of the organization and in the longer run, hampers performance and productivity. No great manager or a perfectionist Human Resource manager wants to come face to face with this kind of situation.
Addressing worker negativity is a priority. Negativity is an increasing problem in the workplace. It can often be the result of lost confidence, control, communication, etc… Knowing what people are negative about is the first step in solving the problem. On the other hand, negativity can occur in attitude, outlook, in the way of responding to a workplace decision or event, talk of one department or team member. Therefore, one negative employee can infect a whole department or a work team.
Remember that the best way to combat work negativity is to keep it from boiling beneath the surface, periodically bubbling up, overflowing and causing fresh damage.
There are a variety of tips that you can put into place to minimize negativity in the workplace:
- Listen to complaints: regularly listen to the complaint and feedback of your staff members in order to find out the valid reasons for their negativity. Employees must feel comfortable coming along to discuss their concerns and issues and make sure that their concerns will be heard on a regular basis. This can be done by conducting meetings with the staff. It will encourage them to speak up and voice their concerns.
- Provide an opportunity for growth: Afford people the opportunity to grow and develop by training and giving opportunities for promotion, creating a developed career plan for each employee.
- Give recognition: Provide appropriate rewards and recognitions such as rewards, bonuses, recognition badges, etc… This boosts morale, motivates, and increases competition in the workplace.
- Provide trust and respect: Treat your staff as if they are trustworthy and worthy of your respect. The start point can be new hires. Employees have radar machines. If you don’t trust and respect them they will know that you don’t.
- Use fair treatment: Treat the employees as adults with fairness and consistency. Be transparent. There is a difference between treating people equally and equitably. Value everyone the same and don’t pick favorites.
- Give the opportunity to express their opinions: Involve employees in decision making; this will make them feel more valued. Let them be more innovative and participate in decision making. People want to feel as they are part of something.
As Human resource managers are closely in touch with employees, they receive employee complaints, do exit interviews, and know the reputation of the organization; here the role of the human resource professional must interfere. What can HRM professional do is to monitor discussions on employee intranets, appraisal and feedback process, and coach managers in appropriate staff treatment. This info helps to identify the symptoms of negativity before its consequences lead to damages in the workplace. Dealing with unhappy and unmotivated employees can cause a lot of stress and the negativity gradually spread from one employee to another. These tips can prevent this negativity and build a happy, productive, and positive work environment.