2 Useful Advice to Combat Workplace Negativity

March 28, 20191:23 pm415 views

Regardless of how much you want to create positive workplace culture, it seems that there are  always gaps for negativity to thread its way to the organisation and affect the employees. One study found that negative actions spread the same way as happiness does. That being said, an individual negative behaviour could bring negative impact to the whole team because negative emotion does permeate quickly.

Oftentimes, these negative emotions and behaviours will go beyond the walls of office cubicle. It can be found in gossip, attitude, general communication, and even wrap a business’ outlook. A small act of being rude or small negative conversation could affect people who are not involved directly in the act. Consequently, the person concerned will show less interest in their job, which then results in loss productivity and hampering performance. As cited in the same study, “HR division revealed that 10 percent of employees who were prone to negative interactions had 30 percent less overall performance scores compared to other employees. Negative experiences in an organization can lead to job dissatisfaction, lack of motivation, and increased attrition.”

See also: How to Reduce Stigma of Mental Health in Workplace

Derrick Daren, adjunct instructor at Tiffin University, in his survey disclosed that there is link between negative behaviour and health of employees. “Various behaviours such as depression, anxiety, and physical symptoms had significant relationship… Also, employees who experience negative effects of psychological workplace hazards and aforementioned behaviours are prominently displayed amongst individual or group. It results in high absenteeism and huge turnover rates in organization,” Darren wrote. Thus, it can be concluded that workplace negativity does not only affect employees, but also the whole organisation bottom line. Further suggestion says if leader does not quickly and directly address the situation, it will tangibly and intangibly downgrade whole business performance.

Thus, it is a foremost principal to combat the core of business threat, workplace negativity. Management and leadership should be able to deal with it swiftly in order to retain most productive and trusted employees. Here, we share two important advices of what you should do before negative behaviour spreads widely within your company.

Consider reward

Russell Johnson, a management professor, as in MSU Today suggested that employees who are consistently pointing out problems or errors might be mentally fatigued because they often highlight other’s shortcomings and cause tension in employee relationship. Also, they are often called negative-minded staffs and might already experience a drop-off in production. “The irony is, when people are mentally fatigued they are less likely to point out problems anymore. In addition, their own work performance suffers, they are less likely to be cooperative and helpful, and they even exhibit deviant behaviours such as being verbally abusive and stealing from employer,” Johnson said.

Therefore, rewarding employees who point out problems that lead to improvements could be a good move. It also helps lead other employees to be more open and accepting when someone points out their errors if they know that this is what company wants.

Stay positive

Lynn Varacalli Cavanaugh, a business writer at Progressive Business Publications, in her interview said that staying positive is a very helpful for both leader and employees when dealing with workplace negativity. It was also suggested that walking out of the environment, talking to positive members, changing the negative topics, conducting open communication among staffs, or working on self- improvements are amongst choices to combat workplace negativity.

“Handling negativity is a leadership skill that presents itself in worst of circumstances but once learned can only enhance a leader’s skillset and prepare her for higher-level opportunities.

– Lynn Varacalli Cavanaugh

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