Choose to Ignore or Prod? Dealing with Negative Expressions at Work

May 30, 20174:40 pm2094 views

You might have heard about it: negativity is contagious. Be it underground rumour, hostile expression, inflated complaint, or negative sentiment, even a single bad vibe within workplace environment can spread easily throughout the entire team. When negativity invades your office, it might lead to series of serious issues, such as lower employee morale, reduced productivity, feelings of distrust and conflict between co-workers.

Negative emotions do exist in the workplace. No matter what employers do to keep their employees happy, it is an inevitable fact that employees cannot always be in full enthusiasm and spirits all the time. As life is a rolling wheel, there will always be ups and downs along your business journey.

There might be conflicting ideas between bosses and workers, dissatisfied employees towards their teammates’ attitude, or even spreading buzz about upcoming layoff that divides your office floor. Either caused by personal or professional issues, dealing with negativity at work requires good communication skill to deliver effective responses.

At some point of time, it is true that the best way to cure negativity at work is by avoiding the source of hostility and remove your emotions from the equation. Nevertheless, rather than brushing these negative sentiments aside and let them linger on, leaders should take responsive initiatives to prevent the situation from worsening.

The following tips should help with insights on how you should approach negative expressions and sentiments that grow in the workplace:

See: Altering Perspectives: Getting Inspired from Negative Feedbacks

  1.       Identify the root causes

When you sense that something fishy is going on the workplace, do not just jump into conclusions and accuse particular employee as the culprit, even when they have reputed records as a rabble-rouser. Instead, you should take time to identify the root cause of the problem, that have elicited mischief behaviours and bad sentiments.

With this strategy, you can take the right step to address the issue. At some point, you might reveal the truth that your ‘problem employee’ exhibits negative behaviours because of legitimate reasons such as mental illness or stress from overwork. When such scenario happens, you should help them to recover instead of taking disciplinary actions against them.

  1.       Confront negative attitudes

If the result of your investigation goes down to a particular employee, leaders should take immediate action and confront them directly. However, do not be too aggressive in challenging them because it will only escalate further tensions. It is best to keep a cool head and carefully approach with calm and relaxed setting. Take the opportunity to meet them face to face to ask for reasons behind their undesirable manners and explain how it affects the entire team.

  1.       Spread positivity

Cultivate positivity in the workplace to fight any bad sentiments that circulate around the air. To build a solid relationship between co-workers, leaders should encourage positive attitudes and foster trust toward each other. This will in turn lead to effective teamwork, which affects directly to employee productivity and overall business results.

  1.       Embrace fairness and transparency

Sometimes, negative expressions are made out of resentment towards a particular rule or policy. Therefore, it is crucial for managers to communicate and socialise organisation procedures to employees across all levels and departments.

Make sure that the policy is applied fairly and reported transparently to everyone, which means that there will be no exception for those who violate the norms.

  1.       Hire passionate individuals

Take preemptive actions by sourcing and recruiting passionate talent to be your next hires. Hiring managers should pay careful attention during candidate screening to notice any potential signs of negativity during the interview process. If the candidates demonstrate unfriendly gesture and deliver harsh comments toward something sensitive, you might need to take it as a warning.

Smart leaders possess the ability to focus more on the solutions rather than the problems. While negativity might take in trivial forms such as daily complaints or morning gossips, these negative emotions might pile up beneath the surface. And when these negativity accumulates too much, they might burst and cause real damage to the team.

Hence, to ensure that your employees are actively engaged in their jobs and stay productive, you have to go all the way to fight the negativity virus.

Read also: Reducing the Negative Impact of Stereotypes at Work

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