From the long line at the grocery store to the guy honking his horn in traffic, there are negative people everywhere you go. When people bring negativity into your office, it can make getting work done seem nearly impossible.
When you hired your employees, you were looking forward to a unique and exciting relationship. Unfortunately, there are some members of your staff that have proven to be extremely difficult to handle.
All of this negativity can affect the attitudes of your other employees and your clients. In a situation like this, it is easy to develop a negative attitude as well and complain, but that won’t help you feel better and it definitely won’t change the situation.
To curb negativity, you cannot retaliate in a negative manner. You must be positive, professional and precise. Here are a few tips for doing so:
- Confront them: Sometimes employees do not realize they are being negative until someone tells them they are. If you notice an employee being disagreeable, snappy or pessimistic, take them aside and talk to them. You may see a change almost immediately.
- Find out what the problem is: If one of your employees is usually happy-go-lucky, optimistic and productive, but has recently become negative, talk to them and find out what has provoked such a change in their attitude. Perhaps you just purchased new corporate clothing for your workers, and this employee not happy because they received the wrong size. Maybe trouble at home is following them to the office. Find out and see if there is anything you can do to fix it. A day off or a new shirt might be all that’s in order.
- Offer additional training: Some people are perfectionists who, if they cannot perform at 100 percent, are prone to a negative attitude. If you have an employee who is a perfectionist, offer them positive feedback along with additional training to help them perform even better.
- Insist on positive behavior: While many employees will feel remorse for their actions and apologize for being negative when you speak to them about it, in the end, only performance matters. Make it clear to them that only positive behavior will be accepted. They must change or leave.
- Follow your company’s guidelines: Most companies have specific guidelines set up for dealing with employees who present problems. These may involve speaking to the employee, providing them with written warnings and evaluations, and, if no other procedure is effective, termination. In order to determine which actions you should take, talk to your human resources department.
- Act fast: Waiting and hoping for negativity to go away is not a solution. This only prolongs the effects the employee’s attitude has on the rest of your team. Be aware of the way your employees function in the workplace and deal with problems immediately.
No matter what the cause of a negative attitude, make sure you take the correct steps to address these problems. Resolving or doing away with negativity will help you create a happier and healthier working environment.
About Kellie Boysen – Owner, Alternative HR:
Kellie Boysen is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) with more than a decade of HR experience. She owns Alternative HR, a local human resource consulting and outsourcing organization that is dedicated to providing small business owners with an affordable alternative to hiring a full-time HR professional.