We have all experienced the impacts of a negative employee. They can be pessimistic, uncooperative or even hostile at times. It is important to make sure negativity does not spread within a workplace, as this can be as harmful as a contagious disease taking over and spreading.
To help prevent negativity from taking roots in a workplace, follow these helpful tips.
- Setting Standards – While you can’t please everyone with company policies, if an employee doesn’t follow the rules, you can discipline him/her for insubordination. Make sure that company standards are very clear. This can include gossiping about policies, which can influence employee’s morale.
- Avoiding the Negative Mindset – Some employees are just negative. You can listen to their points, but don’t let this affect your optimism.
- Asking Questions – Ask employees what specifically is making them feel negative towards something. Often, communication is the key to establishing an emotional base.
- Avoiding Arguments – Unfortunately, negative people thrive on negative energy, which is why many of them love to argue. Avoid getting into arguments and maintain poise under pressure.
- Role-Playing – Try putting the shoe on the other foot. Ask the employee to pretend he/she can resolve the problem that is bothering him/her. Involving the employee may help create positive feelings towards the outcome of a solution.
- Listen – Always use active listening techniques to make sure you understand what the employee is saying. This also helps the employee feel as though he/she is being heard, which can also create positive feelings.
- Empowering Employees – Employees need to take responsibility for both the good and bad. This reinforces positive behavior so they can try to replicate these events in the future. Bad behavior needs to be pointed out, so it doesn’t reoccur.
- Do Not Lower Expectations – If you have a problem employee, remember that a negative attitude doesn’t equate to poor performance.
- Feedback – Consider asking employees for their opinions about how major decisions may affect them. By taking an active listening approach to employees’ concerns, studies show negativity decreases.
- Hiring Good Employees – Try to identify negative employees during the hiring process. Consider asking the following questions to identify problem employees: “Do you feel you have been treated unfairly in the past?” and “If you were the manager at your last job, what would you change?” Also, consider asking, “What management problems did your last job face?”
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