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Workplace Negativity: How to Minimize it – Some Tips

dashboardWorkplace negativity is the expression of negative things that are being done or have already been done in an organization. This is aptly illustrated through workplace bullying. Workplace bullying can pop up in any place at any time and cause a ripple effect on the people around you and other organizations as well. Workplace negativity and workplace bullying are interrelated but are not the same thing. Both have the same objective and that is to deprive another of the enjoyment of their work. Workplace negativity is a common and serious problem in the 21st-century workplace. The causes of negativity vary widely and there are several implications for the creativity and productivity of a company’s employees. Rather than dismiss workplace negativity as a non-issue, take some time to evaluate the whole picture. Finding your way to a healthy balance between positivity and negativity may not be easy, but doing so will boost both your and your colleagues’ work performance.

No matter how well compensated you are, your work environment should always be welcoming and positive. Your coworkers are more than just people to grumble about and gossip with, but should be seen as partners and allies in your professional life. Nothing is worse than working with someone who brings nothing but negativity and sour attitudes to the office. And very few things are more satisfying than the opposite: a cheerful coworker who brightens up everyone’s day. So if you aren’t sure how to get rid of workplace negativity and bring some positivity back into your work environment, start by simply making an effort to smile at people when you see them each day. Who knows? It might turn out that they were just waiting for you to say hello so they could return the gesture.

“Being positive won’t guarantee you’ll succeed. But being negative will guarantee you won’t.”

-Jon Gokdon

Negativity can seep into the work placefrom bad clients, bad bosses, and even internal team members. In a culture of negativity, morale plummets leaving frustration and exhaustion in its wake. 

Here are some ways by which you can reduce negativity at work and create a more positive working environment:-

  • One of the easiest ways to reduce workplace negativity is to simply be more positive yourself. Though you may have to work harder at this than others, this step can have a significant effect both in the workplace and on your reputation as a designer in your organization. Striving to put on a positive face, even under negative circumstances, can help you maintain a healthy relationship.
  • Often workplace negativity is caused by project management or overbearing bosses. To combat, take the highroad. Focus on positive qualities and try not to be judgmental.
  • When employees express concern or motivation, you should encourage open communication by acknowledging their feelings. Avoid communicating concerns or changes, successes, and even failures in negative terms. Also, when employees share their stories of success, you should encourage open communication by acknowledging their hands. Do start positive talk with your teams to reduce negative chatter and change the morale of teams.
  • Team-building activities are opportunities for employees to bond with coworkers outside of formal workplace settings. Workshops and conferences can foster skills development, but a positive work environment can be fostered by department- or team-based events. Both in and out of the office, employees will feel more invested in their jobs when they are rewarded.
  • Federal regulations require policy and procedure at all levels of business, but some employees may believe that their input is not valued or that the policies and procedures are not operational. A quarterly survey or review is useful in obtaining some insight into how employees feel about their day-to-day work, interactions with other employees and management, and the company overall.
  • Developing a sense of trust between and with your employees will enable them to work more creatively and may lead to higher productivity. Thereby reducing negativity.
  • As an HR manager, you must be considerate of an employee’s personal needs, such as a desire for flexibility in work hours or telecommuting. It is important to help employees overcome professional struggles by listening to them and helping them learn from their mistakes. It is equally important to avoid over-emphasizing the importance of your employees’ role at work.
  • An absence of transparency can undermine your employees’ trust in the organization and its leaders. To ensure that employees feel valued and included, communicate organizational news and developments to them. This will not only strengthen their loyalty but also allow them to contribute positively in times of need.

“Being positive isn’t pretending that everything is good, it’s seeing good in everything.”

  • When the career growth of employees feels stagnant, their motivation to work comes down. A training program can be introduced so that employees can develop their skills. Leadership, soft skills and managerial skills are just some of the many areas that can be developed in your organization. Training enables employees to advance their job roles and thus feel more fulfilled. This will help to develop a positive mindset
  • Negativity arises when the work efforts of employees go unrecognized. Their sense of purpose is lost, and they may exhibit negative behaviours that hurt the entire organizational structure. Keeping feedback open and offering rewards and incentives for a job well done will inspire your teams to work harder and produce greater results.
  • Employee favouritism can cause both a loss of motivation and a feeling of resentment towards the organization. Negative feelings can lead to an overall decline in employee loyalty and an increase in the likelihood of violations of work policies. HR managers need to prevent favouritism and ensure that work policies are followed by all employees.
  • Build positive workplace relationships, by doing so you can reduce stress and enhance your employees’ happiness, thus increasing productivity. When workplace relationships are positive, employees are more committed to the organization and, as a result, turnover is lower.
  • How can you tell which of your employees are unhappy? If a majority of employees interact negatively, specific reasons may need to be addressed. Although blaming your employees for their negativity will not help, it is the responsibility of management to address the problem. Management should observe employee interactions and understand their perception of the organization. Management should strive to receive consistent feedback from their employees and try to engage them in discussions about workplace issues.
  • Give employees opportunities to make decisions about their work. The most common cause of negative workplace behaviour is traceable to managers making decisions about employees’ work without their input. Almost any decision that excludes an employee’s input is perceived as negative.
  • Involve employees in the process of establishing new policies and procedures. Make them aware of their role in ensuring comfort and control, especially when implementing changes to workhours, pay, benefits, overtime assignments, compensation, dress codes, office and work location, job requirements, and working conditions.
  • Before a decision is made, make sure everyone has the same information. Provide enough context so that your employees understand why a decision is being made, and communicate your decisions as soon as possible. Also, it’s important to communicate with your employees constantly.
  • Invest in your hiring and on boarding practices, since they are crucial to building a productive and cohesive workplace culture.
  • Create some visible reminders to keep yourself in check. Put up funny posters, quotes of the day, or use signs to remind employees of their attitude and how they might be coming across to one another.

Reducing workplace negativity is a major issue being faced by many companies. Unfortunately, negative attitudes have increased dramatically over the last couple of decades. Negativity has been linked to creating a toxic work environment. It’s bad for you, your company as well as for your co-workers. It can cause stress, illness, and job dissatisfaction among staff. These negative vibes also have adverse effects on productivity, creative thinking etc. A workplace with negativity around is an unhappy one. To ensure that your office environment stays as positive as possible, do consider implementing these tips for minimizing negativity around your workplace. By doing so your business will reap the rewards.

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