Minimising Workplace Negativity

by Danielle Paterson

Nothing can bring a team down more than negativity in the workplace. It is crucial to remove destructive characteristics to keep morale up, keep employees engaged and maintain that strong workplace culture you have worked hard to build. Here’s five tips on how to minimise this harmful behaviour:

1. Identify the cause

Sometimes it is not easy to find, but what is the reason that there is negativity in your workplace or a specific team? Do you have the right people in your group with the right attitude? Is one toxic person bringing everyone else down? Does your company culture value your employees? Are employees feeling like they are not listened to?

Finding the cause of the negativity is the first step in addressing it so you can apply the correct strategy to address the issue.

2. Trust your employees

Your employees are adults, treat them as such by giving them responsibility and your trust. Treating your staff with respect is crucial. Allowing for role decision making autonomy, so they can perform their role to the best of their ability, can make a huge difference and shows you have faith in them. Avoid making specific rules for everyone after the mistakes of a few, no need for everyone to feel punished. This will just bring division and conflict into the team.

3. Encourage and allow open communication

It is very important to share information about why a change or decision is happening and allow feedback. Telling employees ‘we’re changing this’ without explaining why and not allowing an opportunity for discussion and collaboration will never go over well. Even if a suggestion cannot be implemented, people appreciate being heard. It is important that employees feel comfortable to freely share their opinions about a range of issues without repercussions. This will benefit you too, as it will help to identify problem areas in the business, or at the very least you will get a good gauge on people’s perceptions of what’s going well and not so well.

4. Give recognition and encouragement

How do you know someone needs encouragement? Everyone regardless of the level that they are on within your business needs positive acknowledgement and reassurance at times.  How will employees know they are doing a good job if you do not tell them? Think of ways to show recognition to employees. Regular performance catch ups give the perfect opportunity to provide this to employees on a regular basis. Recognition and encouragement should always feel and be genuine. Employees can tell when this is not sincere and this will only increase distrust.

5. Provide opportunities for growth

Make growth part of your culture! Training is a visible sign of an organisations commitment to it’s employees. Promoting from within and lateral moves are a great way to show you are committed to your staff’s development. Allow them to spend time with other teams to create areas of interest. This can often allow employees to perform better in their current roles as they are motivated, bring extra skills to the table and know you are taking an interest. Don’t just focus on professional growth, concentrating on personal growth is great too! If employees are their best selves in their personal lives, they will be their best selves at work.