As a manager or business owner, it’s important to pay attention to negativity in your workplace because once it starts, it can take on a life of its own and become a difficult habit to break. When issues such as gossiping, bullying or any other inappropriate behaviour occurs, it’s your responsibility to address the problem as soon as you’re aware of it.

Failing to address negativity in the workplace can have serious consequences for you and your business, and can mean the difference between success and failure. Low employee morale is significantly higher in businesses with a bad company culture, resulting in increased absenteeism and employee turnover. Employees also tend to display a lack of trust, flexibility and empathy when unhappy, disinterested or stressed at work.

With all of this in mind, it’s no wonder that negativity left unattended in the workplace can lead to more time and energy spent on managing the fallout rather than productive work. So, what can you do to combat negativity in your workplace?

Identify the issue

The first step is to work out what is causing the negativity because without knowing what the problem is, you won’t know how to adequately address it. By speaking honestly and openly to your employees, you’ll be able to better understand the concerns they have. It’s also important to take a listen to learn approach to minimise any push back; your team need to feel that you hear their concerns and will actively take steps in addressing them.

Communication is key

Encouraging open two-way communication is vital. Gone are the days of one-way communication strategies that come from the top down. If you want to stamp out negativity in your workplace, you need to have your ear to the ground and this can be achieved by implementing an open-door policy and encouraging employees to provide feedback. By giving your workers a voice in the business, they will feel valued and empowered and have a more optimistic view of their role within it. Check out our article on fostering open communication for more helpful tips.

Training and development opportunities

Employees are more likely to have a positive mindset about their workplace when they are satisfied with their career progression. Although there isn’t always the option to offer a promotion, it can be beneficial to provide your workers with the opportunity to enhance their employability by developing their leadership, technical and soft skills. Training programs help to boost employee involvement, leading to improved morale and increased productivity. Our article on how training and development is key to retaining good workers is a great place to start.

Be transparent

A leading cause of employee dissatisfaction is a lack of transparency from management, causing workers to quickly lose trust in the organisation. As a business owner, you should always strive to develop a habit if consistent communication within the company, in particular surrounding any updates or changes that take place. Employees will not always respond well to change but if you prepare them in advance and explain your motives, they are more likely to get onboard; they may even be able to provide feedback that will assist in improving the changes.

Give your team the recognition they deserve

Negativity develops when employees’ efforts go unrecognised. Your team needs to be shown that they are appreciated for the work they do, otherwise they will feel undervalued and question whether their efforts are contributing to the success of the business. Building a culture of appreciation and recognition helps employees to work harder and better, and fosters collaboration and innovation. A simple gesture such as thanking your workers often for their efforts goes a long way; it shows that you respect and recognise their hard work, and is the most cost-effective way to improve employee morale.

Create a positive work environment

Creating and encouraging positivity in the workplace is the best thing you can do to prevent negativity. When you provide your workers with a collaborative and dynamic working environment, they are happier and perform better. Higher productivity amongst your team is key to the success of your business, and we can equip you with useful tools to navigate workplace negativity.

Do you have issues with negativity in your business? We can assist you in creating a more positive work environment so get in touch via the chat box or by calling us on 08 6150 0043.

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