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Responding to Negativity in the Workplace – Team Management Tips

May 13th, 2013

Despite the best efforts of a company’s leaders, bad attitudes can creep into any workplace. Negativity at work can produce some unpleasant side effects, such as lack of teamwork and overall low productivity. When not kept in check, a negative workplace can become a breeding ground for conflicts that can cause the business to lose out on important objectives. It’s not a good place to be.

Yet, when negativity rears its ugly head, what can your HR team to do address it? Clearly, there needs to be some kind of response that can turn things around for the better.

Here are some suggestions for dealing with and responding to negativity in the workplace.

  1. Acknowledge it immediately.  As soon as you notice employees who are grumbling, coming into work late, or just not being as productive as they once were – take the time to have a meeting with your management team to find out why. There may be some things going on you are not aware of. Don’t ignore workplace negativity, because it will not go away on its own.
  2. Focus on the individual first. Oftentimes, workplace negativity can originate with one or a few employees. When left unchecked, this attitude can invade other work teams, making entire departments negative. Find out if there is a source to the discontent and try to work directly with the individual(s) who are acting out in this manner. Sometimes, just a small change can alleviate issues and restore the workplace to being positive.
  3. Open up communication channels. An effective way to respond to workplace negativity is to openly speak about this topic at staff meetings, then offer an open door to anyone who needs to talk, vent, or just share in a safe space. The human resource department can be a good sounding board for any issues, most of which can be resolved by acting as a good will ambassador for your company.
  4. Create a positive culture. How positive is your company in general? If you cannot answer this question confidently, then perhaps it’s time to take things up a notch by creating a positive corporate culture. Start out by looking for ways to provide more incentives for employees. Schedule some fun corporate events that can boost morale. Get buy in from your corporate leadership by connecting them with the employees in meaningful ways.

Yes, negativity happens for a variety of reasons, but if you deal with it quickly and effectively, it is easier to manage. Take the time to get to the root of any employee complaints, learn to be a better listener, and use the above tips for chasing negative thoughts and behaviors out of the workplace.

If you are looking for human resource staffing services in the White Plains, NY area, contact the staffing experts at Concorde Personnel today.

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