There are many situations that can arise in the workplace and cause negativity. Some issues are small and seem insignificant, while other issues create such a catastrophe, it can effect the entire workplace. Whatever the situation is, one thing is crystal clear: it needs to be handles immediately before it grows into a monster.
Knowing what employees are negative about is the first step to understanding the problem. Once negativity rears its ugly head, you need to understand where it’s coming from. Speak directly to the employees involved to inquire where the negativity came from in the first place. It could be something simple or a situation that has been misunderstood. Perhaps the employee has heard a rumor about their performance or position and suddenly they feel threatened and insecure. This almost always leads to unnecessary negativity if not diffused properly.
Provide opportunities for your employees to voice their concerns and ask questions. This will give them a chance for their voice to be heard. Scheduling time to meet one on one is important because not all people like to air their concerns in front of others. Perhaps their situation is unique or they have a personality conflict with someone that they don’t feel secure speaking in front of.
Once a problem is placed in your lap you own it. You must follow through and resolve whatever the situation is. Offering a solution or response is imperative to do in a timely manner. Although your day is filled with tasks to perform, keeping your staff positive is part of your day. Don’t send the signal that an employees’ problem isn’t worth your time by taking too long to respond. Be efficient and timely so your staff can get back to working efficiently.
Treating employees like adults can have a positive effect and allow them to live up to your expectations. Be consistent with rules and opportunities; don’t treat them differently or allow a few employees to have different rules and guidelines. If someone requests vacation time, follow the same factors you would as if it were any other employee with the same request. This diffuses any indication that another employee receives special treatment which could escalate into negativity.
If there are a few employees that are not living up to their job, don’t punish everyone. Nothing triggers negativity faster than being disciplined or restricted because of someone else’s actions. Treat the situation with only the employees that deserve it. If other employees are following the guidelines expected of them, they shouldn’t need to be worried about the disrespect other coworkers are demonstrating.
Employees need to feel as if they are a part of something larger than themselves. When they go to work, they want a sense of appreciation, value and gratitude. Being appreciated within a company and feeling like you are a significant part of that success is so powerful. Your staff works daily to move the business forward and the respect you give them will diminish negativity and allow them to be more efficient, productive and positive.