Negative Nellies: How to Minimize Workplace Negativity

on December 11, 2017 in ABR Blog, HR and Workforce Tips


One or two negative employees can wreak havoc and create workplace negativity. The result of pessimism, less-than-professional behavior, absenteeism, tardiness, or a flat-out bad attitude can jeopardize the harmonious environment that you worked so hard to cultivate.

A few common reasons for experiencing workplace negativity  might include:

  • An excessive workload
  • A lack of challenging work to satisfy their skills, education and experience
  • A feeling of stagnation, such as not receiving a promotion after a substantial length of time
  • An insufficient level of recognition when meeting and exceeding job performance standards

These are just a few of the reasons that our staffing solutions team has gathered over the years regarding workplace negativity. Any one of these—or any other possible reason—may lay the groundwork in your efforts toward finding and implementing a negativity solution for your office.

4 Tips for Minimizing Workplace Negativity

Now that you have a few ideas as to why you might have recently picked up on a disturbance in the workplace, it is time to find and work in a reasonable solution.

One of the essential approaches to minimizing workplace negativity is treating your workplace environment as a whole. Of course, there are instances when you need to tend to one or two employees’ specific issues. However, for the most part, you can avoid developing an overriding negative workplace by regularly taking the temperature of your office environment.

What can be done to help quash negative attitudes?

  1. Keep an Open Stream of Communication. Let your employees know that you and your HR team are available to listen to their concerns. Create and honor an open-door policy that gives employees the security of candidness and anonymity. Sometimes employees need to clear the air in a non-judgmental environment, otherwise, they may end up harboring resentment. This can eventually lead to poor work productivity and quality, as well as increasingly unpleasant interactions with fellow employees.
  2. Listen to Your Employees’ Concerns Actively. People tend to recognize when someone is merely listening to them on autopilot. If you set up a session for an employee to confide a workplace issue they are having, fully engage. Acknowledge the employee’s concerns and let them know that you want to work together to find a solution that benefits them. This lets them know that your organization values them and their work.
  3. Focus Workplace Positivity as a Core Value. It is easy for the workplace to become project-focused and productivity-oriented without much consideration for the human factor. Avoid letting your business become a place of drudgery, or you may see the results play out in negativity.
  4. Hire Employees with an Upbeat Attitude. It may seem like a tall order to find someone whose experience, skills and education suit the job, as well as finding someone with the right attitude. However, you may find it is worth the wait and effort. Look for clues during the interview, such as how the candidate discusses past negative situations and whether they sought good outcomes or perceived the situation as hopeless and unfair.

Need to Replace Negative Nellies with Happy Campers?

The ABR Employment Services and ABR Professional Search team are ready to go when you are! Get in touch with us today to get started.