Negativity can be hugely detrimental in the workplace. The effect on productivity can be catastrophic. It can cause a significant impact on teamwork, morale and absenteeism. Negativity can come in many forms, and it's important to keep it to a minimum.
This bad feeling dents the morale of employees and management and can drain the energy from your organisation. Once this feeling is apparent in your workplace it can be very hard to overthrow- leading to power struggles, increased staff turnover and a generally bad effect on your organisation.
It is wise for the senior leadership team to keep the finger on the pulse of the organisation and the workforce so they can detect early warning signals of negativity. Making sure you stay in touch with your employees is important so that you can tackle any situation before it gets out of control.
While disagreements are an inevitability, there are things that organisations can do to minimise negative backlash. Here are our five top tips for reducing negativity and maintaining a harmonious working environment.
Ask For Solutions Not Problems
Teaching your team problem-solving is an excellent idea as it can help to diffuse a situation before it becomes a problem. By allowing your team to speak to you through an open-door policy, you can build trust, rapport and increase communication. However, complaining to you about problems will not help to solve their problems. Furthermore, it will waste your time.
Instead, ask employees to come to you with the full facts and some ideas or potential solutions for how to handle the situation. The team will appreciate the authority and be satisfied that their voice was heard.
Regular staff meetings where employees are engaged rather than lectured to can really help to reduce bad feelings. Staff meetings shouldn’t just be an information feed from the senior management team! Instead, they should be an equal forum where staff members can feed information back up to the managers.
Often staff meetings are held sporadically and are only called when the leadership team have an announcement. To help employees have their voice heard and to diffuse potential problems quickly- staff forums should have a routine and an agenda so that everyone gets the opportunity to be heard.
Recognition and rewards are integral in maintaining a positive staff morale. In fact, they are the most powerful tool that organisations use to maintain a positive workplace environment. While valuing employees may seem simple, few organisations do it even though the rewards for the business and the employees are plentiful.
It is important to set up an appropriate recognition/ feedback scheme in the workplace. This means that everyone will feel their contribution is valued.
Not having enough breaks during the day can cause tiredness which leads to irritability, irrationality and impatience. By encouraging your workforce to have frequent breaks away from their desk, you give people a chance to rest.
Many negative workplace situations are caused through a remark that was made through tiredness that quickly escalated. By encouraging breaks, staff can maintain their energy levels leading to a more comfortable workforce and reduce the chance of negativity from tiredness. Nobody wants to be in an overworked and harassed team.
Set An Example
If the senior team can’t control their emotions and communication, then they can’t ask their employees to do the same. If you show the workforce that the management team run by example, then they will want to follow suit.
Make sure to refrain from idle gossip, power struggles and complaints. Show respect to all of your peers. By being fair and controlled you will not be the instigator of any negativity, and people may look to you when trying to handle a negative situation.
While ensuring a positive workplace can be tricky, it is important to have fun. While gossip may have previously been your work entertainment, get involved in the breaks with staff do something fun. Don’t just try to avoid a negative workplace, try and create a positive one instead.