There is at least one Grinch lurking around in every office, who steals work-motivation and productivity. They’re not green in color, which makes their identification difficult. When left unnoticed, they tend to multiply in numbers, and if this situation is left unaddressed, you’ll soon have a workforce of temperamental and emotionally unstable people.
It’s imperative you deal with negativity in its initial stages. Here is what you need to do.
Managers’ go-to move in dealing with a negative employee is to ignore him/her. This can be bad for your workplace environment; you’re allowing the problem to develop and spread.
Sometimes, employees just need to be heard. You might even resolve some concerns, once you get to learn about the problem.
As soon as you sense negativity, listen to what’s happening in your office. Try to determine the source. Maybe it’s an external or personal matter that’s causing an employee to act poorly. Knowing the cause will help you determine your course of action.
Take notice of the behavior affecting the team in a negative way.
Your notes should explain how it’s affecting other employees and team goals. Provide feedback to the concerned employee.
Highlight areas of improvements, along with areas of strength. Motivate them to do better, divert their attention to a new goal by reinforcing a desired behavior. But do let them know that failure to change the negative behavior may have severe consequences.
If a behavior is considered poor in one situation, it should be considered wrong in all other situations. Don’t send mixed signals to your employees. Be firm in your resolve.
After providing feedback, if you see no improvement, issue a warning letter, and if that doesn’t get rid of the undesired behavior, as a last resort, it may be time to let the employee go.
Yes, everyone needs to vent, but trash talking an employee can further add fuel to the fire. Lead by example and avoid gossiping about employees.
Try dealing with the negative behavior on your own. Give the employee sufficient room for improvement. If there is still no improvement, involve HR. Let them know about the employee performance and how it’s impacting the office environment. This will make your entire effort official.
Dealing with negative employees is stressful and painstaking job. Don’t lose hope and don’t delay addressing them. Negative people thrive by spreading negativity.
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